The Gordon W. Prange Collection is the most comprehensive archive in the world of print publications issued in Japan during the first four years of the Allied Occupation, 1945-1949. The Collection is comprised of virtually everything published on all subjects during this period – books, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, news agency photographs, posters, maps, ephemera and related archival materials. Produced by commercial publishers as well as grass-roots organizations such as labor unions, farm cooperatives, literary societies, minority populations and schools, these publications capture the mood of Japan during a pivotal period in the nation’s history.
The Collection includes:
- 71,000 book and pamphlet titles
(including 1,000 book and pamphlet titles with censorship action taken and 1,500 galley proof fragments)
- 140 ephemera items
- 13,800 magazines titles
- 18,000 newspaper titles
- 10,000 news agency photos
- 640 maps
- 90 posters
The contents of the Prange Collection once constituted the files of the Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD), an operating unit of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP) Press, Pictorial and Broadcast Division (PPB). Between 1945 and 1949, the CCD was responsible for reviewing all Japanese publications to identify violations of the Code for the Japanese Press. Censorship action (deletions, suppression of entire works and a variety of changes) was taken on a small, but significant, percentage of Prange materials. The Collection contains approximately 600,000 censorship-related documents that accompany the newspapers, magazines and books.
The CCD files copies listed above, considered the “core” of the Prange Collection, were shipped to the University of Maryland in 1949-1950 under the supervision of Gordon Prange. Miscellaneous English-language reports and publications that date from the World War II years and the Occupation period were included in the shipments. In the decades following 1950, personal collections of Americans who served in the Allied Occupation of Japan have also been acquired by the Prange Collection.