Check Records Online:
Database of Japanese American Evacuees
(War Relocation Authority, RG 210)
Index to the WWII Alien Enemy Detention and Internment Case Files
(Department of Justice, RG 60)
Compensation and Reparations: Index to the Redress Case Files
(Department of Justice, RG 60)
Public Hearings and Testimonies
(Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, RG 220)
(Office of the Provost Marshal General, RG 389, and US Army Defense Commands, RG 499)
Order Copies of Records
What You Can Do Next
What You Can Do Next
- Continue Online Research
- Order Copies of Records
- Access Microfilm
- Hire an Independent Researcher
- Visit NARA
- Contact NARA
Use our Archival Research Catalog (ARC)
ARC Search Tips for Japanese American Internment and retrieve descriptions of textual, photographic, motion picture, and sound materials. In ARC, find over 4,000 online images of items about Japanese American Internment, including:
Read the articles in Prologue magazine
See our materials for Teachers and Students
Documents and Photographs Related to Japanese Relocation During World War II
Includes background on the internment, and a collection of 16 photographs and 3 documents in NARA relating to the WWII relocation of Japanese in the United States. Also includes a lesson plan for educators.
Check the Aliens Topics page in our Genealogy section
The Aliens page includes links to other records related to enemy aliens and other WWII internment programs (such as INS detention centers), and name indexes to Alien Personal History and Statements
Learn about this NHPRC Project
Review related U.S. Policy
Executive Order 9066: Resulting in the Relocation of Japanese (1942), includes copy of the document and background to the situation. View transcript
President Gerald R. Ford's Proclamation 4417, Confirming the Termination of the Executive Order Authorizing Japanese-American Internment During World War II
This proclamation by Gerald Ford removed the possibility of a reinstitution of Executive Order 9066. (Gerald Ford Presidential Library)
Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Military Affairs. Mentions protests received by the committee from citizens of California communities against the return of previously interned Japanese-Americans to their homes on the West Coast.
Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, Select Committee to Investigate Interstate Migration of Destitute Citizens (1940-41). References hearings held on the West Coast in February and March 1942 to consider the problems inherent in the proposed relocation of enemy aliens and Japanese-Americans.
Records of the Senate Judiciary Committee, 1947-68. Mentions records on claims of Japanese-Americans evacuated under Executive Order 9066.
View the Collection from the Truman Presidential Museum & Library
The War Relocation Authority and the Incarceration of Japanese-Americans during WWII. The collection includes photographs, oral history, chronologies, documents, and lesson plans regarding the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during WWII.
Obtain a copy of Reference Information Paper #59
Statistics and Statistical Materials in the Records of the War Relocation Authority, by James Paulauskas (1973), 6 pp.
Check the Guide to Federal Records
Records of Defense Commands, RG 338.2.1, includes reference to microfilm copies of records of Japanese relocation centers (620 rolls)
Records of the Information Branch, 389.2.6
Learn about Japanese-American Records in NARA's Regional Archives in San Francisco
Japanese-American Records in NARA's Pacific Region from the Records for the Study of Ethnic History in the National Archives, Reference Information Paper.
Records for Study of Labor and Business in Pacific Region. See under Labor Supply, RG 83 and RG 96.
Information about Records of the District Courts of the United States (RG 21). See under references to Japanese-Americans in the Records Description under USDC
Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (RG 85)
Records of the California War Board, 145.6.1
Records from the Office of Defense Transportation, RG 219. References records relating to trucks seized from interned Japanese-American farmers for sale to actively producing farmers.
Records from the Office of Foreign Assets Control, RG 265
See related records at the National Archives in Riverside
Read about Photographs available in the National Archives Still Pictures Unit
Holdings from the War Relocation Authority (WRA), RG 210.
Holdings from the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians
Read about related Electronic Records available in NARA
Holdings from the WWII Era
Learn about Motion Picture Unit holdings in NARA
From the War Relocation Authority
Learn about the Sound Recordings available in the National Archives.
