Examining Japanese American Digital Library Collections with an Ethnographic Lens

  • Andrew B. WertheimerEmail author
  • Noriko Asato
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11279)


This year marks the 150th anniversary of Japanese immigration to Hawai’i and the Americas. In the past two decades Japanese American history emerged as a key theme on some of the earliest digital library (DL) collections in the United States, mostly focusing on what is commonly called the “internment” or forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. This paper looks at DLs in the United States, exploring their development, contents, and then takes a critical lens to question if it shows Japanese American agency. This approach, common in archival studies, remains rare in Library and Information Science, especially in regards to DLs. The paper also explores a community-run DL that offers a different model for consideration and further study.


Digital Archives Japanese Americans Nikkei Cultural heritage preservation Ethnic identity Japanese Community informatics Digital cultural memory initiatives Cultural memory and digital heritage Socio-technical aspects of digital libraries 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Library and Information Science ProgramUniversity of Hawaiʻi at MānoaHonoluluUSA

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