Asian and Pacific Islanders
The Society's manuscript collection is strongest in material relating to Japanese Americans in Minnesota, including:
- The papers of Ruth Tanbara (1940s-76).
- The records of the Japanese American Community Center (1944-71) and the Japanese American Citizen's League, Twin Cities Chapter (1946-80).
- The records of the St. Paul Resettlement Committee (1942-53) and the Minneapolis Committee on Resettlement of Japanese Americans (1942-44), both of which helped move American citizens of Japanese descent from West Coast internment camps to more normal lives in Minnesota.
- The records of the St. Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee (1955-91), the first sister city effort in the United States.
The records of the American Refugee Committee (1961-75) relate to resettlement of refugees of many lands, but deal heavily with the dislocation caused by the Vietnam War.
Also in the Society's collection is a set of records of Hmong Enterprises, a St. Paul company founded by Lao Family Community, to "develop marketable products which embody and build on the needlework talents of Hmong refugees from Laos who have made their new home in our community."
A remarkable treasure is a 1982 scrapbook entitled "Flight To Freedom - our Stories," made by third-, fourth- and fifth-grade Hmong students at Mississippi Elementary School in St. Paul, which contains writings and drawings that recall their experiences in leaving Laos and coming to the U.S.
The manuscripts collection also includes diaries and letters of missionaries serving in China and other Asian nations.