Community Archival Workshop 2016

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In Hawaii we value the memories and histories of our ʻohana and communities. It’s what grounds us and shapes us. When our family members or loved ones pass on, they often leave priceless, valuable, and treasured items we become the guardians of. Typically, things entrusted to us include a large amount of important documents and family photographs. Many times the responsibility of caring for these items becomes overwhelming. As they age, we struggle to maintain them and to ensure their longevity. “Where do I start? What do I save? How do I take care of this?” These plaguing questions are all too familiar to anyone who has opened that old Liberty House box hiding in the corner of the garage.

These common concerns led the Community Service Committee of the Association of Hawaiʻi Archivists to realize the need our communities have in seeking information for care and preservation of historic items. In collaboration with the Society of American Archivists University of Hawai’i Mānoa Student Chapter, a free Community Archival Workshop was coordinated and held on September 24th, 2016.

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The workshop committee’s goal was to offer general education in archival processes and cost effective preservation methods in ways non-LIS (Library Information Science) professionals could connect to. This meant adapting and condensing heavy archival practices and knowledge into an easy and understandable way. Approximately 30 community members and a handful of LIS related professionals attended the workshop held at the Leeward Community College Library.

3 Sessions where included in the workshop day. Knowing that Hawaiʻi family collections are predominately documents and photographs, the workshop sessions focused primarily on physical care and digitization of those materials.


SAA-SC presenters Jennifer Magaloyo, Ellie Seaton, Allyson Ota, & Keala Richard

Session 1 was titled “Mālama Palapala: Physical Care of Documents & Photographs”. 4 student presenters from the Society of American Archivists- University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa Student Chapter led a lively presentation covering such things as identifying common pests in Hawaiʻi homes that cause damage, basic treatment of such damaged items, understanding aging processes, historical information on photographic types, simple storage hacks and tips, and basic, easy preservation techniques. The student presenters included a live demonstration of removing photographs from commonly used magnetic albums using Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 3.07.35 PM.pnga hair dryer technique. Attendees especially enjoyed the students “Hu, Dis Buggah” guessing game, which included matching pictures of damaged items to the pest that created it.Screen Shot 2016-10-31 at 3.06.43 PM.png

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Session 2 covered “Hoʻokikoho’e: Digitizing Your family history”. Recent LIS graduate from Mānoa and current Assistant Librarian at Kapolei Library Kylie Kaeo led the presentation. Using lessons learned from her own family digitization project as well as basic standards from a variety of national organizations, she created a comfortable presentation which many community members could connect to. It included simple terms used in scanning software, digital arrangement, and storage of master image files.


Presenter Kylie Kaeo talks about beginning a family digitization project.

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A third “Talk-Story” session was held after lunchtime to give attendees an opportunity to ask professionals questions concerning care for any items they may have in their personal collections. Professionals available during the Talk-Story hour were Annie Thomas, Eleanor Kleiber, Kanako Iwase, and Keau George from the AHA board. Our SAA-SC presenters from session 1 and presenter Kylie Kaeo had great advice and feedback for the discussion. Special guest professional Rachael Bussert, Congressional Papers Archivist from the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa was also present. Subjects such as care of kimono and framed photographs were asked. A very important concept came to light in our talk concerning the spiritual connection family members may have to items and how one might approach the physical handling of such things.


Members of the Wahiawa Hawaiian Civic Club joined the workshop.

In a survey conducted to gain overall feedback about the workshop, attendees were positive and appreciative. Here are some of the results:

  • Would you recommend this event to other community members? 100% replied “yes”
  • Will you be able to use what you learned in the workshop at home with your family treasures? 100% replied “yes”
  • Did you feel the presenters were knowledgeable about the topic? 100% replied “yes”
  • Was the information given by the presenters informative and clear? 100% replied “yes”
  • Other comments:
    • “Discussion session very valuable. Thank you, great workshop. Learned what “frass” was; never knew!”
    • “The workshops were very well presented. The presenters kept my attention and were very personable and engaging.”
    • “Enjoyed both presentations. Speakers are very knowledgeable. Will recommend workshop to others!”

A special thank you to the AHA Community Service Committee and board, the Society of American Archivists University of Hawai’i Mānoa Student Chapter, Kīna’u McKeague for morning refreshments, Vanessa Race for a scrumptious lunch, and Wayde Oshiro for the use of the Leeward Community College Library.

Reports on the 3rd Joint ARLIS/NA + VRA (The Art Libraries Society of North America and the Visual Resources Association) Conference 2016


Seattle downtown resembles Kakaako: development happening everywhere.

In the gray and rainy city of Seattle early spring, the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) and the Visual Resources Association (VRA) held the 3rd joint conference from March 8th to 12th, 2016. It was the 44th Annual Conference of ARLIS/NA, and the 34th Annual Conference of VRA. The conference drew about 800 attendees from all over the world, including art librarians, visual resources curators, reference and instruction librarians, cataloging and metadata librarians, archivists, museum librarians and curators, publishers, students, and so on. The conference theme was Natural Connections.

