Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award: Densho

“Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project,” led by Executive Director Tom Ikeda, is the recipient of the Philip M. Hamer–Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award. The award recognizes individuals or institutions that have increased public awareness of archives documents.

The Award Committee noted that Densho’s mission, to preserve the testimonies of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II, is realized in “rich and wonderful detail” on the Densho website. In addition to more than fourteen hundred hours of video testimonies, Densho created a digital archive of more than ten thousand historical images documenting Japanese American history. Further, the project includes multidisciplinary lesson plans that are made available for elementary through undergraduate students, as well as workshops that educate teachers in the use of these primary resources.

The committee expressed high regard for the “invaluable firsthand accounts of the Japanese American experience [that] document a dark period in our nation’s history that deserves to receive the thorough, compelling examination that Densho provides.”

The Hamer-Kegan Award was established in 1973 and is named for two SAA Fellows and former presidents.