Jamillah Gabriel: Getting Acquainted with the Data

For my LEADS project, I’ll be working with the Digital Curation Innovation Center (DCIC) at the University of Maryland on a project that examines Japanese American internment camp archival records that were collected over a period of four years from 1942 to 1946. I’m really excited to work on this project because of the cultural importance and potential impact it could have on the Japanese American community, which up to this point, has not had access to these records. The records consist of 25,000 cards that include details such as incidents in the camp, births and deaths, entries and exits, as well as transfers between camps.


After talking with my internship mentor, Richard Marciano, I decided to work on data that might help us track the movement of the internees within and among the camps from entry to exit in hopes that it might provide some insight into their lives. Additionally, examining data about the births and deaths in the camps could provide additional context that can aid in telling a more complete story of the Japanese American citizens who were subjected to imprisonment in internment camps. While the entire scope of the project has not been fleshed out completely, the preliminary steps of the research project will include parsing through three data files, looking at the previous projects conducted by MLIS students, reading the grant application which will allow the release of key data to the public, and viewing the “Resistance at Tule Lake” documentary. After these initial steps, I’ll begin to conceptualize what this data project will look like in terms of data processing and visualization.


I’m looking forward to what this project will bring to light in the remaining weeks of the internship!


Jamillah R. Gabriel

4 thoughts on “Jamillah Gabriel: Getting Acquainted with the Data”

  1. Oh I am really excited to hear that you are working on the Japanese-American Internment data. With what’s going on down at our southern border now, this project feels more important than ever!! Even just solving one piece of the puzzle on this project over these 10 weeks is such an important contribution. I’m particularly excited about seeing where this project goes, and what types of interesting challenges you run into working with this data.

  2. Somewhat related…are you familiar with the former Star Trek actor, George Takei? He was in two separate Japanese-American Internment camps when he was a kid. He is releasing a graphic novel memoir about his childhood in these internment camps in a few weeks.

  3. This is an exciting project! I am aware of George Takei’s book. He was just at ALA talking about his experience.

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