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Click on
                    image to view larger image in database.
 Remsen Bird writes to Elizabeth McCloy, to
initiate the preservation
 of materials related to
 the Japanese American Relocation.

Click on the image to view record in archive.

  Establishing the Collection

The genesis of the Japanese American Collection can be traced to a letter Bird  wrote to College Librarian Elizabeth McCloy on August 18, 1942.  "Something tremendous is happening in our times of which we are all aware," wrote Bird, "I would like very much to keep as full a record as possible of all the documents and material dealing with this particular phase. Will you please help me?"  McCloy and her staff honored this request and from 1942 until 1947 the Occidental College Library actively sought records and documents related to the Japanese American internment during World War II. 

Bird retired from Occidental College in June 1945 and moved with his wife to Monterey, California. Receiving McCloy's report [published report] of the collection, Bird wrote her in March 1946, "The story of the collection at the library on Japanese Americans is very interesting ... How we have behaved toward these people should be known and carefully recorded for future reference." [Bird letter]


About 100 letters of correspondence and documents in the Letters and Papers of Remsen Bird are related to collection development. The bulk of these are in a folder labeled "Background for Japanese Relocation Collection" in Box 1. A representative twenty-five items are in the online archive.


  • View the items in the online archive:
Establishing the Collection
  • For more information, consult the     

    Research Guide
    Series I: Correspondence and papers of Remsen Bird

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Page last edited by on 03/16/2013.
Occidental College Library Special Collections

This project is made possible by a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation.
2005 Occidental College