May 11, 2013 § Leave a comment
It’s been a great semester and I really enjoyed learning about everyone’s topics. I liked seeing the different takes that everyone had on historical research. I used to think that all historians chose similar academic pieces to work on. That they had to be academic and very “intellectual” sounding, but I’ve realized that to get to such a level one must start off with a topic. Any topic will do. It is the research that will make it grow into something worth reading. Everyone proved that historical research is not a straightforward thing, but rather that it depends on the topic and the person. Everyone had a different approach to research.
I have been looking more into the citizenship laws of the 1940’s and found a really interesting book about race and citizenship. I was very surprised to find out that it was actually written by a Boalt Law Professor. The book was already interesting, but I appreciated it even more after finding that out. I’ve been looking into the modern naturalization laws and seeing how those relate to the late 1940’s laws which affected Iva Toguri.
I like finding how research can take you in different directions. You can start with a set idea, but sometimes your findings take you in a different direction. There were points when I thought perhaps I should focus on something else, since I was finding information that was counter or different to what I had originally came up with. I liked this process of investigation. Lots of different resources provide varying levels of help. Some more than others, but I’m glad that I was able to check out a good deal of resources through this class. This is a very helpful course. Everyone have a great summer!
April 19, 2013 § Leave a comment
Classmates let me tell you about something interesting that I saw.
So I was walking by 30th and Mission in San Francisco and this is what I see:
It’s a plaque that says the old location of the Bancroft Library.
I thought it was interesting that the old Bancroft was several cities away.
This week I looked into the Institute of Government Studies LIbrary. It is located right next to the study abroad building (Stephen Hall) and it’s inside Moses Hall. I chose it because my research has to do with a court case and thought this library might have some interesting stuff on it. Surprisingly I was not able to find much on Iva Toguri besides a biographical book about her life and the case. The librarian did tell me that they have a huge collection on archival material and on government documents. They also have the reports of some public interest groups. Something that I found unique to this library besides its special collection on documents was the resources that they offer. They have loads of pamphlets on fellowships and graduate research opportunities. I’ve seen some pamphlets on fellowships inside other libraries, but this one had a lot. It was mainly geared toward government fellowships. I think this is a good resource for people who want to go to law school. The fellowships range from working in public interest organizations to working in a local government agency to working in the state senate. I will definitely be coming back to this library next semester. The hours for this week and next week are a little strange. Usually its from 9 to 5, but they have been opening later and ending earlier (just like any other office in Berkeley). If you are planning to visit next week I would recommend to go before 12pm.
By the way their phone number is: (510)642-1472
Also, the old Bancroft location is super easy to get to. I think around 3 different buses stop really near it (less than a block away). I would recommend taking the 14 Muni to get there. But don’t be fooled by the plaque. There is nothing that looks like a library there. I believe there is a hospital at its side.
April 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
Part of what I really like about this course is the opportunity to fully explore resources that we otherwise wouldn’t easily find ourselves. I really enjoyed our class visit to BAM/PFA. I learned that they are able to screen films in many different formats. They have devices that would be very difficult to find today. Or would otherwise be very expensive to use.
I was able to find one video about Iva Toguri from a keyword search in OskiCat. The video is described as a “biography” and its meant to show how she got involved with Japanese propaganda that was meant to lower American morale. The video appears to be sympathetic toward Iva by calling her a “victim of propaganda.” The video is located in the East Asian Library. I would like to see it sometime. I like that I am able to take out the movie for a whole day. It will give me time to extensively take notes on it.
April 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
I looked at OskiCat and Calisphere for visual resources. At first it was really hard to find images on Iva Toguri on either of them so I decided to google search for image databases. That was also equally frustrating since many of the websites that seemed worthwhile were blocked off since they required a university address. However, I was able to find really common pictures of Iva Toguri from well-known websites.
Through my search of images I actually found a lot of cool new resources. I found new text that I hadn’t seen before from different sites that I normally would have not really paid attention to. I found articles and journals written from scholars about Iva Toguri. I will definitely be looking into these a lot more.
As far as images, however, I decided to search for something more widely known. I searched for Japanese internment and found a lot of images on Calisphere and on Artstor. I noticed that Calisphere focuses more on actual photography of detained Japanese whereas Artstor focuses more on the geography of the internment camps. They both offered very good visual resources.
