How to Use This Website

[link to this page]
Description of Sections
Navigating the Website
Hardware, Software and Bandwidth Requirements
Technical Troubleshooting

The Densho website provides a wide range and depth of content. Included in this content is the use of primary sources, which includes text, image, audio and video materials. Below is a discussion of the organization of the website and the technology needed to use the multimedia portions.

Description of Sections

The Densho website is organized into six sections.

This is the starting point for the website and contains a welcome, and information on how to use the website, terminology, terms of use and privacy, and credits and donors.
Causes of the Incarceration
This section examines the four main factors that led to the decision to incarcerate Japanese Americans. This is a good starting point for learning about how and why this unjust act by the United States government happened.
Learning Center
This section houses Densho's curriculum modules and educator resources, including Civil Rights and Japanese American Incarceration and In the Shadow of My Country: A Japanese American Artist Remembers. These multidisciplinary lessons for upper elementary to undergraduate level students feature firsthand accounts and compelling images of the forced removal and detention.
Densho Archive
Find out here how to register for the Densho Digital Archive. Over 450 hours of video interviews and 3,000 historic photos are available. To enter the archive requires registration and an agreement to Densho's use policies.
Other Resources
Supplementary materials such as a glossary of terms used on this website and a timeline of events relating to Japanese American history can be found here. Also listed in this section are related web-links, printed materials and videos.
About Densho
Learn more about the not-for-profit Densho organization here.

Navigating the Site

Top Navigation Bar

The top navigation bar is used to go to the main sections of this website. For example, if you click on "Learning Center" in the top navigation bar, you will jump to the "Learning Center" home page.

Left Navigation Bar

The left navigation bar contains an expanding outline of the pages in the section you are viewing. Each page listing in the outline can contain two parts:

  1. an arrow icon (either pointing sideways or downwards)
  2. the name of the page.

Clicking on the name of a page retrieves that page. Clicking on the sideways arrow icon opens the outline to the next level. Clicking on a downwards arrow icon closes a level. When a page is open, the name of the page in the outline will be highlighted (white title text on a green color bar).


Hardware, Software and Bandwidth Requirements

What hardware and software do I need to use the Densho Digital Archive?

Web Browser Software

For the best experience in the Archive, Densho recommends Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer running on either Microsoft Windows 2000/XP or MacOS 10. Although not required, we also recommend XGA (1024x768) or higher screen resolution.

Javascript and Cookies

To use the Archive, you must have Javascript enabled in your browser. You also must have cookies enabled. (A "cookie" is a small data file that Densho places on your machine in order to save some information about your preferences. For more information about cookies and your privacy, see Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.)

Multimedia Software

The Archive uses technologies called "streaming" and "progressive download" to deliver audio and video clips. These technologies allow you to watch or listen to the presentation without having to wait for the entire file (which is usually quite large) to be transferred onto your machine.

There are several different formats popular on the Internet today. In the Densho Digital Archive, we use Adobe's Flash Media format. To view or listen to the clips in the Archive, you must have the Adobe Flash Player. Adobe has a free player version available for Windows and Macintosh machines that you can download using the link below:

If you are not sure whether the player will work on your computer, please read the technical requirements at Adobe's website before downloading.

In addition to streaming video and digitized photos, some of the digital items in the Densho Digital Archive are in Adobe's Portable Document Format, or PDF. To view these documents you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Adobe has a free version available for Windows and Macintosh machines that you can download using the link below:

Internet Connection and Bandwidth

Streaming media technologies deliver the audio and video information to your computer as the media is actually playing, therefore, the speed or "bandwidth" of your connection to the Internet is very important. In order to view Densho videos, you must have "broadband" Internet service (e.g., cable modem, DSL or other >256kbs connection). You can listen to the audio-only versions of Densho media with a regular dial-up modem connection.

