“Kuleana knows no distance”: caring for the sacred Marshall Islands genealogies

Panel 1: Community Archiving Projects
“Kuleana knows no distance”: caring for the sacred Marshall Islands genealogies

Presenter: Eleanor Kleiber received a Masters of Library Studies and a Masters of Archival Studies from the University of British Columbia in 2006. She served as the Librarian of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community from 2006-2011, in Noumea, New Caledonia. She has been a librarian in the UHM Library’s Pacific Collection since 2011.

Presentation Description: From July 2015 to January 2017 the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s (UHM) Pacific Collection and the Council of Iroij (Council of High Chiefs) of the Marshall Islands engaged in cultural diplomacy related to 35 genealogies. These genealogies were part of the Jack Tobin Papers, collected and created by Tobin when he was an anthropologist in the Marshall Islands after Word War II. Tobin gifted his papers to the Pacific Collection shortly before he passed away in 2010. Because the Marshallese consider genealogies to be proprietary and sacred, the UHM Pacific Collection felt it was important to work with the people of the Marshall Islands to define access to this material.