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About This App

Apr 04, 2011
Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Avg. score: 4.5
Rating: 2

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Manzanar Description

244 Ansel Adams photos of Manzanar • 61 Manzanar-related Dorothea Lange photos • 63 photos of Manzanar in 1994 • All 112 pages of Adams's 1944 book, Born Free and Equal

An internet connection is required. All of the material above can also be found on the Library of Congress web site, but this app brings it together and makes it MUCH easier to access. For the book, images split across the page gap on the LoC site have been rejoined. Pages have also been straightened and trimmed, and you can go from page-to-page by flicking your finger. The LoC site has the Manzanar images in random order; here the ones from the book have been put back into book order, and the others have been arranged by subject.

(The print in the book is too small to read on an iPhone/iPod, but the photos are fine. The print is very readable on an iPad.)

Manzanar was one of 10 War Relocation Centers—prisons, really—operated from 1942 to 1944. It's the best known, principally because it was photographed by Ansel Adams. All of Adams's Manzanar photographs in the Library of Congress collection are included here.

Ansel Adams visited Manzanar at the invitation of his friend, Ralph Merritt, its second director. He published about 65 of his photographs in a 1944 book, Born Free and Equal, which was generally reviled, even burned, as the War was still ongoing. The book is now out of print, but you can read all 112 pages with this app.

Adams didn't renew the copyright on the book and turned all of his Manzanar negatives and prints over to the Library of Congress, except for some landscapes that didn't show the Relocation Center, but which do appear in the book. The book also includes two images (p.50, top, and p. 57) that aren't in the LoC collection, and one, "JAPANESE-AMERICAN COMBAT TEAM IN ACTION" (p. 98), that I assume he didn't take.

There's a recent book, also called Born Free and Equal, that includes all of Adams's text, as well as additional interesting material. Unfortunately, some of his photographs have been rearranged, re-cropped, or left out, and it's hard to tell what text is his and what's from the other contributors. That book, unlike the original, doesn't include the landscapes that he kept. I suggest you read the original with this app.

In the Ansel Adams album here, the first 58 photos are in the order in which they appeared in his book. The last one has has the notation "[final photo in book]", added by me. Otherwise, all captions are from the LoC site, and are different, and much more detailed, than Adams's captions in his book. The LoC indicates that they are based on his annotations on the prints and the negative sleeves.
Dorothea Lange's photographs documented the roundup of Japanese, as well as Manzanar itself. The final set of photos, taken in 1994 as part of the National Park Service Historic American Buildings Survey, shows what Manzanar looked like five decades after it was abandoned.

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