BSU Collection Reveals History Of Minidoka Internment During World War II

Feb 16, 2017

Sunday marks the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Executive Order that authorized the internment of Japanese people in America during World War II.

Two months after Pearl Harbor, the order relocated 117,000 Japanese Americans into camps. Idaho’s Minidoka site housed 10,000 Japanese for three years. Once the war was over, no one wanted to talk about the internment.

But one man, Dr. Robert C. Sims felt differently. This history professor at Boise State University spent more than 40 years researching what happened, and the Minidoka site, in particular. After his death, his family donated 67 boxes of his papers to BSU. These include oral histories, photographs, books, and interviews. That collection has recently been opened to the public.

Bob Sims, History workshop on Japanese Internment camps, 2008.
Credit Special Collections and Archives, Boise State University

Dr. Cheryl Oestreicher, Head of Special Collections and Archives at BSU, says the body of work represents Sims’ passion and dedication to preserving this difficult piece of Idaho history.

Oestreicher  says the Robert C. Sims collection on Minidoka and Japanese Americans is open to the public at Special Collections at Albertsons Library on the campus of Boise State.

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