Bill Manbo papers, 1942-1944

Overview of the Collection

Manbo, Bill
Bill Manbo papers
1942-1944 (inclusive)
.10 cubic ft. (1 expandable envelope)
Collection Number
Bill Manbo was an internee at Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming, an internment camp during World War II for Japanese Americans, where he took some photographs.
American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming
American Heritage Center
University of Wyoming
1000 E. University Ave.
Dept. 3924
Laramie, WY
Telephone: 3077663756
Access Restrictions
Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes, and the collection is open to the public.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

As a teenager, Bill Manbo Sr. was a Japanese American internee in the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming during World War II. During Manbo's internment, he surreptitiously took photographs of everyday life and events in the camp, including children at play, events, and buildings. He attended the Heart Mountain High School and graduated in 1947. This class has maintained an alumni group, one of whose members, Bacon Sakatani, wrote a description of the collection after the death of Manbo.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains 30 color slides of scenes from the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, dated 1942-1944, two photos from a Cody, Wyoming studio, and a letter from Bacon Sakatani, 7-6-1993 which gives an inventory of the slides, numbered order, and content identified and described.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright Information

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply. Donor maintains copyright.

Preferred Citation

Preferred Citation

Item Description, Box Number, Bill Manbo Papers, Collection Number 09982, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Alternative Forms Available

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of this entire collection are available at

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Related Materials

Related Materials

There are no known other archival collections created by Bill Manbo at the date of processing.

Acquisition Information

Acquisition Information

The collection was received from Bill Manbo Jr. in 1994.

Processing Note

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Mary Kenney in August 2006. Digital links were added by Ben Goldman in March 2010.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Color Slides, 1942-1944Return to Top

Container(s): Folder 1

Container(s) Description Dates
Japanese "Bon Odori" Festival, Slides 1-11
Most of the Japanese kimonos were probably sent to the camp from storage on the West Coast after internees were settled in the camp.
July 15-16, 1944
Japanese Sumo Wrestling, Slides 12-13
Ice Skating on Camp Rinks, Slides 14-15
Rinks were made all over the camp. Skates were ordered through the mail order catalogs of Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward.
Youths, Slide 16
Bill Manbo is at far right.
Military Police Erect Fence Surrounding the Camp, Slide 17
Because of the presence of the Military Police and the newly erected fence, the U. S. Supreme Court declared, on December 18, 1944, that Heart Mountain was a concentration camp and that it was illegal to prohibit the movements of loyal American citizens who had not committed any crime. Bill Manbo is pictured on the fence. Cameras were allowed since internees were out of the West Coast.
November 1942
Mess Hall Fire, Slide 18
Fires were common because of the tar paper-covered barracks.
Boy Scouts Parade, Slide 19
Memorial Day, 1944
Swimming Hole, Slide 20
Big hole dug and filled with irrigation water.
Views of Camp, Slides 21-29
Slide 25. There were nine guard towers with armed guards and searchlights. Young people went outside the fence on the pictured hill to go sledding in the snow. Then the MPs were ordered to arrest all outside the fence. On December 3, 1942, thirty-two persons were arrested and taken in. The oldest was eleven. Bill Manbo thought cameras were forbidden, so at first he took pictures when no one was around. He had a Caucasian friend on the West Coast who sent him film and had the film developed.
Restroom/Laundry, Slide 30
There was a coal-burning hot water boiler.

Photographs (2 items), 1943-1944Return to Top

Container(s): Folder 2

Blake's Studio, Cody, Wyoming

Sakatani Letter with Slide Inventory, July 6, 1993Return to Top

Container(s): Folder 3

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Concentration camps

Corporate Names

  • Heart Mountain Relocation Center (Wyo.)

Geographical Names

  • Wyoming -- History, 1919-1945

Form or Genre Terms

  • Photographs
  • Slides

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Sakatani, Bacon