Internment and Heroism: Images of Japanese Americans during World War II from Special Collections
During World War II, more than 20,000 Japanese Americans were involuntarily interned in camps in Arkansas under the War Relocation Authority. Images such as those included here, as well as government documents, camp newsletters, school yearbooks, and manuscript materials held by Special Collections help preserve the personal experiences and essential history of that difficult and complex period for the nation and the state.
These photographs, selected from the Special Collections of the University of Arkansas Libraries, document the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Two of the ten centers used for the relocation of Japanese Americans in the United States were in Arkansas. The Jerome Relocation Center near Dermott and the Rohwer Relocation Center near McGhee eventually housed more than 16,000 individuals.
Images from the papers of the War Relocation Authority (MC 452) and associated collections show the hard work, living conditions, educational opportunities, and social outlets found in the camps. While most Japanese Americans were interned during the war, many Japanese American men also served as soldiers with great distinction. Images of Japanese American soldiers included in the Arthur Brann Caldwell Papers (MS C127 209) show soldiers guarding surrendering Germans in Italy and injured soldiers being honored after they came home.
Special Collections has several manuscript collections, rare published items, and examples of recent scholarship related to Japanese American Internment. Please contact the department in order to access resources for further study