Manzanar National Historic Site was established to preserve the stories of the internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II and to serve as a reminder to this and future generations of the fragility of American civil liberties.
Congress established Manzanar National Historic in 1992. Three distinct eras are represented in the site's museum collection. Owens Valley Paiute inhabiting the area from A.D. 600 to the early 1900s; the early ranching and farming period from 1860-1930; and the World War II confinement of Japanese Americans from 1942-1945. The National Park Service has conducted oral histories about these eras of Manzanar since 1999. The purpose of the collection is to preserve, study and interpret the cultural history of Manzanar.Bird pins are one of many artifacts in the Manzanar Collection. These and other items offer a glimpse into life in camp. Furniture, clothing, utensils, cemetery offerings, and other tangible resources enrich our knowledge and our ability to tell the stories of people who lived at Manzanar.
The Manzanar National Historic Site's digital collection at California Revealed consists of texts, still images, moving images, and audio recordings from the 1910s to 2010s. The collection includes many filmed and recorded oral interviews with Japanese Americans interned at the Manzanar War Relocation Center during World War II.