The Densho Encyclopedia of the Japanese American Incarceration
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The Densho Encyclopedia is a free and publicly accessible website that provides concise, accurate, and balanced information on many aspects of the Japanese American story during World War II. It is designed and written for a non-specialist audience that includes high school and college students and instructors, multiple generations of Nikkei community members, confinement sites preservation groups, amateur and professional historians, librarians, journalists, documentarians, and the general public.

The Encyclopedia is thoroughly cross indexed and articles are linked to relevant primary and secondary materials from the Densho archive and from other websites that include still and moving images, documents, databases, and oral history interview excerpts as well as standard bibliographical sources.

The editor of the Encyclopedia is Brian Niiya, Director of Content at Densho. Niiya has previously served as the editor of the Encyclopedia of Japanese American History: An A-to-Z Reference, published in 2000. The blue ribbon advisory committee consists of Eiichiro Azuma, the Alan Charles Kors Term Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; Roger Daniels, Charles Phelps Taft Professor of History Emeritus in the University of Cincinnati; Lane Hirabayashi, George and Sakaye Aratani Professor in Japanese American Redress, Internment and Community and chair of the Asian American Studies Department at UCLA; Franklin Odo, former director of the Asian Pacific American Program at the Smithsonian Institution; Greg Robinson, Associate Professor of History at l'Université du Québec À Montréal; and Testuden Kashima, professor, American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington.

The first two year phase will result in an encyclopedia containing more than 300 articles was officially launched in the fall of 2012. A second phase ending in 2014 will produce more than 700 additional articles. The Encyclopedia is envisioned as a long-term, living resource that will continue to grow over time. Additional articles and features will be added, and the project governance structure is being designed to emphasize sustainability.

Special Thanks

Funding for the Densho Encyclopedia is being provided by grants from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, administered by the National Park Service. Additional support for the first phase was provided by the California State Library through the California Civil Liberties Public Education Fund.

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We Need Your Ideas!

The encyclopedia is still a work-in-progress, and we are interested in your suggestions and ideas. The initial list of entries is being developed and vetted by an expert advisory panel; however, over the coming months we will ask for your feedback on usability, content and style. Please stay tuned!

We are also currently seeking individuals who are interested in writing articles for the encyclopedia. See, For Contributors, to find more information on the format and content of the articles, and how to become a contributor.

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