AHA Holiday Party was 12/3/17

Thank you for joining AHA for our Annual Holiday Social which was held at the  First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, 2500 Pali Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817 Sunday December 3, 2017 from 2:00pm-4:00pm. It was buffet style with lots and lots of yummy mouth-savoring food from A Catered Experience:


  • Assorted Sushi (Maki, Teppo Maki, Inari)
  • Assorted Grilled Fresh Vegetables with Asian Aioli
  • Thai Summer Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Sliced Roast Beef on Potato Rolls with Mustard, Mayonnaise & Horseradish
  • Assorted Canapés (Smoked Salmon Mousse on Cucumber Rounds with Capers, Cherry Tomatoes with Lomi Salmon Garlic/Herb Cream Cheese in Snow Peas, Deviled Eggs)
  • Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
  • Crab Cakes with Wasabi Caper Sauce
  • Char Siu Pork on Ho Yeh Buns with Plum Sauce
  • Salad/Fruit
  • With added vegetarian options and dessert & drinks

The cost was $20 for members and $15 for students, guests were welcome also for $20.

Send checks to:

Association of Hawaii Archivists
P.O. Box 1751
Honolulu, HI 96806

Thank you to all the volunteers and thank you for a wonderful party!

AHA Collaborates with Hale Noelo for First Genealogy Workshop

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By Nicki Garces

Historically, the Association of Hawaiʻi Archivists (AHA) provide free workshops to the public on archiving and preserving family history. This time, due to growing community requests, AHA decided to offer workshops on genealogy research. The first genealogy workshop was held on October 14, 2017 in collaboration with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ Hale Noelo Research and Technology Center. Due to limited capacity, community members had an opportunity to sign up for a morning or afternoon session held at Hale Noelo, a hidden gem located at the back of the Nā Lama Kukui building in Iwilei. The objective to these sessions was to have the attendees be introduced to and try out the free services offered at the Center.

Project Manager Kale Hannahs gave a thorough introduction on Hale Noelo, including the Center’s own “genealogy.” The Center was a natural progression of the Papakilo database, a public access digital repository of data pertaining to the history, culture and geography of Hawaiʻi. Known as “the database of databases,” Papakilo was created in 2011 from the growing collection of data OHA acquired from mandated environmental and cultural compliance reviews for development projects.  It contains OHA’s report database, historical land records and the SHPD Index database. OHA funds the project which also builds on partnerships. Papakilo also includes digitized collections from institutions such as Bishop Museum, Hula Preservation Society, Kauaʻi Historical Society, Kawaiahaʻo Church, Kamakakuokalani, the Hawaiʻi State Archives, Ulukau and ʻUluʻulu. Through Hale Noelo, institutions with restricted resources are able to protect their collections through digitization and preservation  and extend online access to the general public. Kipuka database is the younger sibling of Papakilo that uses GPS mapping. Search for area maps can be done via tax map key or word search.

With the success of Papakilo, OHA further planned to include the community, not only to access the records and other materials on the database, but to also help families preserve their own family histories. Hence, Hale Noelo was born and launched on April 18, 2016. Hale Noelo offers four types of services:

1) Digitization and preservation: Hale Noelo has equipment to digitize microfilm, oversized materials such as large maps, and bound materials such as scrapbooks. The Center prioritizes educating the public on how to best preserve family collections. As it is not a requirement, individuals who utilize the center’s digitization services has the option to include the digitized items on Papakilo. Those who comply, sign an agreement form.

2) Genealogy technical assistance: Luci Meyer is the in-house professional genealogist who assists clients on how to do genealogy research. This includes verification and research regarding kuleana tax exemptions.

3) Subscriptions to e-resources: As subscription databases are expensive, Hale Noelo subscribes to ancestry.com, EBSCOHost research databases, and other newspaper, journal and periodical databases that have information about Hawaiʻi. These resources are for the community to use free of charge at the Center.

4) “Recordation” services: Hale Noelo has a meeting room and equipment to record and videotape oral history. It has partnered with the Library of Congress and NPR’s StoryCorps that broadcasts interviews on Hawaiian cultural practitioners. It also does intergenerational collaborations such as their project with Nanakuli Library that engages elders and youth.

