Collections

Learn and Explore

Manzanar National Historic Site has accumulated artifacts and documents for the museum collection. These are a combination of artifacts found on the site and collections that were donated. Federal laws and National Park Service policies dictate how and what we can acquire and how we manage this collection. We follow our scope of collections, general management plan, interpretive themes, and other documents in making decisions in what we can accept.

 
 

In 2010, we launched a "Virtual Museum" highlighting more than 200 items from our museum collection. The website highlights Manzanar's past from centuries of Owens Valley Paiute life to the ranching and farming era; from the World War II confinement of 11,070 Japanese Americans, to later Pilgrimages and the eventual establishment of Manzanar National Historic Site. Explore our Virtual Museum using the link above.

 

Other Collections of Japanese American Incarceration during WWII

  • California Revealed - The Manzanar National Historic Site collection contains text and audiovisual material (moving images and audio) from the 1940s to 2010s. A majority of the collection consists of filmed and recorded oral interviews with Japanese Americans incarcerated at the Manzanar War Relocation Center during World War II.
  • Go For Broke National Education Center - Go For Broke National Education Center contains collections regarding the Japanese American soldiers of World War II and the wartime experiences of their families, peers and fellow community members.
  • Library of Congress: Japanese American Camp Newspapers, 1942 - 1946 - Produced by the Japanese-Americans incarcerated at assembly centers and relocation centers around the country during World War II, these newspapers provide a unique look into the daily lives of the people who were held in these camps. This collection includes searchable copies of the Manzanar Free Press.
  • CSU Japanese American Digitization Project - This collection, generated by a consortium of CSU Archives, features documents, oral histories, photographs and other materials relating to the incarceration of Japanese American during World War II. Search for Manzanar specific items.
  • Bancroft Collections on Online Archive of California - The Online Archive of California hosts descriptions for all archival collections in the Bancroft Library including War Relocation Authority (WRA) documents, The Yoshiko Uchida papers and photographs, WRA photographs, and more. Search for Manzanar Specific Items.

  • Japanese American Incarceration Images - This collection of photographs from the Hearst Collection of the Los Angeles Examiner in the USC Regional History Collection, documents the incarceration of Japanese Americans in California during World War II. Search for Manzanar specific photos.
  • Densho Digital Repository - Hear the story of the Japanese American incarceration experience from those who lived it, and find thousands of historic photographs, documents, newspapers, letters and other primary source materials from immigration to the WWII incarceration and its aftermath. Try searching by collection.
  • The Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives (JARDA) - JARDA contains thousands of primary sources documenting Japanese American incarceration, including: Personal diaries, letters, photographs, and drawings; US War Relocation Authority materials, and personal histories.
  • Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration at Manzanar - In 1943 and 1944, Ansel Adams (1902-1984), America's most well-known photographer, documented the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California and the Japanese-Americans incarcerated there during World War II. For the first time, digital scans of both Adams's original negatives and his photographic prints appear side by side allowing viewers to see Adams's darkroom technique, in particular, how he cropped his prints.
  • Oral Histories - California Revealed, Manzanar YouTube, Eastern California Museum, and Densho all carry audio and/or video recordings of first hand accounts of the incarceration experience.

Last updated: April 30, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Manzanar National Historic Site
P.O. Box 426
5001 Highway 395

Independence, CA 93526

Phone:

(760)878-2194 x3310
Need to speak with a ranger? Call this number for general information.

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