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Manzanar War Relocation Center

To document the forced removal, incarceration and resettlement of Japanese Americans during World War II, more than 17,000 images were taken under the auspices of the War Relocation Authority (WRA). Independent photographer Ansel Adams and WRA contractor Dorothea Lange were two of the more prominent photographers who documented the incarceration experience. Dorothea Lange’s earlier Dust Bowl photographs, showing the human face of "hard times," were widely distributed to the public under the Farm Security Administration. However, many of her photographs of Japanese Americans were censored. Even as Lange adhered to strict WRA guidelines to exclude armed soldiers and their bayonets, her images still captured raw emotional experiences.

Many of the photographs in the WRA collection paint an idealistic portrait of camp life. Still, other images convey the hardship, hope and perseverance of Japanese Americans during World War II. Many of the WRA photographs are accessible through the Online Archive of California and the Library of Congress . Other photographic collections exist in archives, museums, and private collections, and when paired with those taken by the WRA, provide a more comprehensive portrait of this chapter in history. Some of these collections include, the Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive and Densho Digital Archive.


3D Point Cloud of the guard tower.

Point cloud animation of the camouflage net facili...

Point cloud animation of the Manzanar cemetery, cr...

Point cloud animation of a reconstruction of the g...

Point cloud animation of Merritt Park, created fro...

Point cloud animation of a reconstruction of Merri...

Point cloud animation of the Block 34 Garden, crea...

Article from the Manzanar Free Press, July ...

Article from the Manzanar Free Press, Janua...

Article from the Manzanar Free Press, July ...

Article from the Manzanar Free Press, Augus...

Article from the Manzanar Free Press, Decem...

Article from the Manzanar Free Press, July ...

Article from the Manzanar Free Press, Septe...

Article from the Manzanar Free Press, Febru...

Article from the Manzanar Free Press, May 2...

Article from the Manzanar Free Press, April...

Drawing of the elevations of the Manzanar Auditori...

Drawing of the guard tower from the Historic Ameri...

Drawing of the Manzanar site plan based on histori...

Drawing of the elevations of the internal police p...

Drawing of the elevations of the military police s...

Historic photograph of Japanese Americans walking ...

Historic photograph of the cemetery monument with ...

Historic photograph of Manzanar as seen from the g...

Historic photograph of Manzanar as viewed from the...

Historic photograph of guayule plants under inspec...

Historic photograph of nurse Aiko Hamaguchi standi...

Historic photograph of teenage school children wal...

Historic photograph of the wooden sign at the entr...

Historic photograph of young Japanese Americans wa...

Historic photograph of Manzanar as viewed from the...

Historic photograph of workers picking potatoes an...

Historic photograph of farm workers harvesting cro...

Historic photograph of boys starting a ball game s...

Historic photograph of a Japanese-style garden at ...

Historic photograph of William Katsuki, a former p...

Historic photograph of two-way traffic at Manzanar...

Historic photograph of the living quarters at Manz...

Historic photograph of Japanese Americans lining u...

Historic photograph of the crossroad of two street...

Panorama of the traffic circle near the Administra...

Panorama of the 12,500 square foot Auditorium at M...

Panorama of Block 14, near the park’s current In...

Panorama of Block 14, near the park’s current In...

Panorama of Building C, staff housing in the Admin...

Panorama of Building D, staff housing in the Admin...

Panorama of Building G in the Administration area....

Panorama of the Camouflage Net Factory run by the ...

Panorama of the Manzanar Cemetery, located just We...

Panorama of the chicken ranch, located beyond the ...

Panorama of the remnants of seven of the eight per...

Panorama of the hospital landscaping remains, incl...

Panorama of a judo house located south of Block 16...

Panorama of the two paved roads that run east-west...

Panorama of Rose Park, later renamed Pleasure Park...

Panorama of Block 14, near the park’s current In...

Panorama of Block 14, near the park’s current In...

Panorama of the Manzanar Reservoir, a 120 by 180 f...

Panorama of an elaborate garden complex located be...

Panorama of an elaborate garden complex located be...

Panorama of a partially reconstructed Block 14, ne...

Panorama of an elaborate garden located between Ba...

Panorama of an elaborate garden in Block 33 comple...

Panorama of an elaborate garden complex located be...

Point cloud perspective of the 12,500 square foot ...