Sometimes, even with a high-speed connection, the quality of your experience may not be as you would expect. The video might appear blurry, the audio might skip or the player may stop and report that it is "buffering". Often, these problems are due to network congestion, and may resolve themselves if you simply try back later.

Note to Educators

If you are accessing the Archive from your school, we strongly recommend speaking with the person responsible for information technology (e.g., Instructional Technology Coordinator) before using audio or video clips in a classroom lesson. While the Archive uses standard Internet technologies, your school or district may have set up your software, computers or network connections in a manner that will require special configuration.

Technical Troubleshooting

"The left navigation bar doesn't work."

This site requires that you have a web browser that supports JavaScript and that JavaScript be enabled. If you are using a supported browser and are experiencing problems, your scripting support may be turned off. You can take the following steps to enable JavaScript:

Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows user:

  1. Click "Tools" on the menu, then "Internet Options..."
  2. Click the "Security" tab.
  3. Click the "Custom Level..." button.
  4. Scroll down to the "Scripting" section.
  5. Under "Active scripting" check "Enable" button.
  6. Click the "OK" button to close "Security Settings" dialog.
  7. Click the "OK" button to close "Internet Options" dialog.

Microsoft Internet Explorer for Macintosh user:

  1. Click "Edit" on the menu, then "Preferences..."
  2. Click "Web Content" in "Web Browser" (left hand column).
  3. Scroll down to the "Scripting" section.
  4. Under "Active scripting" check "Enable scripting."
  5. Click the "OK" button to close "Preferences" dialog.

Firefox user:

  1. Click "Tools" on the menu, then "Options..."
  2. Click "Content" in top icon menu bar.
  3. Under "Content" check "Enable JavaScript."
  4. Click the "OK" button to close the "Options" dialog.

"When I play video or audio, the clip stops playing. I sometimes see the word 'buffering' or the icon in the player is moving, but nothing is happening."

When Internet traffic is high, streaming video and audio can buffer, pause or skip when the connection becomes too thin to consistently support the stream. These degradations in quality depend on a number of factors, including Internet traffic congestion and your own bandwidth. Try playing the video or audio again (or at another time of day). If you are having trouble playing video, try selecting audio instead.

"My video image quality is poor."

Image quality can be affected by display settings, connection rate, Internet congestion, having unnecessary applications open on your computer or having a computer not fast enough to effectively play video. Below are some suggestions to improve video quality.

  • Close other unnecessary applications that may be open on your computer.
  • Update your computer's video driver regularly.
  • Do not use the "Zoom" button with video.

For a Windows computer:

Check your display settings. We require a display resolution of at least 800x600 pixels (1024x768 is recommended) and 16-bit color depth. You can change your display settings by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing Properties from the pop-up menu. Click the Settings tab in the Display Properties dialog box. If the setting indicated under Screen area is less than 800x600 pixels, move the slider toward More until the resolution meets our minimum requirements. Colors should be set to High Color (16 bit). To implement these settings, click OK.

For a Macintosh computer:
Ensure you have at least 64 MB of RAM installed in your computer.

    Check your monitor settings:
  1. Choose Control Panels -> Monitors from the Apple Menu.
  2. Set the Resolution to at least 800x600 (1024x768 is recommended).
  3. Set the Color Depth to Thousands (Macintosh G4 users should use Millions). NOTE: Some computers do not support large screen sizes with higher color settings. In this case, try reducing your Color setting to 256. This will give you larger screen size options.
    Allocate at least 25 MB of RAM to your Web browser (check the specific recommendation in your browser's help information).
  1. Locate your Web browser on your hard disk. Click once on the icon. NOTE: You must locate the application itself, not an alias.
  2. Choose Get Info -> Memory from the File menu.
  3. In the Info dialog box, indicate 25,000 for Preferred Size.
  4. Click OK.

"My media player doesn't work anymore"

If you have problems or questions about the Adobe Flash Media format or software, please visit the Adobe website.

You may need to re-install your media player, especially if you have upgraded or changed your web browser.

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