Repository Spotlight: Lyman Museum & Mission House in Hilo, Hawai’i

AHA is pleased to introduce you to another repository featured in the 5th Edition of the Directory of Historical Records Repositories in Hawai’i.  This month’s pick is the Lyman Museum Archives.   Lyman Archives includes historical documents, books, maps, ephemera, and photographic collections.

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Lyman Museum Archivist, Miki Bulos, shared details of the current JOHN HOWARD PIERCE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION PROJECT:

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John Howard Pierce, Courtesy of Lyman Museum Archives

The Pierce Photo Identification Project is an effort currently underway in the Lyman Museum Archives to identify the tens of thousands of photographs in the Pierce Collection.

Pierce, a former Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter and Lyman Museum curator, was an avid photographer who meticulously documented his beloved home of Hawai‘i Island in the mid-twentieth century, a pivotal period defined and galvanized by the admission of Hawai‘i into the United States in 1959.



The collection contains Pierce’s surviving body of work—an estimated 50,000 photographic prints and negatives, the bulk of which are from the late 1950s through the early 1970s.  The collection’s significance lies in the years covered and the variety of subjects captured. As the archives processes the collection, what becomes evident is that during a historically important period of tremendous growth and change—those years around statehood—Pierce and his camera bore witness to nearly all forms of community activity conducted on Hawai’i Island.


Lehua Kamalamalama and her Rosettes welcoming the SS Monterey on maiden voyage, Port of Hilo, October 1961. Modern day Theresa Sharon Moke Becktel and Sandra Moke Lee, pictured in the front, were identified through the Pierce Photo ID Project and pose next to their old photo. Courtesy of Lyman Museum Archives.

It is this expansive and comprehensive view of Hawai‘i Island that makes the collection not only an invaluable contribution to the community’s story, but an invaluable contribution to the state’s historical record. They provide a view to the recent past, revealing a community ambitiously growing, changing, and constructing a new future; remembering and reclaiming its traditions; and savoring the simple pleasures of everyday life.

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Welcoming the USS Walker bearing gift of fifty-star flag, Port of Hilo, July 1958. Benny Kahaka (musician on far left) and Lovey Mae Akamu Scott (center) were identified through the Pierce Photo ID Project. Scott poses next to her photo along with Kahaka’s daughter, Barbara Lake. Courtesy of Lyman Museum Archives.

Unfortunately, almost none of the photos in the collection have any information beyond date, if that.  The Photo ID Project is a multi-pronged strategy to recruit community help to solve these mysteries.  The recent Pierce Photograph Exhibit was a result of this project—over fifty identified photos were on display.

Unidentified photos have been shared with the public via Hawaii Tribune-Herald and the Kama‘aina Shopper, the Pierce photo exhibit, the Lyman Museum website, museum-hosted Photo ID Days and community outreach.  Of the almost 800 photos made available to the public, approximately 450 have been identified (at least partially).


Paul Kodani poses next to his photo. Kodani was identified through the Pierce Photo ID Project as the boy paddling in a homemade canoe, Wailoa Estuary, late 1950s. Courtesy of Lyman Museum Archives.

Visit Lyman Museum on-line to see if you can identify some photos and to learn of additional Research Collections.  The Pierce photo exhibit will soon be available on-line!

AHA and SAA to co-host digital archives workshops

The Association of Hawai‘i Archivists and the Society of American Archivists, with the support of UH Mānoa’s Hamilton Library, are pleased to present 4 full-day workshops on topics relating to digital archives. These courses, taught by experts in the field of digital archives, are designed to provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to manage the demands of born-digital records. These courses are usually only offered on the U.S. continent, so we encourage you to take advantage of this great (and close-to-home) professional development opportunity!

All workshops will be held in Hamilton Library’s room 306 (in the main building). Early-bird and regular registration cost for SAA members is $199/$269 per workshop. For non-members, it is $259/$319 per workshop.

Sign up for any or all of the workshops via the links below.


