RUPERT • An Oregon historian is looking for people who can help identify people in photos taken at Idaho agricultural labor camps.
Minidoka County Historical Museum curator Ginger Cooper said Morgen Young, a historian who works with the Historic Preservation League of Oregon and the National Council on Public History, sent the museum a compact disc containing 153 photographs taken by Russell Lee in 1942. Lee, a photographer for the Farm Security Administration, documented four FSA mobile Japanese internment camps in Oregon and Idaho.
Young has applied for a National Parks Service grant to develop an exhibit titled “The Farm Security Administration Documentation of Japanese Agricultural Labor Internment Camps in the Pacific Northwest,” which will debut in 2014.
Cooper said the Minidoka museum plans to host the exhibit for three months.
Young hopes to gain information on the identities of people in the photos from surviving residents of the camps and their family members. The information will be added to Lee’s captions for the photos.
According to documents, due to a shortage of farm labor in 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved a farm labor plan Lee arrived later that year to document the camp, its residents and agricultural labor.
Cooper said many Japanese Americans were taken from the coastal areas during the war and lost their homes and businesses.