California Japantowns - Exploring the preservation of history, culture, and community...

Preservation Resources

Readers at Tanforan Library

Bibliography on California Japantowns

Preserving California’s Japantowns' staff has developed a California Japantowns Bibliography to aid our research, and to support work by others that document Japanese American heritage. The bibliography focuses on published sources, and includes books and articles on general Nikkei history in California, followed by resources that document specific Japantowns.

Many of these publications are widely available. However, apart from a few well-documented communities, most of California’s Japantowns have not been carefully researched, or the subject for widely-circulated publications. For that reason, many of the bibliography’s citations for specific communities are documents found in local archives that we had the opportunity to visit, as well as the California State Library, the California Office of Historic Preservation, and the Hirasaki National Resource Center at the Japanese American National Museum.

››Click here to view/download the Biblography.

PHOTO: Readers at Tanforan Library, courtesy of Bancroft Library..

Links to more information about documenting
and preservation in your community


Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Federal Agency that promotes historic preservation.

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training

National Park Service Cultural Programs
A wealth of useful information, including sections on preservation, the National Register, heritage documentation programs, and the on-line publication "Asian Reflections on the American landscape"

"Five Views: An Ethnic Historic Site Survey for California"

California Main Street
California Main Street, a program of the California Office of Historic Preservation, has provided superior state-level leadership on revitalization techniques using the Main Street Approach to revitalization.

State of California Office of Historic Preservation
State agency responsible for administering federal and state mandated historic preservation programs in California.

State Historical Building Safety Board
Develops and administers regulations and standards for the rehabilitation, preservation, restoration or relocation of historical buildings.

Non-Profit Organizations /
Professional Organizations


National Trust for Historic Preservation
Provides leadership, education and advocacy to save America's diverse historic places and revitalize our communities.

National Alliance of Preservation Commissions
Builds strong local preservation programs through education, training, and advocacy.

National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers

National Conference of State Legislatures Database
Includes a database of state legislation related to preservation.

Preservation Action
Advocates for national legislation favorable to historic preservation.

Scenic America
Fosters citizen engagement to preserve places that are locally treasured for natural beauty or distinctive character.

Society for Commercial Archeology
Devoted to the buildings, artifacts, structures, signs, and symbols of the 20th-century commercial landscape.


California Preservation Foundation
Devoted to historic preservation education and advocacy.

California Council for the Promotion of History
Advocates for California's history and historical resources.

California Cultural Directory
An on-line resource of the California Historical Society listing almost 1,000 cultural and historical organizations by county.


Berkeley Architectural Heritage

Los Angeles Conservancy

Oakland Heritage Alliance

Pasadena Heritage

San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum


Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project

Discover Nikkei

Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego

Japanese American Museum/San Jose

Japanese American National Museum Hirasaki National Resource Center

National Japanese American Historical Society