March 19, 2013 § Leave a comment
I had originally set out on turning this in right on time, but could not get a hold on the person I truly wanted to interview: My 80-year old grandfather. So instead I interviewed my director about her experiences as a transfer to Cal. At first I didn’t think this interview would be worthwhile to post since it seemed more like a biography. I thought I would wait to interview my grandfather instead and then post that. He got ill, however, so I was not able to interview him.
I went to the Regional Oral History Office and asked about their oral histories. I was directed to Bancroft where I read several transcripts about Yoshiko Uchida. She was a writer who had been in the internment camp near Berkeley (in San Bruno). I’ve frequented Tanforan (former location of the internment camp and now shopping center) my whole life so thought it would be interesting to read about her experiences there. She went on to later write about the inequality of the world. She wanted to write about “reality.” There are notes by the interviewer in which he takes note of different questions to ask. It seemed similar to what our guest speaker had mentioned about having a couple ready set questions and then allow the interviewee to say what they feel is relevant.
I had followed what our guest speaker had mentioned with my first interview with my director. I had asked a couple questions and allowed the interviewee to add anything she wanted even if it seemed to divert the question in another direction. She told me about her life in Compton. She mentioned the difficulty of attaining a high school education. She enrolled in a school that was geared toward science (even though she has no interest in it) since it would provide her with more opportunities. It was through that school that she was able to join programs that helped first generation high school students go to college. She decided to go to Cal because she wanted a change and thought the Bay Area might have more opportunities.
Looking at the ROHO transcripts and actually conducting an interview was an interesting process. I would like to explore more of what the ROHO has to offer (even if it is not relevant to my topic). They mentioned, however, that the majority of their collection is made of 1950’s and up. Although there is a slight chance that there may be some transcripts from an earlier period, due to donations, it would still be a pretty small collection. I will be looking at their earlier collections.
March 13, 2013 § Leave a comment
So last week wast the first time I tried microfilm. After a couple of minutes we got the machine working, so I thought this week would be a breeze. Nope. I had the illusion that since ProQuest had so amazingly provided me with an article from the San Francisco Chronicle, I would be able to find that article in microfilm quickly. Nope. The film is so long and it was very tedious work to look through all the microfilm searching for that particular article. Instead I settled with looking at the online versions. I am disappointed that I can’t see the advertisements and other current events, however. I thought it would be cool to look at the ads next to the article I chose. The editor who tagged them together in the same page might of had a purpose behind it. I thought it might give me a visual glimpse into what was going on/being thought of in that period.
Something confusing that I encountered is seeing ProQuest cite the source of an article as a New York Newspaper, but when I actually clicked on it, the web page said that it was a San Francisco newspaper. I am assuming its a San Francisco paper, since most of the ones reporting on the case I am looking at, were from San Francisco (unless the New York one is reporting/repeating the same information already provided on the San Francisco one). I would like to know if there is a way to double check what is the true source rather than taking out the microfilm of both and to check which of them actually has the article (that looks like very tedious work). So is there a way to know who the true author is, or who may have copied who and when? I’m not in a hurry to know the answer since I have a fairly good idea that it was San Francisco, but still it’s good to know.
March 6, 2013 § Leave a comment
I ventured into the Bancroft to look at two pieces about Tokyo Rose that I reserved. The first was a book about the life of Tokyo Rose. It seemed to be a biography. I found the pictures in the book interesting. The author’s introduction seemed biased since right off the bat she gave the impression that she loves Tokyo Rose (there is a picture at the end that shows the author meeting Tokyo Rose!) Actually once I began looking at several documents that were published by the Japanese American Citizen’s League, the biography seemed very objective since it merely chronicled the life of Tokyo Rose. The documents, on the other hand, ardently defended Tokyo Rose. Any newspaper that badmouthed Tokyo Rose in the 1970’s got a letter from the Japanese American Citizen’s League (which was located in San Francisco! maybe its still there…) They defended her in bay area papers and even in Chicago, which was where Tokyo Rose resided at the time. The organization even formed a group that was specifically meant to protect Tokyo Rose. I found it crazy how this group was able to keep such a watchful eye on everything related to Tokyo Rose. There was a bunch of letters in the carton that asked newspaper writers to reconsider their words when writing about Tokyo Rose. Both resources seemed useful since one was able to show me the life of Tokyo Rose from birth up until the scandal while the other was able to show her life post-scandal. I want to continue reading the biography. I question why it’s even in the Bancroft. It seems like a normal book detailing the life of a famous person..