After the in-depth presentation, the Saturday attendees were able to try out the different subscription databases, Papakilo, and Kipuka, as well as have their documents digitized. Professional genealogist Ami Mulligan and researcher Sarah Tamashiro, who will be the facilitators for the next AHA genealogy workshop, were guests at the morning session. During the hands-on activities, they assisted the attendees with their genealogy research. The attendees were grateful for Ami’s and Sarah’s help as they uncovered more information on their ancestors.  

The community members who came to the workshop had various degrees of genealogy experience. Some have not done genealogy before. One attendee has 40 years of doing genealogy, and was impressed with Hale Noelo’s services. A grandmother came with her granddaughter and great grandson. The family had done genealogy for their other ethnic backgrounds; this was their first time researching their Hawaiian roots. Kale helped them find information about a Hawaiian ancestor and they were blown away with his progeny. The granddaughter said that she is interested in her genealogy because she wants to be ready to answer her son when he has questions about his family. As each session was only 2 ½ hours long, most of the attendees mentioned that they will schedule one-on-one appointments with Hale Noelo.

The next AHA genealogy workshop will be on January 13, 2018 at the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa Hamilton Library. Ami and Sarah will focus on genealogy research and will provide case studies on overcoming barriers. Registration information will be available shortly.

For more information about Hale Noelo and to schedule an appointment, visit their webpage at www.oha.org/halenoelo. The Papakilo database is found at www.papakilodatabase.com and the Kipuka database is found at www.kipukadatabase.com. Both databases are remotely accessible and free to the public.                      

Repository Spotlight: Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo

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 Pacific Tsunami Museum Archives.

The Pacific Tsunami Museum is located on the corner of Kamehameha Ave. and Kalakaua St in downtown Hilo.  The building, built by First Hawaiian Bank in 1930, was designed by the late C.W. Dickey, Hawaiꞌi’s most prominent architect of the early 20th century.

The Pacific Tsunami Museum is located on the corner of Kamehameha Ave. and Kalakaua St in downtown Hilo. The building, built for First Hawaiian Bank in 1930, was designed by the late C.W. Dickey, Hawaiꞌi’s most prominent architect of the early 20th century.

Hawai’i has a long history with tsunamis, which remain an ever-present threat to the islands.  The Pacific Tsunami Museum (PTM) is a community-based, non-profit organization that provides tsunami education programs to residents and visitors to the State.  The PTM Archives houses one of the world’s most extensive collections of tsunami photographs, maps, oral histories, scientific papers, documents, videos, and artifacts, many of which are on display within museum exhibits.  PTM archive materials are used in programming to promote tsunami understanding.  The Museum shares the stories of communities that have risen up after tragedy and survivor voices that impart a warning for others with lessons learned.

Caption:   The book Hawai’i Tsunamis includes images and survivor stories primarily from the 1946 and 1960 tsunamis, but also includes the 1950’s, 1975, 2010, 2011, and 2012 tsunamis.  Some of the images in the book are seen in print for the first time, from collections recently acquired.  Men running from the huge third wave in downtown Hilo in 1946. PTM Yasuki Arakaki Collection. Cecilio Licos, photographer.

“Hawai’i Tsunamis” in the newest book produced by the PTM and includes images and survivor stories from several tsunami events; some of the images in the book are seen in print for the first time.


The Archives has an extensive collection of historic images, which include photographs depicting the aftermath of tsunamis and advancing tsunami waves and historic images of Hawai’i, particularly of Hilo town.  Exciting new photograph collections in the archive include aerial photographs taken after the 1946 tsunami and also high resolution color images taken after the 1960 tsunami.  Some of the new images were recently published in the book Hawai’i Tsunamis, authored by PTM Archivist/Curator, Barbara Muffler.

“My dad says that if we are going to die, we hold each other hands so they can find everybody together.”  – Bertram Kinoshita

Perhaps the most important collection is the oral histories, emulating a “living archive”.  The oral history collection includes over 600 first-hand accounts, from tsunami survivors and witnesses, in video and written format.

“Faces began to appear at the windows of buildings damaged so heavily that any life in them seemed impossible.”  -A.E.P. Wall

Kazu Murakami, 15-years old at the time, had been washed out to sea at Laupahoehoe during the 1946 tsunami.  He drifted overnight and was rescued the next day by David Cook and brought aboard the Naval ship LST 731.

Kazu had been washed out to sea at Laupahoehoe during the 1946 tsunami. He drifted overnight and was rescued the next day by Naval ship LST 731. Photo from PTM Archives.

