Alien registration card of Masahiko Wada with registration number, name, fingerprint, signature, and photo

Densho Digital Repository

Our digital archive includes thousands of historic photographs, documents, newspapers, letters, and more. It is also home to more than 900 oral histories with over 1,700 hours of recorded, fully transcribed video interviews.

A young Japanese American man sits on a box reading in front of shelves of books.


An ever-expanding collection of essays about the key people, places, and events that played a role in the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII.

A Japanese American family stands in front of a barbed wire fence next to a guard.


Learn why we use “incarceration” to describe what happened to Japanese Americans during WWII, and avoid harmful euphemisms like “internment” and “relocation.”


Please fill out our Media Contact form or email your questions and any additional details to, or call 206.320.0095.

Densho interviewees donated their life stories to Densho for preservation and education. Because of their dwindling numbers and declining health, it is increasingly rare that we are able to arrange for interviews with survivors. Depending on where you live, you could contact the regional Japanese American civic or cultural organization or Nisei veterans chapter for possible interviewees.

We encourage researchers to use the topics list and Search function of our Digital Repository to find suitable interview clips and photos. We also have a YouTube channel with highlight videos.

Yes. To view examples of citations for different kinds of content from the Digital Repository, see the “How To Cite Densho” section below.

It depends. You do not need Densho’s permission if you can answer yes to all of the following questions:

  • Is the use for either personal or limited use in teaching, scholarship, or research?
  • Is the portion of your project that uses Densho materials small in relationship to the size of the project as a whole?
  • Is the use non-commercial?
  • Is the object labeled as ‘free use’ or ‘public domain’?

If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, you need to request permission from Densho to use our materials.

It depends on your request. Densho may charge service and handling fees if you need Densho staff to research, identify, duplicate, or send materials to you. There may also be usage fees if you want to publish or distribute Densho materials. More information can be found here.

The first step is to make your request online. After we approve a completed request, we will create and send you a Restricted Use Agreement and an invoice. When we receive the signed Restricted Use Agreement and payment, we will send our written permission along with the requested materials. Please allow 1-2 weeks to process the requested materials.

We encourage researchers to use the topics list and Search function of our Digital Repository to find suitable interview clips and photos. We also have a YouTube channel with highlight videos.

How to Cite Densho

When using Densho interviews and photographs, please include the following information for proper citation. The exact format used will vary depending on the citation style chosen (e.g., MLA, Chicago, APA, etc.) and whether it appears in footnotes or a bibliography. However, the pieces of information described below should always be included. In general, the first citation will follow the long format and subsequent citations will follow the short format.




Long format:

Narrator full name, interview by interviewer full name, interview date, interview collection (if other than Densho), Densho.

Example: Frank Emi, interview by Frank Abe, February 23, 1993, Frank Abe Collection, Densho.


Short format:

Narrator last name, interview by interviewer last name, interview date, collection, Densho.

Example: Emi, interview by Abe, 2/23/93, Frank Abe Collection, Densho.


Photographs and Images:


For placement on an acknowledgement page, please use:
Densho is a digital archive of videotaped interviews, photographs, documents, and other materials relating to the Japanese American experience. Additional information on the project is available at

Photographs & Images:

Title (Densho ID), Densho, Collection Name.

Example: “Boy Scout Camping Trip” (ddr-densho-15-1), Densho, the Mitsuoka Family Collection.