Lot 30 of 96:
Japanese internment camp newspaper archive  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$40,625
$10,000 - $15,000

Archive of the Topaz Times, the camp newspaper for the "Topaz War Relocation Center" in Millard County in Utah, comprising nearly 200 issues over more than two years


Topaz, Utah




Approximately 190 issues of the Topaz Times from September 1942 to January 1945. Issued with varying frequency, from daily to weekly or less. Many with accompanying portions in Japanese translation. Illustrations from drawings, many of which are cartoons. Each issue from 2 to about 10 pp., on both sides of mimeographed sheets measuring about 36.5x22.5 cm (14¼x8¾”). Stitched together into monthly groups, or fascicles, with string through small holes in the top margins.

Rare, extensive, and important archive of original issues of the camp newspaper for the Topaz War Relocation Center, which opened in September 1942 and closed in October 1945. Now considered concentration camps, the centers, several of which were scattered across the American west, housed Americans of Japanese descent and immigrants who had come to the United States from Japan. President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, ordering people of Japanese ancestry to be incarcerated in what were euphemistically called "relocation centers" like Topaz during World War II. Most of the people incarcerated at Topaz came from the Tanforan Assembly Center and previously lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. The articles in the newspapers are concerned mainly with internal camp matters, with much on schools and intramural sporting events, churches and religious activities, camp safety, navigating the camp bureaucracy, births and a few deaths, Nisei soldiers who were either drafted or enlisted into service, job opportunities both inside and outside the camp (some of which were at the Topaz Times itself), and much more. The tone is surprisingly positive and upbeat, though perhaps that can be expected due to overt or implied censorship.
The archive comprises:
• Pre-issues from September 26 & September 30, 1942. 6 pp. each, the first with a block plan if the City of Topaz, the second with a map of Utah showing the location of the camp (top of map torn/chipped). 
• Fascicle of approx. 7 issues from Feb. 27 - April 28, 1943.
• Fascicle of approx. 9 issues from May 1943.
• Fascicle of approx. 12 issues from June 1943 (some are obviously incomplete, but there are a few supplemental issues or pages).
• Fascicle of approx. 8 issues from July 1943.
• Fascicle of approx. 11 issues from August 1943, with calendar for the month at front.
• Fascicle of approx. 6 issues from September 1943, with calendar for the month at front.
• Fascicle of approx. 12 issues from October 1943, with calendar for the month at front. 
• Fascicle of approx. 11 issues from November 1943, with calendar for the month at front.
• Fascicle of approx. 8 issues from December 1943, with calendar for the month at front, featuring Santa Claus, printed in red and green. (Contents arranged somewhat out of order - completeness even more difficult to verify than for the others).
• Fascicle of approx. 11 issues from January 1944, with color pictorial cover page, calendar for the month within.
• Duplicate separate issue for January 1, 1944, with the same color pictorial cover page, calendar for the month within.
• Fascicle of approx. 13 issues from February 1944, with calendar for the month at front.
• Fascicle of approx. 10 issues from March 1944.
• Fascicle of approx. 15 issues from April 1944.
• Fascicle of approx. 9 issues from May 1944, with calendar for the month at front, illustrated with drawings of the camp buildings.
• Fascicle of approx. 7 issues from June 1944, with calendar for the month at front, illustrated with drawing of a baseball game at the camp, with camp buildings in the background.
• Fascicle of approx. 5 issues from July 1944, with calendar for the month at front, illustrated with drawing of the entryway to a camp building.
• Fascicle of approx. 6 issues from August 1944 (& 1 from April, curiously), with calendar for the month at front, illustrated with drawing of a “Victory Garden” being tended to, with camp buildings in the background.
• Fascicle of approx. 2 issues from September 1944.
• Fascicle of approx. 6 issues from October 1944.
• Fascicle of approx. 6 issues from November 1944.
• Fascicle with approx. 10 issues for December 1944, plus issue for January 8, 1945, with calendars for both months.
•18 additional sheets, comprising whole, partial or supplemental issues from 1943, 1944 and 1945.
NOTE: Though most individual issues seem to be complete, some are obviously not, and issues within a month may not be present - the archive is sold "as is" with regard to completeness.
Additional shipping charges may apply

Lot Amendments

Expected wear for such an archive, the paper somewhat brittle with toning, edge wear and a few tears and chips, but overall very good.

Item number:
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