Point cloud perspective of the Southwest entrance ...

Point cloud perspective of the Northeast side of t...

Point cloud perspective of the interior of Barrack...

Point cloud perspective of the interior of Barrack...

Point cloud perspective of the interior of Barrack...

Point cloud perspective, in plan view, of the inte...

Point cloud perspective of the east side of the ob...

Point cloud perspective of the west side of the ob...

Point cloud perspective of a reconstruction of the...

Point cloud perspective of a reconstruction of the...

Point cloud perspective of concrete-lined ponds an...

Point cloud perspective of the concrete-lined lake...

Point cloud perspective of the stream and footbrid...

Point cloud perspective of an oblique aerial view ...

Point cloud perspective of the entrance to the rel...

Point cloud perspective of the police post at the ...

Point cloud perspective of the sentry post at the ...

Photograph of a rock mound in the Staff Housing ar...

Photograph of the remains of a concrete patio at S...

Photograph of the remains of a concrete patio on S...

Photograph of the Southwest side of the Manzanar A...

Photograph of the 12,500 square foot Manzanar Audi...

Photograph of the Northeast side of the Manzanar A...

Photograph of the Manzanar auditorium with Mt. Wil...

Photograph of the rear elevation of the auditorium...

Photograph of the rear elevation of the auditorium...

Photograph of the rear and side elevations of the ...

Photograph of the side elevation of the auditorium...

Photograph of the front and side elevations of the...

Photograph of the front elevation of the auditoriu...

Photograph of the front elevation of the auditoriu...

Photograph of the front and side elevations of the...

Photograph of the side elevation of the auditorium...

Photograph of the auditorium roof detail, taken as...

Photograph of Manzanar's surrounding landscape fro...

Photograph of Manzanar's surrounding landscape fro...

Photograph of Manzanar's surrounding landscape fro...

Photograph of Manzanar's surrounding landscape fro...

Photograph of a reconstruction of Barrack 01, Bloc...

Photograph of the interior of the reconstructed Ba...

Photograph of a reconstruction of Barrack 08, Bloc...

Photograph of the interior of the reconstructed Ba...

Photograph of the interior of the reconstructed Ba...

Photograph of a reconstruction of Barrack 08, Bloc...

Photograph of one of the remaining foundations of ...

Photograph of the east face of the obelisk at Manz...

Photograph of the grave of Matsunosuke Marukami at...

Photograph of the grave site of "Baby Jerry O...

Photograph of the grave of Minoru Kihara at the Ma...

Panorama of the Manzanar Cemetery.

Photograph of the west side of the obelisk at the ...

Photograph of the cemetery, taken as part of the H...

Photograph of the detail of the cemetery obelisk, ...

Photograph of the detail of the cemetery obelisk, ...

Photograph of the detail of the cemetery obelisk, ...

Photograph of the detail of the cemetery obelisk, ...

Photograph of the remaining foundations of a brood...

Photograph of the incinerator at the Manzanar Chic...

Photograph of the remnants of the warehouses at th...

Photograph of the foundation of the chicken ranch,...

Photograph of the foundation of the chicken ranch,...

Photograph of the foundation of the chicken ranch,...

Photograph of the foundation of the chicken ranch,...

Photograph of the foundation of the chicken ranch,...

Photograph of the foundation of the chicken ranch,...

Photograph of reconstructed guard tower #8, locate...

Photograph of reconstructed guard tower #8, locate...

Photograph of reconstructed guard tower #8, locate...

Photograph of the Manzanar hospital garden.

Photograph of the Manzanar hospital garden.

Photograph of a hospital foundation slab, taken as...

Photograph of a hospital foundation slab, taken as...

Photograph of the retaining wall at the hospital, ...

Photograph of a hospital foundation slab, taken as...

Photograph of a hospital foundation, taken as part...

Photograph of the remains of the Judo Dojo at Manz...

Photograph of the remains of the Judo Dojo at Manz...

Photograph of the Manzanar War Relocation Center s...

Photograph of the military police post with Mt. Wi...

Photograph of Manzanar's entrance area looking eas...

Photograph of Manzanar's entrance area looking eas...

Photograph of the walkway/entrance to Manzanar's a...

Photograph of the remains of the Block 12 garden, ...

Photograph of the remains of the Block 12 garden, ...

