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University of California, Berkeley works with Backstage to digitize Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement collection


Kat Kamp
Backstage Library Works
[email protected]

PROVO, Utah, April 30, 2014 — Backstage Library Works ( has completed a large-scale digitization project as part of the development of Berkeley’s Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study Digital Archive. Digitization of 100,000 original manuscript items included daily journals, field reports, life histories and extensive correspondence between staff, evacuees and other individuals.

Beginning in 1942, University of California, Berkeley researchers sought to document the mass internment of Japanese Americans by embedding Nisei social science students recruited from the Berkeley campus into selected internment sites.

With an interest in providing online access for their massive collection of research materials, Berkeley’s Bancroft Library arranged for Backstage to digitize the entire compilation of loose and bound items.

Backstage teams in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania went to work using area array cameras and 180 degree book cradles to photograph each item. Archival TIFFs digitized in color at two different resolutions were used to create JPEG access images and PDFs. XML files containing technical and custom metadata along with TIFFs, JPEGs and PDFs were then loaded onto hard drives and delivered to the library

Mary Elings, head of digital collections at The Bancroft Library relates:

“We really appreciate Backstage’s excellent work, including their careful attention to project details and excellent customer service.”

The digitization and presentation of the materials in The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Digital Archive was generously supported by a grant award from the National Park Service as part of the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. Additional funds were provided by the UC Berkeley Library.

The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study Digital Archive can be found online at:

About The Bancroft Library

First housed in the attic of California Hall, and then in the Doe Library, The Bancroft Library moved into its present quarters in 1973. At the same time, the original scope of the library was enlarged to include a number of other “special collections,” including the former Rare Books Collection. The Bancroft Library now includes the Mark Twain Papers and Project, the Regional Oral History Office, the University of California Archives, the History of Science and Technology Program, the Pictorial Collection, and the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life. It has become one of the largest — and busiest — special collections in the United States.

For more details on the fascinating history of The Bancroft Library, please click on:

About Backstage Library Works

Backstage’s objective is to provide the most technologically advanced and efficient means for delivering professional library services. With over 25 years of experience, the company is known for its expertise in handling complex and unique projects. Backstage specializes in solutions for cataloging, authority control, digitization, preservation microfilm, and on-site needs. In providing services to more than a thousand libraries, large and small, public and private, and in locations across the globe, Backstage has cultivated an understanding of libraries, their mission, their operations, and the challenges they face. Backstage offices are located in Provo, Utah, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

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