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Grant number: PG-52581-15

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Japanese American Service Committee (Chicago, IL 60640-5498)
Karen Kanemoto (Project Director: May 2014 to present)

JASC Legacy Center Archives - Shelving Project

The purchase of new storage furniture, environmental monitoring equipment, and improved item enclosures to preserve collections related to the Japanese-American internment experience during World War II, held at the Legacy Center of the Japanese American Service Committee (JASC). The materials document the experience of Japanese-American individuals and families who were interned in North America during World War II as well as those who served in the military during the war. Materials that would benefit from this work include artwork and toys created in the internment camps; camp newspapers; oral history interviews in various formats that include first-person stories of immigration, internment, resettlement and army service; and photographs of the Japanese-American community in Hyde Park, Chicago, during the 1940s and 1950s. Of particular note are the papers of Arthur Morimitsu who, after an 18-month internment, served as a military intelligence officer in the Pacific; Morimitsu’s letters document his wartime experience and postwar life after relocating to Chicago. In addition, the records of the JASC, a post-WWII organization that had members throughout the Midwest by 1949, document the postwar settlement of Japanese Americans throughout the country.

The JASC was founded in 1946 as the Chicago Resettlers’ Committee (CRC) to serve the needs of Japanese immigrants and their American-born children who came to Chicago following internment during the Second World War. The Legacy Center Archives, formally established in 1999, is the cultural arm of JASC, with over 400 unique collections, and documents all facets of Japanese American life from 1890, through the period of World War II internment and on to present day. It is arguably the most significant collection of Japanese American history, arts and cultural materials in the Midwest. In order to ensure the preservation of its most fragile and historically important assets, additional storage and shelving is now urgently needed.

Project fields:
Cultural History; Immigration History; U.S. History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$5,854 (approved)
$5,854 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 6/30/2016