Skip to main content

World War II: primary sources

Internment of civilians

U.S. Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians
Microfilm 01885
35 reels
Printed guide: Firestone Microforms D769.8.A6 L47
"The relocation and internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II has been called one of the worst abuses of governmental authority in the history of the United States. Beginning in 1942, more than 120,000 Japanese-Americans, were ordered to leave their homes and were transported to relocation centers for the duration of the war. In 1980, Congress established the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC). The purpose of CWRIC was to review the facts and circumstances surrounding both the decision to issue Executive Order 9066 and the way in which the order was implemented, as well as to assess the impact of the order on the American citizens and resident aliens who were relocated and interned. During the course of its investigation, CWRIC compiled a vast quantity of documentary materials, which are published here. The records come from relevant federal agencies, such as the War Department, the War Relocation Authority, the FBI, and the Department of Justice; as well as from officials and civilians." See http://academic.lexisnexis.com/documents/upa_cis/
1729_USCommWarRelocInternPt1.pdf

Japanese-American Relocation Camp Newspapers: Perspectives on Day-to-Day Life Archives Unbound
"One of the darker chapters in American history and one of the lesser discussed events of World War II was the forced internment, during the war, of an important segment of the American population-persons of Japanese descent. This collection, consisting of 25 individual titles, documents life in the internment camps." From the Library of Congress.

Records of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946 [microform]
Microfilm 12169
115 reels
Printed guide: Firestone Microforms D769.8.A6 U52 1993
See above and http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/210.html.

Internment of Japanese Americans [microform]: records of the Franklin D Roosevelt Library
MICROFILM 12389
6 reels
Printed guide: D769.8.A6 I57 2009

Final Accountability Rosters of Japanese-American Relocation Centers, 1944-1946 Archives Unbound "One of the darker chapters in American history and one of the lesser discussed events of World War II was the forced internment, during the war, of an important segment of the American population-persons of Japanese descent. This collection provides demographic information on the "evacuees" resident at the various relocation camps."

Personal Justice Denied: Public Hearings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment, 1981 Archives Unbound "The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) was established by act of Congress in 1980. Between July and December 1981, the CWRIC held 20 days of public hearings in Seattle, WA; Alaska; Washington, D.C; New York, New York; Chicago, Ill Cambridge, MA; and, San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA. This publication consists of the testimony and documents from more than 750 witnesses: Japanese Americans and Aleuts who had lived through the events of WWII, former government officials who ran the internment program, public figures, internees, organizations such as the Japanese American Citizens League, interested citizens, historians, and other professionals who had studied the subjects of the Commission’s inquiry. Many of the transcripts are personal stories of experiences of evacuees. Documents include publications, reports, press releases, photographs, newspaper clippings, etc. related to the hearings."

Home front

Price Control in the Courts: The U.S. Emergency Court of Appeals, 1941-1961 Archives Unbound
"In the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, Congress established a comprehensive system of administrative controls over prices, as a means of checking the inflation that accompanied America’s entry into World War II. The Act created a temporary Emergency Court of Appeals, staffed by federal judges from the district courts and courts of appeals, with exclusive jurisdiction to determine the validity of price control regulation."

National Security and FBI Surveillance of Enemy Aliens Archives Unbound Records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice, Custodial Detention, Headquarters Library, Washington, D.C.