Japanese Americans

WRA Evacuee Case Files

The National Archives Building in Washington, DC (Archives 1), holds case files of Japanese and Japanese Americans who were interned at War Relocation Authority (WRA) "relocation centers" from May 1942 to approximately 1946. These centers were specific to persons of Japanese ancestry, both citizens and aliens, from parts of California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona that were designated as military areas.

The case files are found in Entry PI-77 22 in Record Group 210, Records of the War Relocation Authority (National Archives Identifier 891305). The records are arranged alphabetically.

Contents of Evacuee Case Files

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WRA Evacuees in Poston, AZ

National Archives Identifier 536090

The content of individual case files varies. In addition to including basic identifying information about the internee (such as their name, age, and physical description), case files may also contain:

  • Medical records
  • Property records
  • School records
  • Military service information
  • WRA relocation center employment records
  • Leave or discharge documentation
  • Related correspondence

Not all case files contain each of these documents.

Case files may provide information about an internee's family members as well.

Accessing Evacuee Case Files

Researchers may request to view evacuee case files on site at Archives 1 or order copies of case files using the evacuee case file request form.

In your request, please provide the following information so that our staff can locate the case file:

  • Individual’s full name
    • If the individual used a Japanese name and an Anglicized name, please provide both names.
  • Individual's date of birth
  • WRA relocation center

If the individual of interest is not the head of family, please also provide the following information:

  • Head of family's name
  • Head of family's date of birth

To identify this information, please search the Access to Archival Databases (AAD). For search tips, please see Search the Database of Japanese American Evacuees.

Please note that WRA evacuee case files are subject to privacy restrictions.

You may view a case file if:

  • You are the subject of the file.
  • You can provide signed, notarized permission in writing from the subject granting you permission to see their case file (if the subject of the file is still living).
  • You can provide proof of death such as a copy of a death certificate, Social Security Death Index listing, or obituary (if the subject of the file is deceased).