Preserving Digital Archives

Monday, October 6, 2014, 9 am to 5 pm

Instructor: Liz Bishoff

Early-bird deadline: September 6, 2014


Managing Electronic Records in Archives and Special Collections

Friday, October 10, 2014, 9 am to 5 pm

Instructor: Seth Shaw

Early-bird deadline: September 10, 2014


Arrangement and Description of Electronic Records part I

Monday, March 30, 2015, 9 am to 5 pm

Instructor: Dr. Christopher J. Prom

Early-bird deadline: March 1, 2015


Arrangement and Description of Electronic Records part II

Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 9 am to 5 pm

Instructor: Dr. Christopher J. Prom

Early-bird deadline: March 1, 2015

Repository Spotlight: The Heritage Center at the North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center, Honokaʻa

We’re pleased to introduce you to another repository featured in the 5th Edition of the Directory of Historical Records Repositories in Hawai’i. This month’s pick is the Heritage Center at the North Hawai’i Education and Research Center in Honoka’a, Hawai’i Island.

Here’s what they very kindly shared with us:

In 2006, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center (NHERC) in Honokaʻa opened its doors as an education and research facility to serving the north part of Hawaiʻi Island. Since the mid-1970s the community had been voicing a need for an archives and museum facility to house area history. When the Hāmākua Sugar Plantation closed in 1994, a facility where plantation heritage could be preserved was also at the forefront of community needs.

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Work Study student Mica Cook and Volunteer Dave Herman in the plantation parlor replica at the Heritage Center.

In late 2010, the phase two building of NHERC to house the Heritage Center and additional classrooms was completed and Dr. Momi Naughton was hired as the Heritage Center Coordinator. Since that time, with the help of part-time employees, work study students, and volunteers, the center has had three exhibits in the changing gallery and has been making progress on a long-term exhibit room on area history. A resource room and archives was started with community donations of photographs, documents, artifacts and news articles. The center is guided by a community advisory board made up of a cross-section of people from different ethnicities and backgrounds.

Visitors to the NHERC Heritage Center have included school groups, seniors’ organizations, historians, Mainland and local visitors, filmmakers and those seeking to do genealogies on area families. In addition, the Heritage Center has been conducting oral histories, developing K-12 history curriculum, and doing outreach exhibits in public venues throughout Hāmākua and Kohala. The Heritage Center also coordinated non-credit classes at NHERC that deal with heritage and culture.

An outreach display for the North Kohala library of the photos by Boone Morrison on archaeological sites on the Kohala Coast.

An outreach display for the North Kohala library of the photos by Boone Morrison on archaeological sites on the Kohala Coast.

The Heritage Center has been working with architects and historians on documentation to nominate the buildings on Māmāne Street in Honokaʻa for the State and National Register of Historic Places. Dr. Naughton also teaches a Museology class for UH Hilo at the facility and offers upper division students applied learning opportunities in curation and exhibit development.

The NHERC Heritage Center is open free to the public Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Repository Spotlight: ‘Iolani School Archives

Thanks to the hard work of Barbara Dunn, Janel Quirante and Mary Louise Haraguchi, the 5th Edition of the Directory of Historical Records Repositories in Hawai‘i was released earlier this year.  Included are 48 repositories, each special in its own unique way.  A couple of the board members thought it would be fun to feature a repository each month and learn more about the wonderful collections to be found.

This month, let’s peek into the ‘Iolani School Archives.


The ‘Iolani School Archives is located on the second floor of the Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership, next to the upper school library.  Their collection includes school publications (the student newspaper, the annual yearbook, and the alumni magazine), photographs, video recordings, books, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings slides, oral histories and artifacts – treasures sharing the 151-year history of the school.    Holdings also include special collections on Sun Yat-sen, Father Kenneth A. Bray, and Harold Keables.


Archivist Rosemarie Panko has served as the lone arranger here for over a decade and will retire this summer.  The archive is open Monday – Friday, 12:30 – 4pm if you’d like to pop in and wish her well!