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Primary & Secondary Sources

This guide will help you learn the difference between primary and secondary sources in various subject areas and provides resources for locating primary sources, both in the library and on the open web.

Library Databases

These databases require a Fresno State account for access.

Ethnic Diversity Source is a dedicated resource covering the culture, traditions, social treatment and lived experiences of different ethnic groups in America. It includes full text from newspapers, magazines, and other primary source documents as well as journal articles and e-books.

Japanese American Incarceration, Records of the War Relocation Authority (1942-1946) documents the day-to-day running of the ten relocation camps from 1942-1946. The collection is organized by relocation center. Records include reports and correspondence on issues such as security, education, health, vocational training, agriculture, food, and family welfare.

Asian American History Resources

Chinese Americans in the Columbia River Basin Collections from multiple institutions in seven U.S. states and one Candadian province.

CSU Japanese American Digitization Project Collections from CSU campuses tell the story of Japanese Americans in the 20th century — their migration to the United States, the Alien Land laws under which they lived, incarceration during World War II, and the Redress Movement

Densho Digital Repository Oral histories, photographs, documents, newspapers, and letters related to the Japanese American incarceration.

Digital Public Library of America Curated sets of primary sources.

Japanese American Internment Camp Collection Internment camp newsletters and photographs of the Rivers camps in Arizona.

Japanese Americans in the Columbia River Basin Collections from multiple institutions in seven U.S. states and one Candadian province.

Nikkei Newspaper Digital Archive Japanese newspapers North American Times (1902-1942) and North American Post (1946-1950) with English translations of some articles.

SEAAdoc Holdings from the Southeast Asian Archive at the UC Irvine Libraries focusing on post-1975 refugees and immigrants from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam and the communities they have developed in the United States.

South Asian American Digital Archive Documenting, preserving, and sharing stories that represent South Asian Americans' unique and diverse experiences.

South Asian Oral History Project from the University of Washington Libraries. Experiences of immigrants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka who settled in the Pacific Northwest are available digitally online in audio, video, and/or written transcripts.

California collections

Chinese American Oral History Project Collected by students at Cal State LA.

Central Valley Southeast Asian American Successful Voices Interviews with successful Southeast Asian Americans in the Central Valley.

San Joaquin Valley Japanese Americans Oral histories, newsletters, and photographs documenting the history of San Joaquin Valley Japanese Americans who were sent to incarceration camps during World War II.

Ailing Zhang (Eileen Chang) Papers Correspondence, manuscripts, newspaper clippings and journal articles, photographs, essays, articles, and written speeches from one of the most influential Chinese writers of the twentieth century.

Asian American Political Alliance Oral History Project The Asian American Political Alliance at UC Berkeley was formed in 1968.

Asian/Pacific-Americans on the Central Coast Photographs from an exhibit produced by the Black Gold System Advisory Board in 1995.

California State Government & the Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II These materials document the State's cooperation with the Federal government in the incarceration of Japanese-Americans and permanent residents of Japanese descent.

Chinese Historical Society of Southern California Collection, ca.1880-1933 Artifacts excavated from two sites in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

Chinese News Newspaper for the Chinese-American community in San Diego from 1983-1998.

Chinese in California Virtual Collection Materials from 1850-1925 including photographs, original art, cartoons and other illustrations; letters, excerpts from diaries, business records, and legal documents; and pamphlets, broadsides, speeches, sheet music, and other printed matter.

Chung Sai Yat Po Newspaper Collection Paper published in San Francisco from 1900-1951.

Collection of maps on the pre-evacuation locations of Japanese Americans in California Maps prepared under the direction of California State Attorney General Earl Warren, including property belonging to persons of Japanese ancestry.

Collection of Material about Japanese American Incarceration Collection from UCLA of materials from the United States War Relocation Authority.

Cook (Guy and Marguerite) Nisei Collection Materials from the Tule Lake relocation center.

Filipino American Library Collection Materials owned by the Filipino American Library in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles.

Filipinos in Ventura County Digital Image Collection Photographs capturing the history of Filipinos and their contributions to the community from the 1900s to 1990s in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles counties.

Fujimoto family diaries Diaries in Japanese, including the period when their family was forcibly removed to an incarceration camp in Poston, Arizona.

Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records U.S. War Relocation Authority documents along with evacuee diaries and letters, and staff correspondence, reports, and studies.

Japanese American Incarceration Images, 1941-1946 222 photographs from the Hearst Collection of the Los Angeles Examiner.

Japanese American Relocation Collection Correspondence, magazines, newspaper and journal articles clippings from collections at Occidental College.

Japanese American World War II Incarceration Letters, photographs, camp publications, papers of camp administrators and counselors, certificates and other documents to prove citizenship, and school yearbooks, from collections at the Claremont Colleges.

Korean American Digital Archive More than 13,000 pages of documents, over 1,900 photographs, and about 180 sound files documenting the Korean American community during the period of resistance to Japanese rule in Korea and the organizational and private experience of Koreans in America between 1903 and 1965.

Lao Stories: Laotian American Oral History Project Interviews of Laotian Americans across the United States about their life experiences, conducted remotely during the 2020-2021 COVID-19 pandemic.

Manzanar War Relocation Center records Newspapers, yearbooks, and other documents.

Muramoto (Walter) Collection Photographs of daily life in an internment camp in Rohwer, Arkansas.

Pioneering Punjabis Digital Archive Over 700 video interviews, speeches, diaries, photographs, articles, and letters related to Punjabi Americans' contributions to California’s history.

Viet Stories: Vietnamese American Oral History project Life stories of Vietnamese Americans in Southern California.

Voices in Confinement: A Digital Archive of Japanese-American Internees A wide range of papers, maps, artworks, and photographs created by government agencies, advocacy groups, and personal works from authors, artists, and teachers whose documents reflect their experience during the war.

War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement Photographs documenting the evacuation of Japanese Americans and their life in relocation camps. Post-war resettlement activities are also recorded.