If you are interested, the National Archives has quite a bit of information in a web page entitled Japanese Relocation and Internment During World War II. There also is an abundance of online and other resources if you happen to have ancestors or relatives who were imprisoned or were employed at the camps. Another great source is the Densho Digital Archive. It has the newspapers online, a large variety of documents and photos, and life stories and many family collections are available. This site is a gold mine.
If you are a frequent reader of this website, you know that its main focus is historic newspaper research. What has that to do with the Interment Camps you ask? Well guess what - the camps had a daily or weekly newspaper! And there was tons of info about the internees as well as those employed. It was used as a means to disseminate information and also a way for the residents to share information about events, hobbies, sports, etc.
Here are the main links to the newspapers published at each of the ten camps (from the Densho Archives), which were in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming:
- Minidoka Irrigator
- Tulean Dispatch
- Heart Mountain Sentinel
- Manzanar Free Press
- Denson Tribune (Jerome)
- Gila News-Courier
- Granada Pioneer
- Poston Chronicle
- Rohwer Outpost
- Topaz Times
- Newell Star
Did you know that prior to movement of internees to these more permanent camps, there were first "Temporary Assembly Centers", where internees "lived" for several months and where the conditions were deplorable. From Densho: "In spring 1942, the Wartime Civil Control Administration (WCCA) hastily prepared temporary "assembly centers" to house the individuals of Japanese ancestry who were removed from their homes after the signing of Executive Order 9066. The centers were surrounded by barbed-wire fences and patrolled by armed military police. People were housed in animal stalls and barracks with communal bathrooms and mess halls. After spending up to six months in the "assembly centers," Japanese Americans were moved inland to permanent concentration camps."
These Temporary Assembly Centers also had newspapers. Here's a list of those that have been digitized:
- North Portland Evacuazette
- Santa Anita Pacemaker
- Tanforan Totalizer
- Fresno Grapevine
- Pinedale Logger
- Pomona Center News
- Salinas Village Crier
- Stockton El Joaquin
- Tulare News
- Turlock TAC
- Walerga Wasp
- Puyallup Camp Harmony News-Letter
And here are the online interment camp newspapers from the Library of Congress:
(Note: There may be some overlap with the collection links above)
- Arizona - Gila bulletin.
- Arizona - Gila Co-op news.
- Arizona - Gila news-courier.
- Arizona - Official daily press bulletin.
- Arizona - Official information bulletin.
- Arizona - Poston Christian church.
- Arizona - Poston chronicle.
- Arizona - Press bulletin.
- Arizona - Relocator news week.
- Arkansas - Communiqué.
- Arkansas - Denson tribune.
- Arkansas - The Rohwer outpost.
- Arkansas - Rohwer relocator.
- California - The daily Tulean dispatch.
- California - Manzanar free press.
- California - The Newell star.
- California - Santa Anita Pacemaker.
- California - Tanforan totalizer.
- California - The Tule Lake WRA Center information bulletin.
- California - The Tulean dispatch.
- California - The Daily Tulean Dispatch.
- Colorado - Bulletin.
- Colorado - Granada pioneer.
- Colorado - Kakushu jiji =
- Colorado - Rokkī shimpō =
- Idaho - The Minidoka irrigator.
- Utah - All aboard.
- Utah - Bussei life.
- Utah - Topaz times.
- Utah - Trek.
- Wyoming - Hāto Maunten senchineru
- Wyoming - Heart Mountain sentinel.
Another excellent resource for these newspapers and other information is the Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives, provided by the University of California.
So if you have ancestors or relatives who resided or worked in the camps, it would be worth your time to search/research these resources, and you might just find out how they lived while imprisoned there.