Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project Programs
This month, Densho is launching an innovative new online teacher training course. The program gives educators training and curriculum for teaching about World War II incarceration through historic photographs, documents, newspaper articles, political cartoons, films, and oral histories. The curriculum was refined over the course of two years of highly rated in-person workshops that trained 625 teachers from 22 states and the District of Columbia.
Densho Online Encyclopedia
The Densho Encyclopedia is a free and publicly accessible website that provides concise, accurate, and balanced information on many aspects of the Japanese American story during World War II. It is designed and written for a non-specialist audience that includes high school and college students and instructors, multiple generations of Nikkei community members, confinement sites preservation groups, amateur and professional historians, librarians, journalists, documentarians, and the general public. The Encyclopedia is thoroughly cross indexed and articles are linked to relevant primary and secondary materials from the Densho archive and from other websites that include still and moving images, documents, databases, and oral history interview excerpts as well as standard bibliographical sources.
Photograph and Document Collection
Densho completed a two-year project that created a new photograph and document online
repository that is more searchable from Google and more sharable through Facebook. We also added 50,000 historic photographs and documents to this online repository.
Last year Densho added 50 visual history interviews to the online Densho Archive bringing the total to 833. We also began new interview partnerships with the Oregon Nikkei Endowment in Portland and the Manzanar National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Densho recently received the 2014 Stetson Kennedy “Vox Populi” Award of the Oral History Association and the 2013 Hamer-Kegan Award of the Society of American Archivists for its online resources. Densho's work in historic preservation and education has also been recognized by awards from NPower, the Washington State Historical Society, the Japanese American Citizens League, Humanities Washington, the American Library Association, Microsoft Technology for Good, and the Microsoft Alumni Foundation.
A current challenge is to raise money to create training programs to reach teachers and students nationally about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.