Skip to Main Content
Bowdoin College Library <Ask Us!

Japanese American Incarceration: Removal, Redress, Remembrance, Hist 2641/ASNS 2881: Federal documents and records

Key agencies and their documents and records

Based on Prof. Chiang's "Key officials, agencies, and terms related to the Japanese American incarceration"

Agency, commission SuDocs number in Govt Docs collection (print);
years in existence
Microfilm Online
(WorldCat provides many entries for historical and current government documents. Documents from these agencies can be requested via Interlibrary Loan, or look for them in Compass, HathiTrust, Internet Archive, or Google Books.)
Alien Enemy Control Unit,
Dept. of Justice
(1941 or 1942 -?)    
House Select Committee Investigating National Defense Migration
(Tolan Committee)
Y 4.N21/5: (1940-1942)

The library has: San Francisco Hearings: Problems of Evacuation of Enemy Aliens and Others from Prohibited Military Zones, Govt Doc Y4.N21/5:M58/pt.29
Los Angeles and San Francisco Hearings: Problems of Evacuation of Enemy Aliens and Others from Prohibited Military Zones, Govt Doc Y4.N21/5:M58/pt.31

  Use ProQuest Congressional.
Wartime Civil Control Administration (WCCA),
Western Defense Command, War Dept.


Final report, Japanese evacuation from the West Coast, 1942. Western Defense Command and Fourth Army. Govt Docs W 2.2:J 27

Concentration camp U.S.A. regulations. Reproduction. Main Libr D769.8.A6 U54 1973

  Final report, Japanese evacuation from the West Coast, 1942. Western Defense Command and Fourth Army. Govt Docs W 2.2:J 27. HathiTrust.
War Relocation Authority (WRA),
Office for Emergency Management; later Dept. of the Interior; later, War Agency Liquidation Unit
Pr 32.5400:+ (1942-1944)
I 52+ (1944-1946)
(no documents in GovDocs collection)
  • World War II Japanese-American Internment Camp Documents, 1942-1946 via Ancestry Library: Search > Card Catalog > Title: Japanese-American.
    Camps: Colorado River (Poston) Internment Camp, Arizona, Gila River Internment Camp, Phoenix, Arizona, Granada (Amache) Internment Camp, Colorado, Heart Mountain Internment Camp, Wyoming, Jerome Internment Camp, Arkansas, Manzanar Internment Camp, California, Minidoka Internment Camp, Idaho, Rohwer Internment Camp, Arkansas, Topaz Internment Camp, Central Utah, Tule Lake Internment Camp, California.
    Types of documents: Church reports, Community activities, Education reports, Employment reports, Financial reports, High school newspapers, Legal reports, Local newspapers, Meeting minutes, Press bulletins, Project reports.
    Appears to be the same as Records of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946 in microfilm.
  • Community Analysis Reports. Look for these in Calisphere and perhaps in other repositories on the "Newspapers and other primary sources" tab (this guide). I do not know how comprehensive those collections are.
    See also Annotated Bibliography of the Community Analysis Section. War Relocation Authority Community Analysis Report No. 15, February 18, 1946. In Spicer, Edward Holland, Asael T. Hansen, Katherine Luomala, and Marvin K. Opler. Impounded people: Japanese-Americans in the relocation centers. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press, 1969, pp. 301-316. ("The purpose of this bibliography is to provide a guide to Community Analysis reports for the use of government agencies, social scientists, and others who may wish to study and learn from the WRA experience in management of a mass migration." Covers 7 series: The Community Analysis Reports, The Community Analysis Relocation Studies, Trends in Relocation Centers, Weekly Summaries, Community Analysis Letters, The Project Analysis Series, The Community Analysis Notes.)
  • U.S., Final Accountability Rosters of Evacuees at Relocation Centers, 1942-1946 via Ancestry Library: Search > Card Catalog > Title: Final Accountability Rosters.
    "The records in this collection are rosters of internment center residents, including details about their entry into the camp, former residence, and destination upon release."
    Guide to these records from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
    Also available from Internet Archive.
  • Japanese Americans Relocated During World War II via Ancestry Library: Search > Card Catalog > Title: Japanese Americans Relocated.
    No images of records included. "Contains information collected by the War Relocation Authority (WRA) on over 100,000 Japanese-Americans who were relocated during World War II".
    Series Description and FAQ for these records from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Selected Publications

Community analysis relocation studies
Bibliography of Japanese in America, 1942
Facts about America series, 1942-1945


Relocation of Japanese-Americans, 1943
The relocation program : a guide book for the residents of relocation centers, 1943
The War Relocation Work Corps : a circular of inforamtion for enlistees and their families, 1943


Handbook on center closure and transfer operations, 1944
Nisei in uniform, 1944
Reported casualties among soldiers of Japanese ancestry by location of next of kin and source of information, 1944
They're friendly in New England, 1944?


California incidents of terrorism involving persons of Japanese ancestry, 1945
A message to American soldiers of Japanese ancestry, 1945?
Myths and facts about the Japanese Americans. Answering common misconceptions regarding Americans of Japanese ancestry, 1945
Nisei in the war against Japan, 1945
Nisei in uniform, 1945


Administrative Highlights of the WRA Program, 1946
Community government in war relocation centers, 1946
The evacuated people, a quantitative description, 1946
Impounded people, Japanese Americans in the relocation centers, 1946
Legal and constitutional phases of the WRA program, 1946
The relocation program, 1946
Token shipment, the story of America's war refugee shelter, 1946
Wartime exile, the exclusion of the Japanese Americans from the West coast, 1946
The wartime handling of evacuee property, 1946
WRA : a story of human conservation, 1946


People in motion: the postwar adjustment of the evacuated Japanese Americans, War Agency Liquidation Unit, 1947?

Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) Govt Doc Y3.W19/10: (1980-1983) (1 document in our collection)  

Personal Justice Denied, Report and Recommendations

Personal Justice Denied: Public Hearings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment, 1981, then choose American Studies.

The Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Japanese American Internment Collections", Franklin D. Roosevelt Library     Japanese American Internment: Records of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, then choose American Studies.

How to find...

Many of the entries in Prof. Chiang's "Timeline of the Japanese American Incarceration"* mention government documents (such as Public Laws or Executive Orders) or events that are directly related to or described in federal government documents. How can you find those documents and related ones?


* Based, in part, on "WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Tule Lake Unit", National Park Service. See also The War Relocation Authority & the Incarceration of Japanese-Americans During World War II at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum.


Japanese-Americans, National Archives and Records Administration