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CSUDH to Hold Scanning Day on Sept. 22

An identification card to permit the U.S. citizen’s indefinite leave. It certifies that Fumio Fred Takano is allowed to leave the Gila River incarceration camp on July 27, 1944 and specifies his first destination, Cleveland, Ohio.

GARDENA — The CSU Dominguez Hills Department of Archives and Special Collections will partner with the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute on Saturday, Sept. 22, at Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall for a “scanning day.”

Activities will include scanning history materials for preservation and access as well as speakers on Japanese American topics and preservation issues. The scanning and presentations will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Bring your family records, photographs and other materials for scanning and placement into the California State University Japanese American Digitization Project. Materials can include letters, ancestors’ passports or papers, diaries, lease papers, camp newspapers and other materials. See for samples of materials that will be scanned.

Those bringing materials will receive scanned copies of their items. Materials will be returned unless their owners prefer to donate materials to the CSUJAD project at CSU Dominguez Hills. Materials donated to CSUDH will always be accessible to donors. If you have too many items to scan in one day, the archives can make arrangements to return the materials quickly.

The CSU Japanese American Digitization Project consists of digitized history materials from 20 separate archives relating to Japanese American life in the 20th century, including incarceration, pre-war and post-war. The materials consist of over 30,000 items focusing mostly on collections donated by families.

The project has received funding from the National Parks Service, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Archives, the California State Library and the Haynes Foundation.

For additional information, call (310) 243-3013.


11 a.m. to 12 p.m. — “Densho: Online Resources for Japanese American History.” Brian Niiya, Densho’s content director, will speak on the work of Densho and the vast extent of research available online for researchers, genealogists, students and others delving into Japanese American incarceration during World War II.”

2 to 2:30 p.m. — “CSU Japanese American Digitization Project: An Overview.” The CSUJAD Project has received over $1 million in grants to digitize and catalog documents, photos, camp materials, lease and property documents, and family history materials. Hear Yoko Okunishi, project cataloger, and Greg Williams, project director, discuss the origins of the project.

The central purpose of the CSUJAD Project is to improve access to CSU archival collections about the history of Japanese Americans and to develop a functional model for ongoing planning and collaboration among the CSU archival and library community. CSUJAD has over 25,000 items in its database on topics relating to incarceration, but also on issues before and after World War II, including an extensive archive of photographs from the Ninomiya Photo Studio in Little Tokyo. CSUJAD headquarters are at CSUDH.

Densho’s mission is to preserve the testimonies of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II before their memories are extinguished. It offers these irreplaceable first-hand accounts, coupled with historical images and teacher resources, to explore principles of democracy, and promote equal justice for all.

Niiya is a graduate of Harvey Mudd College and holds an M.A. in Asian American studies from UCLA. His professional life has been dedicated to Japanese American public history and information management, having held various positions with the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, the Japanese American National Museum, and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii that have involved managing collections, curating exhibitions, developing public programs, and producing videos, books, and websites.

He has also written widely read newspaper columns for The Rafu Shimpo, Nikkei West, and Pacific Citizen and edited “The Encyclopedia of Japanese American History,” published in 1993 with a second edition in 2000. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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