Dillon S. Meyer. Director of the War Relocation Authority, interviewed by an unidentified NBC newsman, (ca. 1943) discussing the relocation of approximately 110,000 Japanese-Americans
See the following books in the Archives Library Information Center (ALIC):
Ichihashi, Yamato. Japanese in the United States : a critical study of the problems of the Japanese immigrants and their children. Standford University, Calif., Stanford University Press; London, H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1932. x, 426 p. E 184 J3 I4
McKenzie, Roderick Duncan. Oriental exclusion : the effect of American immigration laws, regulations, and judicial decisions upon the Chinese and Japanese on the American Pacific coast. Chicago, Ill., The University of Chicago press  200 p. JV 6874 M3
Paul, Rodman W. The abrogation of the Gentlemen's Agreement : being the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa prize essay for 1936. Cambridge, Mass., The Society, 1936. xiii, 117 p. JV 6884 P3
The following are from the Taylor Collection:
With only the will to live : accounts of Americans in Japanese prison camps, 1941-1945. Wilmington, Del. : SR Books, c1994. xxxvii, 286 p. D 805 A785 W57 1994
Lowman, David D. Magic : the untold story of U.S. intelligence and the evacuation of Japanese residents from the West Coast during WW II. [Utah] : Athena Press, 2001. viii, 391 p. D 810 S7 L68 2001
United States. Congress. House. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on Administative Law and Governmental Relations.. Japanese-American and Aleutian wartime relocation : hearings before the Subcommittee on Administrative Law and Governmental Relations of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, Ninety-eighth Congress, second session, on H.R. 3387, H.R. 4110, and H.R. 4322 ... June 20, 21, 27, and September 12, 1984. Washington : U.S. G.P.O., 1985. iv, 989 p. D 769.8 A6 U53 1985
Resources on Other Web Sites
Part of the WorldGenWeb, this site links to genealogical information sources in 26 Asian countries.
Department of Homeland Security
Information on how to request information from the USCIS (formerly INS) using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) form G-639.
This web site contains links to Japanese genealogical web sites in English, Spanish and Japanese. Research on Japanese family heritage can also be done according to Japanese prefecture.
Genealogy.com provides contact information, web sites, and books to assist in Japanese genealogy research.
Stuart Terashita's Japanese-American Genealogy Home Page
This website offers advice for Japanese-Americans on beginning their genealogical searches in the U.S. using: Social Security Administration information, death certificates, ship manifests, funeral home information, cemetery listings, obituaries, and WWII Internment Records. It also offers advice on how to uncover family history using Japanese web pages and records.
"Tracing the Roots: Using a Regional Office of the National Archives"
An article written by Rodger Rosenberg for the National Japanese American Historical Society. Describes the records available for researching Japanese-American ancestors at the Regional Offices of the National Archives.
"Abundant dreams diverted"
Seattle Times article recapping the history of Japanese in Washington State in the early 1900's and their subsequent evacuation to relocation camps in the 1940's.
Report to the President, Japanese-American Internment Sites Preservation (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2001)
Decision to Evacuate the Japanese from the Pacific Coast
Chapter from "The United States Army in World War II", volume entitled "Guarding the United States and its Outposts." An extensive and detailed army analysis by Stetson Conn of the circumstances surrounding the internment of Japanese-Americans.
Jerome Relocation Center Collection, University of Arkansas
War Relocation Authority Camps in Arizona, 1942-1946, University of Arizona
Includes 40 photographs from the WRA, taken at the Colorado River Relocation Center and the Gila River Relocation Center. The site also links to numerous points of interest and suggestions for further study.
A Historical Study of the Manzanar War Relocation Center, Manzanar National Historic Site
Topaz Internment Camp Documents, University of Utah
Guide to the Records of the United States War Relocation Authority Central Utah Project, University of Washington
Japanese American Oral History Project Collection, California State University, Fullerton
Children of the Camps, the Documentary. Historical background provided, copies of documents, and a timeline. Also information about this PBS documentary and how to order.
