Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive (JARDA)

Overview

On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The next day, the United States and Britain declared war on Japan. Two months later, on February 19, 1942, the lives of thousands of Japanese Americans were dramatically changed when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This order led to the assembly and evacuation and relocation of nearly 122,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry on the west coast of the United States. Read more about the relocation and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

The Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives (JARDA) contains thousands of primary sources documenting Japanese American internment, including:

  • Personal diaries, letters, photographs, and drawings;
  • US War Relocation Authority materials, including camp newsletters, final reports, photographs, and other documents relating to the day-to-day administration of the camps;
  • And personal histories documenting the lives of the people who lived in the camps, as well as of the administrators who created and worked there.

Explore JARDA by jumping into one of the four exhibitions; or start by reading the background essay and timeline.

Read related essays (1):

Just for teachers: lesson plans (3):

About this theme:

The JARDA project began in 1998 with the goal of providing a single point of entry to materials held by California institutions on the subject of Japanese American relocation and incarceration during World War II. Historically, these materials had been heavily requested, but difficult to access since they were scattered across many California archives, libraries, oral history programs, and museums. A dedicated digitization project was undertaken by several institutions statewide, and the first version of the site was launched in November 2000. Now part of Calisphere, JARDA continues to grow as institutions continue to digitize and add content on the subject.