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Over 45 New Collections Debut on JANM’s Website

LOS ANGELES, CA –The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) announces that over forty-five collections from the Museum’s permanent collection are digitized and available at The work is made possible by grants from the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant program, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), the Institute Museum Library Services (IMLS) and the Haynes Foundation.

The NPS awarded a JACS grant of $286,508 that overlaps with CLIR’s grant of $168,707, allowing the Museum to create 8,000 –10,000 digital assets of objects, artworks, and archival materials on the Japanese American World War II experience. This JACS grant will conclude at the end of the fiscal year and the collections will be available on Densho's Digital Repository. JANM also received a $176,844 JACS grant to digitize eighty-five home movie films and a $104,689.50 IMLS grant to digitize, inventory, catalog, assess, and treat artwork, material culture and archival materials in JANM’s Henry Sugimoto Collection. Recently, the Haynes Foundation awarded an archival grant of $38,500 to digitize “redress claims” records from the JACL’s Pacific Southwest Division collection. 

Among the highlights of these recently added collections are the Kango Takamura Collection, the Chiura Obata Collection, the Toshiki Hamaoka Collection, and the Home Movies Collection. The Takamura Collection features watercolor paintings of daily life at the Manzanar concentration camp, including scenes of education, living conditions, agriculture, and more. The Obata Collection offers landscapes in watercolors and sumi ink. The Hamaoka Collection features art painted and drawn by Hamaoka, a Kibei Nisei artist, while he was incarcerated at the Tule Lake concentration camp. The Home Movies Collection captures daily life in the Japanese American community from the prewar to postwar years.

“As a national museum, we realize that not all of our stakeholders are able to visit us in person. These grants have helped us establish a digitization studio, implement an efficient workflow, determine our digitization standards, and hire a staff member. Furthermore, like all museums, JANM is unable to exhibit more than a tiny percentage of our collections. As a result, it is our long term priority to digitize as much of the collection as possible and make it accessible online through JANM's website. This includes letters, newspapers, documents, family photographs, textile images, and artwork about the Japanese American experience. JANM thanks all of these institutions for supporting our work and helping us make these collections accessible to everyone everywhere,” said Dr. Kristen Hayashi, director of Collections Management and Access and curator.


About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)

Established in 1985, JANM promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a center for civil rights, ensuring that the hard-fought lessons of the World War II incarceration are not forgotten. A Smithsonian Affiliate and one of America’s Cultural Treasures, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories. JANM is a center for the arts as well as history. It provides a voice for Japanese Americans and a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public in 1992, JANM has presented over 100 exhibitions onsite while traveling 40 exhibits to venues such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and to several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America. JANM is open on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday–Sunday from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and on Thursday from 12 p.m.–8 p.m. JANM is free every third Thursday of the month. On all other Thursdays, JANM is free from 5 p.m.–8 p.m. For more information, visit or follow us on social media @jamuseum.