Philip M. Hamer–Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award: California State University Japanese American Digitization Project

The California State University Japanese American Digitization Project (CSUJAD) is the 2021 recipient of the Philip M. Hamer–Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes individuals or institutions that have increased public awareness of archives documents.

CSUJAD, a collaborative effort among a number of partner institutions in California and Utah, provides access to digitized archival collections related to the lives of Japanese Americans throughout the twentieth century. CSUJAD's website includes an extensive user guide and provides descriptions of the specific collections held at each partner institution, along with links to digital repositories. The project's goal is to make these archival collections more easily accessible to a wide range of visitors, and its website includes supplemental resources such as timelines, maps, sample lesson plans, and lists of related publications to assist its users. In addition, the project has inspired a number of exhibits, events, and even a student-created zine.

By unifying these collections in a single web portal, CSUJAD exemplifies the power of long-term collaboration between repositories and demonstrates a commitment to facilitating access to related archival records housed in disparate geographic locations. As one supporter noted, these records are valuable by themselves, but by connecting them via metadata, CSUJAD allows for “vast access to formerly isolated materials” and for the larger story of Japanese Americans to be told.