7 cubic feet, 68 folders, 1134 photographs, 21 cassette tapes, 8 books, 6 scrapbooks
The Oral Histories of the Japanese American Community in St. Louis Collection documents the experience of Japanese Americans relocation into internment camps and to what life was like for Japanese Americans post-relocation. It includes tapes and transcripts of the oral history interviews conducted as part of Herm Smith's documentation project, which began in 1984. Also included in the collection are the records of the St. Louis Chapter of the Japanese American Citizen League (JACL), which Smith collected during the project. The JACL materials date from the 1950s to the 1970s, and consist of newsletters, newspaper clippings, financial ledgers, meeting minutes, and correspondence, which document the group’s efforts to protect the civil rights of Japanese Americans.
This collection can be requested to view at State Historical Society of Missouri research centers. Appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure that requested materials are available at the time of your visit. Make an appointment using the research request form.
The State Historical Society of Missouri collects materials documenting all aspects of Missouri history. Some of our paper and digital collections as well as older finding aids may include harmful or outdated language and could be considered offensive. SHSMO does not censor its collections, but we endeavor to be accurate and inclusive in how we describe them.
We are committed to revising and updating our descriptive language; however, with thousands of finding aids, this is ongoing and will take time. When processing new collections, we will occasionally re-use language provided by creators and former owners of the collection because it provides important context about the materials or appears in the formal names of organizations or titles of materials in the collection. In all finding aids, archivists work to contextualize the contents of manuscript collections.