The Japanese Americans in the San Fernando Valley Oral History Project Collection began as an Asian American Communities Field Practicum student class project assigned by Professor Edith Chen, Ph.D., of the Asian American Studies Department. Collaborating in the project was the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center, the Japanese American National Museum, and Friends of the Lopez Adobe in the City of San Fernando. The interviews were conducted by students as part of their course work in Asian American Studies at California State University, Northridge.
While the interviews were originally to focus on the Japanese American farming community, it quickly evolved into a larger study of the diverse Japanese American community. The oral histories document the lives of Japanese Americans who lived, or are currently living, in the San Fernando Valley. The participants are multi-generational, with many who experienced firsthand internment and prejudice during World War II. The narrators also shared stories of farming, family emigration from Japan, and the building of their lives and families in the San Fernando Valley both before and after the war.
Several oral history interviews conducted in 1993 were added to the collection by Dr. Edith Chen of the Asian American Studies Department before the end of the project.
The collection is divided into two series, Video Recordings (1993-2004) and Transcripts (2005). Series I, Video Recordings is further divded into two subseries: Digital Files (1993-2004) and VHS Tapes (1993-2004).