Repository Spotlight: Na Hawai’i ‘Imi Loa Community Archival Workshop

Na Hawai’i ‘Imi Loa (NHIL) is not an archival repository in the traditional sense. There are no linear feet of document boxes or aged tomes. It is, wonderfully, a repository for the future of archives. NHIL is a student organization at the University of Hawai’i, Mānoa open to students pursuing a degree in Library & Information Sciences, Hawaiian Language, or Hawaiian Studies. Their mission is to service the Hawaiian community by strengthening the Native Hawaiian presence in the Library and Information Sciences profession, and by building the capacity of the Hawaiian community in Library and Information Sciences practices.

As part of this mission, NHIL has been reaching into the outlying districts of the community with free archival workshops. AHA supports their efforts with monetary backing, but of infinitely more value, with member volunteers who share their expertise as speakers at this event.1

The latest Caring for Family Treasures workshop was held on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at the Queen Liliʻuokalani Childrenʻs Center: Hale ʻAha, in Punaluʻu. 27 participants gathered for the free two part workshop which included a home cooked shoyu chicken lunch by the McKeague family.

The morning session, MalamaPalapala: Physical Care of Documents, concentrated on the physical care of personal archives. Our own Helen Wong-Smith shared tips on how to store and display precious family heirlooms archivally, and Linda Hee walked people through the aspects of our Hawaiian environment that can accelerate deterioration and how to slow down these reactions.


In the afternoon session, Hoʻokikohoʻe : Digitizing your Family History, Kara Plamann Wagoner clearly explained, step by step, what is involved in digitizing personal collections. She ended with a fun interactive exercise that helped people tink about how they want to prioritize what to digitize.


Next year’s workshop is still in the planning stage, but hopefully more of you, AHA’s most valuable resource, will step forward to help NHIL, our future archivists, present our skills and knowledge to the community.

Please visit the NHIL website for updated information:

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