Education: School, Libraries, and Adult Education
Despite the uncanny nature of daily life, time did not stop for internees as many continued or pursued further education in camp. Music, reading, and arts and crafts became outlets for recreation and education. While many internees read for pleasure or to stay informed of news, Keikichi Imamura reflected that for him, reading offered “a sense of buoyancy, to lift me up, in a way from perpetual feelings of depression and blanket-heaviness.”
The Novel Hut library materials, scrapbooks, and yearbooks all document education at Poston that recorded a peak population of 17,814 in 1942. The disproportionate number of Poston materials at Yale may be attributed to the collection’s provenance. Donated by Stanford librarian and honorary Yale War Collection advisor, Nathan Van Patten, the Poston materials were most likely acquired from a Japanese American librarian at Poston who was an acquaintance of Van Patten. Throughout the war, Van Patten collected hundreds of documents related to Japanese Americans and internment to create what he envisioned would be the strongest “Japanese-American collection” on the East Coast.