Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Cal State Dominguez Hills received a $39,200 grant for the preservation of historical photographs of Los Angeles-area Japanese- Americans, including the World War II incarceration of American citizens of Japanese ancestry, the university announced Monday.

Collections from the digitization project related to the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II will be on display through August in the Library’s Cultural Arts Gallery at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

The grant, a gift from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, will allow the university’s library to preserve, catalog and archive about 10,000 packets of photographic negatives taken between 1949 and 1970 by photographers at the Ninomiya Studio in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo area, according to the university.

The Ninomiya Photography Studio Collection Access Project documents the daily life of Japanese-Americans in the latter half of the 20th century using individual and family portraits, passport photos and pictures of architecture, women in traditional clothing and entertainers.

The grant will also allow for the digitization of the photo negatives as part of a project that has been funded by the National Park Service and the National Endowment for the Humanities since 2014. That project, the California State University Japanese American Digitization Project, is preserving 14,000 documents and photographs across 18 California institutions, university officials said.

The Ninomiya Collection was discovered in plastic bags in 2010 by a contractor working in a Los Angeles building. He offered them up for free on Craigslist and they were obtained by a local cameraman, Michael Risner. Risner donated them to the university in 2016.

—City News Service

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