Three librarians from Hawaii: Carol Hasegawa of the Honolulu Community College Library, Sachi Kawaiaea of the Honolulu Museum of Art Library, and Kanako Iwase of the UH Manoa Department of Art and Art History attended the conference. We thought it would be nice to share our experiences with the AHA members. We hope you will enjoy our post-conference reports.


Space Needle from the Olympic Sculpture Park on the only morning we saw blue sky.

Getting Connected: Visual Resources Thriving with New Technologies Kanako Iwase, Department of Art and Art History, University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa (VRA member)

For those of you who have attended an ALA conference or other national conferences, mingling with 800 people might not sound unusual, but as a first-time attendee to a national conference, it was rather overwhelming. Nevertheless, the conference sessions, workshops and tours were extremely informative and inspirational—overall, a wonderful experience for me. In my report, I try to make links to the original resources as many as possible, so if you are interested in the latest trends in visual resources or art libraries, you can check out what was presented and discussed at the conference.

My first day started with some pleasant conversations with a couple of librarians over breakfast at the pre-conference THATcamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp). During THATcamp, where spontaneous conversations and taking initiatives are encouraged, I was able to propose a session titled “Visual Literacy and Digital Humanities”, and later became the moderator for the session. After familiarizing ourselves with the ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, we had some great brainstorming and discussions. Some people shared examples of visual literacy projects they conduct at their institutions, and demonstrated tools they use, such as SharedShelf and Omeka. We also discussed the importance of collaboration with faculty to improve visual literacy of students at academic institutions. The session notes are available here.

26833272325_445c6e5c53_kTHATcamp ecourages collaboration and participation (photo: Flickr)

Prior to the conference, I had two particular topics in mind about which I wished to learn: new technology in metadata such as Linked Data and tools for data migration; and how Visual Literacy is integrated with Digital Humanities technology in various institutions. THATcamp helped me deepen my knowledge about the latter topic.

Through other workshops about Linked Open Data and RDF,  as well as some posters at the Poster Session, I came back with a better understanding of these concepts. I am now excited about the new technology, which enables embedding complex relationships that artwork and digital images would have, such as “how” “where” “what” “belong to” or “used as”. It can still get too technical for me at times, but at least it was a good first step that I took to understand the Semantic Web in the context of visual resources.

The Convocation speaker was Sarah Bergmann, Director of the Pollinator Pathway. She gave an inspirational talk about her projects that respond to global transformation of natural landscape and cityscape. It was thought-provoking for many of us who are constantly thinking about pathways to connect our collections across disciplines, to users and the public.

On the last day of the conference, I joined the “Chinatown/International District, Wing Luke Museum, and Locke Library Tour.” I was impressed to see a museum and its library actively reaching out the community and connecting to the people in the neighborhood. Our knowledgeable tour guides recounted the colorful history of the well-preserved, authentic buildings where immigrants once lived. Seeing the museum exhibits, I learned about the unique and diverse qualities of Seattle’s Chinatown and the people who helped each other to survive. I highly recommend visiting the museum if you are in Seattle. A bonus was blooming cherry blossoms in a nearby park on a hill overlooking the city. (Photos from the conference can be viewed on Flickr).


Some of the sessions were recorded and are available at ARLIS/NA Learning Portal:

Some of the session notes from THATcamp are also available in Google Drive.


Seattle Public Library’s archive collection tour was conducted by Bridget Nowlin

Short essay: ARLIS/NA Seattle Conference 2016 Sachi Kawaiaea, Honolulu Museum of Art Library (ARLIS/NA member)

Emerald City, Rain City, Jet City (Boeing), Coffee City…  Seattle has many nicknames but what I often heard during my stay were – Microsoft, Amazon, and COSTCO.  In any case the city is changing and developing (by those companies),  yet beautiful and the perfect site for art librarians and museum professionals to get together and discuss for our future.

My 5-day ARLIS/NA conference summary: #sessions #committeemeetings #sharinginformation #enjoyartisanalespresso #exchangebusinesscards #runtothenextroom #museumtours #askingquestions #morecoffee #socialoccasionsintotheevening #cherrybloosm #mostbeautifullibrary #inspired.



Museum Division meeting, Getty Research Portal presentation, Solo Art Info Professional SIG were the three notable sessions at the conference site. Off-site tours were quickly filled by the participants and I was lucky to get in three of the exciting events. Needless to say, the off-site visits expanded my knowledge and my network deeply– and became the highlights of the 5-day conference indeed.