One of my favorite stories starts with a photograph (right) donated to the archive that showed a man hanging on the side of a Naval ship rescuing a boy that had been washed out to sea during the 1946 tsunami.  The identity of the boy and the rescuer were unknown at the time… but then two random visits to the Museum within eight days of each other connected the families of both men to the photograph.  Years later, the PTM brought the men, David Cook and Kazu Murakami, together for a “surprise reunion” at the Museum and to share their amazing stories.  

Kazu was 15 years old at the time and had spent the day and night drifting at sea.  He was taken to the military hospital after his rescue; however, he was not identified by his family, even thought they had searched for him there, because his sunburned condition had made him unrecognizable.  When he was discharged, Kazu took a bus home where he found family members planning his funeral.

Tsunamis have played a significant role in determining where people live and work in the Hawaiian Islands.  With hundreds of lives lost and extensive damages, the Big Island areas of Hilo and Laupahoehoe have been heavily impacted by tsunami events; but the disasters also brought countless stories of survival and heroism.  Out of these tragedies, families relocated into new homes, beautiful open spaces and parks were developed in waterfront areas, and the warning system improved to allow more assurances to the community during future events.  The PTM stands as a living memorial to those who lost their lives in past tsunamis and those that reshaped their communities out of these tragedies.

“The city’s spirit was one of rebuilding, with greater safety precautions than ever before, confident that out of the rubble would come a more beautiful and more productive community.” -A.E.P. Wall

If you have any questions about the Archive, please contact the PTM Archivist at (808) 935-0926 or email at tsunami@tsunami.org.

Jill Sommer


Repository Spotlight: ꞌUluꞌulu: The Henry Kuꞌualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiꞌi

In honor of the approaching Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), which begins October 30th, this month’s repository spotlight shines on ꞌUluꞌulu: The Henry Kuꞌualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiꞌi.


A work in progress, the archive’s 11,000 square feet will eventually contain an exhibition space, screening area, and computer terminals where individuals can view entire collections of digitized materials. This is in addition to restoring, preserving, cataloging, and digitizing moving images that are the heart of the archive.

ꞌUluꞌulu, located in the UH West Oahu campus Library, is the official state archive for moving images and is dedicated to the care, preservation, and digitization of film and videotape related to the history and culture of Hawai‘i.  There are currently over 17,000 videotapes, 250 motion picture film reels, and 300 hours of digitized footage in the archives’ collections.

ꞌUluꞌulu fights against time to capture moments on film and tape that are disappearing due to the deterioration of materials and obsolescence of devices that can play them.

ꞌUluꞌulu will be showcasing a newly preserved and digitized film from their collection and project it on the big screen as part of HIFF’s Made in Hawaii program.  This year ꞌUluꞌulu will be screening TWO documentary films from the Friends of ꞌIolani Palace collection:

  • ꞌIolani Palace: Hawaii’s Past Today (1968)

  • ꞌIolani Palace Restoration (circa 1970)

Both documentary films were directed by local filmmaker George Tahara and document the decade-long restoration of the Palace from 1969-1979.  These were recently digitized along with 47 other films from the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace collection at ‘Ulu‘ulu.  The archival prints are 16mm motion picture film reels.  ꞌUluꞌulu worked with a preservation lab to create digital preservation master and access files of all 49 reels.


The footage includes scenes of the Palace interior and exterior pre-restoration. The Palace restoration footage includes scenes during the restoration process: artists and craftsmen repairing and refurbishing original doorways, chandeliers, staircases, floors and glass plate windows.

ꞌUluꞌulu’s Archival Film Screening Night at the Hawaii International Film Festival is happening on Saturday, November 8th, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. at the Dole Cannery Theatre… And it’s FREE!!!

The premiers of the digitized ‘IOLANI PALACE : HAWAII’S PAST TODAY and ‘IOLANI PALACE RESTORATION will be followed by a panel discussion about the technical aspects of film archiving and preservation, the history of the Palace restoration, and the importance of ‘Iolani Palace as the center of social and political life for the Kingdom of Hawai‘i and for today.  We hope to see you there!


For more information on ꞌUluꞌulu and other repositories, visit AHA’s 5th Edition of the Directory of Historical Records Repositories in Hawai‘i.

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.

Photo ID Banner v

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

JHP C 15675 copy

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.

Lovey Barbara

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!