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Photographs of the Manzanar Concentration Camp, California

 Collection
Call Number: WA Photos 537

Content Description

Black and white photographs of the Manzanar concentration camp photographed in 1943 by Ansel Adams and printed from the original negatives by Alan Ross in 1985 for the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art, History, and Science in Fresno, California.

The photographs concentrate on the incarcerees and their activities, including family life in the barracks, people at work, and recreational activities.

Ink stamps on versos: "Photograph by Ansel Adams, Born Free and Equal, Photographs of the Manzanar War Relocation Center, 1943-1944. Museum print from the original negative by Alan Ross, Fall, 1985. Produced in Cooperation with the Fresno Metropolitan Museum and the Library of Congress."

Signed, titled, and numbered by Alan Ross on versos.

Inscriptions on versos: FMM Set #4.

Dates

  • 1985

Creator

Language of Materials

Inscriptions and ink stamps in English.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Janet Sirmon Fine Art on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2016.

Arrangement

Arranged by the printer.

Extent

50 Photographs (2 boxes) : black-and-white prints ; 280 x 354 mm

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.manzanar

Abstract

Black and white photographs of the Manzanar concentration camp photographed in 1943 by Ansel Adams and printed from the original negatives by Alan Ross in 1985 for the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art, History, and Science in Fresno, California.

Ansel Easton Adams (1902-1984)

Ansel Easton Adams was an American photographer and environmentalist. In fall 1943, Adams captured images at the Manzanar War Relocation Center, an American Concentration Camp, in Inyo County, California, at the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Alan Ross (born 1932)

Alan Ross is a photographer and educator. He was a photographic assistant to Ansel Adams from 1974 to 1984. In 1984-1985, a traveling exhibition of original photographic prints from the Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar collection of the Library of Congress traveled to Fresno, California; Denver, Colorado; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1985, Ross created sets of modern prints from the original negatives held by the Library of Congress, which traveled to more venues. Emily Medvec curated the traveling exhibitions and wrote an introduction to the catalog for them: Born Free and Equal: An Exhibition of Ansel Adams Photographs (Washington, D.C.: Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art, History, and Science by Echolight Corporation, 1984).

Biographical / Historical

The United States declared war on Japan in 1941 following an attack by Japan on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Under authority granted by Executive Order 9066, issued in February 1942, the federal government incarcerated over 120,000 people of Japanese descent in American concentration camps.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

Titles for prints in this guide derive from the titles given by Adams to original negatives held at the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, and the descriptions derive from image descriptions by that institution.

This finding aid was revised in 2021 to address outdated or harmful descriptive language. During that revision, description was changed in the collection level scope and contents note and the collection title. References to Japanese-American “relocation,” “evacuation,” and “internment” during World War II were removed and replaced with community recommended/currently accepted terminology in 2021, such as “Japanese American incarceration.” Previous versions of this finding aid may be available. Please contact the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library for details. If you have questions or comments about these revisions, please contact the Beinecke or the Archival and Manuscript Description Committee. For more information on reparative archival description at Yale, see Yale’s Statement on Harmful Language in Archival Description.

Title
Guide to the Photographs of the Manzanar Concentration Camp, California
Status
Completed
Author
Matthew Daniel Mason
Date
January 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.