I am just finishing up working on the Koike Collection. This week, I finished arranging all of the folders, labeled them, and put them all up onto Archivist's Toolkit! It is very exciting to have almost finished arranging a collection from start to finish. By going through the Koike Collection, I was able to learn quite a bit about Kenzo Koike's life. Although, as someone who is simply arranging the collection, I do not have to do too much research on Koike's life, I found it very interesting and wanted to learn more and more. Through extensive internet research, I was able to answer many of the questions I had about Koike, who died in 2010, but there were a few mysteries that I am still trying to solve.
The first mystery is of the missing brother. Kenzo Koike moved from Seattle to Los Angeles in 1932. There are multiple photographs and portraits of the Koike family before this time with 2 parents and 4 sons, while in Seattle. However, right before the move to Los Angeles, the eldest son is no longer included in any of the photographs. In addition, Kenzo Koike labeled many of the photographs, saying the names of his brothers and parents, but the eldest brother's name is never mentioned, despite being in these photographs. The eldest brother would have been in his late teens at the time of the move. He may have stayed up in Seattle, Washington and worked up there. On the other hand, because of the lack of documentation on this oldest brother, where the other brothers have some files in this collection, perhaps maybe he died. There are many possibilities of what could have happened to this brother. A mystery that may never be solved.
Another mystery is of the Milwaukee Hotel. The Koike Family, before moving to Los Angeles, has multiple photographs outside of the Milwaukee Hotel in Seattle. There is even a card to Kenzo Koike's mother mentioning this hotel. After doing a bit of research, I found that this hotel is in China Town in Seattle. People saw this hotel as the beginning of China Town and an area of the city where immigrants could be welcomed into. I am not sure if the Koike Family was drawn to this hotel for this specific reason, or if the family had other specific connections to it. The world may never know.
Although I have a few questions left unanswered, it has been an amazing experience being able to sort through these materials and arrange them in a way that will aid future research.
I just finished my 2nd week working on the new Koike Collection. It is a fascinating collection! It contains mostly photographs and portraits from 1921 to 1948 centered on Kenzo Koike's life. Through looking through these photographs and the documents in the collection, I feel as though I have gotten some insight as what it was like to be a Japanese American before and during World War II. Koike was born in 1920 in Seattle, Washington, and moved in 1932 to Los Angeles. He attended Junior High, High School, and College in Los Angeles. A year after graduating college, in 1942, Koike and his family were sent to Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming. He was only able to leave the internment facility by being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943. It wasn't until 1945 when Koike was sent as a translator/ interpreter to Japan. He took some amazing pictures during his time in Japan. He was also able to visit many of his relatives.
Although it has been really fun working on this collection and going through all of the photographs, it has been quite a bit of work! I've had to sort and arrange all of the materials and place them into folders. I also created series to organize all of the materials and make it easier for researchers to navigate. I photocopied a few newspapers and military documents. The most difficult task this week was to take out the nails of picture frames to place the photographs in mylar to help preserve them. I got to use a real Archivist's Toolkit!
I'll keep you all updated on how arranging the Koike Collection goes!
I am just finishing my 2nd week working at CCEPS! It has been an amazing experience! This week, I pretty much finished arranging the Kruska Japanese Internment collection and entered it into Archivists ToolKit to make it accessible to researchers. I thoroughly enjoyed working with this collection. It has a wide variety of materials. Some of my favorite things to look through were the newspaper clippings, some of which are from 1905 when the Japanese Exclusion laws were just being put in place. Some of the photographs are also very interesting! They depict some aspects of life in the Relocation Centers and Internment camps. There is even a photograph of the Manzanar High School band!
Today, I just started surveying the Kenzo Robert Koike materials. Although this collection is also on Japanese American Internment during World War II, it feels very different from Kruska's collection. Koike's materials are all from his time before and during World War II and are personal to Koike. Most of the collection is photographs, which are very interesting. Some are very graphic, like the photograph of 10,000 dead bodies or the ruins of bombed cities in Japan. But others are quite comical. For example, one photograph is captioned "This man wanted me his picture take. Looks too stupid to be a cousin." It has been interesting to see his journey from Washington, to L.A., to an Assembly Center in Pomona, to a Relocation Center in Wyoming, to joining the military, to Japan. Working with this collection, you really get an insight into life as a Japanese American before and during World War II. After surveying these materials, I proposed to arrange them into 4 series; photographs, personal records, realia, and postal materials.
Next week, I will start arranging and titling folders. I am so excited to be working with this collection!
I'll keep you all updated!
I just finished my first week at CCEPS! This week, I started arranging a collection called the Kruska Japanese Internment Collection. To begin the week, I read and took thorough notes on the Processing Manual, but then I began working with this collection. This collection has a HUGE array of materials. Some of them are very interesting, like a sign from one of the Japanese Internment facilities, and a tea towel, and a scroll, which was hung in Manzamar Internment Camp. Some of the materials are not so interesting, like printed web pages used by the collector to do research.
I began my journey with this collection by surveying all of the materials. Much of the collection was already arranged and placed in folders; however, I went through all of the documents, artifacts, and materials to think of a way to arrange all of them in an order that made sense. This was difficult because there is a huge variety. At first, I proposed to arrange the collection into similar categories, like having the newspaper clippings with other newspaper clippings. I was trying to create the most logical order I could think of. I then photocopied newspaper clippings, some of which were completely falling apart, like those from 1906 and 1907 about the Exclusion Laws being created in California. Often, it is best to photocopy newspapers in order to preserve the information being presented. I also sized some folders to fit large documents that were not originally fully covered. I did this to help preserve these materials. I also labelled and dated all of the folders, which took a while because there are a bunch of folders, many with only a single item inside.
After looking over my processing proposal, Lisa came up with a great idea to arrange the collection in a series, like Newspapers and clippings, photographs, postal materials, printed matter, realia, and reserach materials. Having the collection organized this way will make it easier for a researcher to find what they are looking for. Today, I re- arranged the materials into this new order and soon I will put it all up on Archivist Toolkit!
Overall, it was been a fantastic first week! I was able to work with some interesting materials and think of creative ways to organize the collection. I'm very excited to continue!