The rosters, which are part of the Records of the War Relocation Authority, consist of alphabetical lists of evacuees resident at the relocation centers during the period of their existence. The lists typically provide the following information about the individual evacuees: name, family number, sex, date of birth, marital status, citizenship status, alien registration number, method of original entry into center (from an assembly center, other institution, Hawaii, another relocation center, birth, or other), date of entry, pre-evacuation address, center address, type of final departure (indefinite leave, internment, repatriation, segregation, relocation, or death), date of departure, and final destination. Included for each center are summary tabulations on evacuees resident at the center and on total admissions and departures.
Although histories exist about this chapter in American history, this digital collection of Japanese relocation camp newspapers record the concerns and the day-to-day life of the interned Japanese-Americans. Although articles in these files frequently appear in Japanese, most of the papers are in English or in dual text. Many of the 25 titles constituting this collection are complete or substantially complete.
In an atmosphere of hysteria following U.S. entry into the Second World War, and with the support of officials at all levels of the federal government, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the internment of tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and resident aliens from Japan. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, dated February 19, 1942, gave the U.S. military broad powers to ban any citizen from a wide coastal area stretching from the state of Washington to California and extending inland into southern Arizona.
These documents reflect the Commission's twenty days of hearings and testimonies from more than 750 witnesses between July and December 1981, in cities across the country. These witnesses included Japanese Americans and Aleuts who had lived through the events of WWII, former government officials who ran the internment program, public figures, internees, organizations such as the Japanese American Citizens League, interested citizens, historians, and other professionals who have studied the subjects of the Commission's inquiry. Included also are publications, reports, press releases, photographs, newspaper clippings, and transcripts that relate to the hearings. Many of the transcripts are personal stories of experiences of evacuees.