Photograph of the remains of the Block 12 garden, ...

Photograph of the remains of the Block 12 garden, ...

Photograph of the southeast boundary marker at Mer...

Photograph of the southwest boundary marker at Mer...

Photograph of the lake and foot bridge at Merritt ...

Photograph of the remains of a hospital walkway, t...

Photograph of stairs at the hospital, taken as par...

Photograph of the interior of the restored World W...

Photograph of the interior of the restored World W...

Photograph of a brake drum hanging outside the Blo...

Photograph of the loading dock area of the restore...

Photograph of the internal police post at Manzanar...

Photograph of rear elevation of the internal polic...

Photograph of the internal police post at Manzanar...

Photograph of the remnants of the internal police ...

Photograph of the rear elevation of the internal p...

Photograph of the 900,000 gallon Manzanar reservoi...

Photograph of the canal from the sand trap to the ...

Photograph of the Manzanar reservoir settling basi...

Photograph of the Manzanar reservoir sand trap.

Photograph of inscriptions along the concrete slui...

Photograph of the reservoir, taken as part of the ...

Photograph of the reservoir, taken as part of the ...

Photograph of an irrigation ditch leading to the r...

Photograph of an irrigation ditch, taken as part o...

Photograph of irrigation ditches leading to the re...

Photograph of the overflow outlet for an irrigatio...

Photograph of the garden at Block 09.

Photograph of the garden stream at Block 09.

Photograph of a rock sculpture in garden pond of B...

Photograph of the concrete wall of a lined pond in...

Photograph of a garden in Block 12.

Photograph of a concrete lined pond and rock mound...

Photograph of the concrete lining of a pond at the...

Photograph of a concrete lined pond at the Block 1...

Photograph of a concrete lined pond at the Block 3...

Photograph of a concrete lined pond at the Block 3...

Photograph of a hand dug basement located at the B...

Photograph of the garden at Block 34.

Photograph of the internal police post at Manzanar...

Photograph of the remnants of the internal police ...

Photograph of the internal police post and the ent...

Photograph of the front elevation of the internal ...

Photograph of the front and side elevation of the ...

Photograph of the internal police post. This photo...

Photograph of the internal police post. This photo...

Photograph of the internal police post. This photo...

Photograph of the rear elevation of the internal p...

Photograph of the remains of the rock sentry house...

Photograph of the remains of the rock sentry house...

Photograph of the remains of the rock sentry house...

Photograph of the remains of the rock sentry house...

Video of Richard Eiichi Yamashiro telling his stor...

Video of Sue Kunitomi Embrey telling her story abo...

Video of Fumiko Hayashi recalling her employment a...

Video of Shigeru George Matsumoto answering questi...

Video of Mary Kageyama Nomura describing the effec...

Video of Sue Kunitomi Embrey describing the securi...

Video of Mary Kageyama Nomura sharing her brother ...

Video of Teruo Bruce Kaji describing the Manza-Kni...

Video of Haruyuki Jim Matsuoka describing the &quo...

Video of Haruyuki Jim Matsuoka recalling an unusua...

Video of Hank Shozo Umemoto sharing recollections ...

Video of Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga expressing frustrat...

Video of Paul Takao Takagi, an orderly at the Manz...

Video of Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga describing the cram...

Video of Mary Suzuki Ichino sharing her recollecti...

Video of Frank Yoshikazu Kitamoto sharing his pare...

Video of Roy Shuichi Murakami remembering a neighb...

Video of Henry Nakano describing his work as a tee...

Video of Henry Nakano talking about the history of...

Video of Matsue Nishimori Watanabe remembering the...

Video of Richard Eiichi Yamashiro remembering how ...

Video animation of the Manzanar Auditorium, create...

Video of former Manzanar military policeman (MP) R...

Video of Teruo Bruce Kaji recalling Manzanar's bel...

Video of Mary Kageyama Nomura recalling a special ...

Video of Teruo Bruce Kaji recalling Manzanar's bel...

Video of Shigeru Miyaki recalling how he snuck out...

Video of Sue Kunitomi Embrey sharing the story of ...

Video of Sue Kunitomi Embrey describing her arriva...

Video of Harry Yoshiyo Ueno explaining the motivat...

Video of Mary Suzuki Ichino recalling the stillnes...