Photographs and Paintings
Japanese-American Internment Camps During World War II, Photo Exhibits from Tule Lake and Topaz, From the Special Collections Department, J. Marriott Library, University of Utah.
Under a Great Injustice": Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese-American
Internment at Manzanar
The Library of Congress presents side-by-side digital scans of both Adams's 242 original negatives and his 209 photographic prints.
Gallery of the Open Frontier, University of Nebraska Press
From the California State University, Sacramento Library, Department of Special Collections and University Archives. A history of the Japanese experience in the San Joaquin Valley from 1900's to the 1940's. Collection comprises over 5,000 documents, photographs, artifacts and exhibits materials.
Japanese-American Relocation Collection, University of Utah
Masumi Hayashi Photography, Family Album Project
Tomo Foundation Collection Photographs, California State University, Fresno
War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement, From the Online Archive of California, Bancroft Library, University of California-Berkeley. Includes 6,834 digital images.
Museums and Exhibits
A More Perfect Union, Japanese Americans & the U.S.
Web site from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History provides personal narrative, music, timelines, and photographs of the Japanese relocation during World War II.
Guide to the Minidoka Relocation Camp Photograph Collection, University of Washington
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Digital Collections and Content, University of Illinois
National Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Links to Japanese-American resources, including factsheets on Japanese-American incarceration during WWII.
The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco:
- Instructions to All Persons of Japanese Ancestry
- Evacuation and Internment of San Francisco Japanese
- Excerpts from General DeWitt's "Final Report on the Evacuation of the Japanese"
- Evacuees Operate Factory Vegetable Farm at Rivers
Azalia Emma Peet papers, Smith CollegeAuraria Library Special Collections Department, Denver, Colorado
Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives, Bancroft Library, University of California-Berkeley
Special Collections, University of California, Los Angeles
United States Japanese Relocation Center Papers and Records, 1942-45, Colorado College,
Georgetown University Library, Special CollectionsLibrary of Congress
Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Library
Japanese-American Internment Collections, University of the Pacific
Manuscripts Division: Japanese Americans, University of Utah
Yale University, Special Collections
Finding Aids/General Materials
The Japanese-American Experience, The Balch Institute
Inventory of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records, Bancroft Library, University of California-Berkeley
Japanese-American Internment, University of California
Guide to the Japanese-American Relocation Centers Records, 1935-1953, Cornell University
Relocation Digital Archives
The Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive (JARDA) provides access to the archival and manuscript holdings of numerous California archives and museums featuring online finding aids, digital images, electronic texts and oral histories. JARDA contains personal diaries, letters, photographs, and drawings, camp newsletters, reports, photographs, and WRA administrative documents.
The War Relocation Camps of World War II: When Fear was Stronger than Justice Teaching with Historical Places Lesson Plans, National Park Service
Access Microfilm on Japanese-Americans
Visit NARA in Washington, DC, or check with the 13 Regional Archives around the country. Many of these facilities have these records on microfilm for use in person. Microfilm can also be purchased.
Some of the available microfilm publications include:
- M1865. Final Accountability Rosters of Evacuees at Relocation Centers, 1944-1946. 10 rolls. (From RG 210, Records of the War Relocation Authority)
- C53. Field Basic Documentation of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946. (From RG 210, Records of the War Relocation Authority)
- M1342. Community Analysis Reports and Community Analysis Trend Reports of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946. (From RG 210, Records of the War Relocation Authority)
- M1293. Public Hearings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. (From RG 220, Records of Temporary Committees, Commissions, and Boards)
- A3408. Registers of Japanese, Filipinos, and Hawaiians Held for Boards of Special Inquiry at San Francisco, California, September 1928-February 1942. (From RG 85, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service)
For more information on microfilm, use our Microfilm Search.