Since I became the museum librarian at Honolulu Museum of Art (then Honolulu Academy of Arts) four years ago participating in the national conference was one of the top priorities among my goals. I greatly enjoyed meeting, seeing, listening, talking, and eating in Seattle. It was only me from Hawaii as ARLIS/NA member! Because of the joint conference I could see familiar faces (Kanako and Carol), that was a bonus as the first-time conference attendee. I brought home an enormous amount of information and contacts.  I am working on how I can make good use of it and benefit the HoMA and myself professionally and personally. I already look forward to the next one and reunite new friends in February 2017. Anyone would like to join me?  #ArtsduMonde@neworlens.


Register now for free Digital POWRR Workshops

Register now for free Digital POWRR Workshops

The Association of Hawaiʻi Archivists is hosting two free Preserving (Digital) Objects With Restricted Resources workshops led by the Digital POWRR Project.

Oʻahu: November 15, UH Mānoa, Hamilton Library, Room 306, 9am-4pm

Hawaiʻi Island: November 18, Kailua-Kona, HI, UH Palamanui, Room A102, 9am-4pm

Register here for Oʻahu:…
Register here for Kona:…

Travel Scholarships Available: To help support travel for workshop participants from neighbor islands, the POWRR project will provide scholarships for up to $300 each for nine awardees to attend. Please apply here:
Deadline: Oct. 15.

Questions?: Contact Eleanor Kleiber (, Joy Holland ( or Annie Thomas (


Honolulu Fire Museum Tour

On June 18th, AHA members visited the Honolulu Fire Museum and were given an excellent tour of the facilities while learning more about the history of firefighting in Hawaiʻi by Captain Kevin Mokulehua and his staff. The museum is located at the former site of the historic Kakaʻako Fire Station, built in 1929, and is next door to the Honolulu Fire Dept.’s new headquarters building, which was completed in 2006. The Honolulu Fire Dept. was established in 1850 by King Kamehameha III, and King Kalākaua was an active member of Hawaiian Engine Company No. 4, an all-Hawaiian fire company formed in 1861. The museum does have a small archives, but it was not ready for us to view. Nevertheless, we did see some great photographs and documents from the Fire Dept. that were on display in the museum. Check out some highlights below:


Engine Company No. 4 was originally an all-Hawaiian Company fire station. This image on display at the fire museum depicts the station draped in black bunting after the passing of King Kalākaua in 1891.


HFD Accounting Book, 1892-1893




HFD log book, opened to the infamous date of Dec. 7, 1941. To this day, in keeping with tradition, each station of the Honolulu Fire Dept. keeps a daily hand-written log.


Capt. Mokulehua describing the Gamewell fire alarm system used by the Honolulu Fire Dept. from 1903-1979. Pull boxes placed in each neighborhood were connected to all fire stations and used to contact the fire dept. via an alarm gong that would identify the location of the box.


This photo shows the card catalog system the fire dept. used to determine which station would be dispatched to the fire, depending on its location.


Mahalo nui to Captain Mokulehua and the other firefighters for an excellent tour of the museum!

The Honolulu Fire Museum is open to the public for free guided tours every third Saturday of every month. Go to their website to reserve a spot on the tour.

Repository Spotlight: Hawai`i Museums Association Conference 2016: “Places (S)Pacific”


The Hawai`i Museums Association  Conference was held a short distance from Kaua`i’s Waimea Canyon. Photo by Gavin Mičulka.

by Gavin Mičulka, HMA Member, Kona Historical Society Assistant Program Director.

Over a three-day weekend in April, I joined a group of thirty other museum professionals at the historic CCC Camp in Kaua`i’s Kōke`e State Park for the Hawai`i Museums Association 2016 Conference, “Place (S)Pacific.” At 4,000 feet above sea level in the Island’s mountainous mesic forests, Kōke`e is a short distance from Kaua`i’s famed Waimea Canyon and the Nā Pali Coast. Rustic accommodations, cold nights, and a lack of Wi-Fi and cell phone service were a stark contrast from my daily routine. But the incredible setting and intimate surroundings provided the perfect place to discuss the shared interests of Hawai`i’s museum and collections community.

The restored CCC Camp at Kōke`e. Photos by HMA and Gavin Mičulka.

Since 1968, the Hawai`i Museums Association has served the state’s museums, historic sites, gardens, and heritage organizations, which today number nearly 100. Conference attendees, many of whom are also active AHA members, came from several islands and represented organizations such as the Bishop Museum, Hawaii State Art Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu Mayor’s Office of Culture & the Arts, `Iolani Palace, Kīlauea Lighthouse, Kōke`e Museum, Kona Historical Society, Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Lyon Arboretum, Mānoa Heritage Center, Shangri La Center for Islamic Arts and Culture, and more. Each member brought insights reflective of the museum profession in general, but also unique to the specific interests of Hawai`i. These organizations embody a strong sense of place and share authentic stories that celebrate Hawai`i’s diverse cultural and natural heritage.

HMA’s 2016 conference allowed us to discuss the methods and techniques used in the museum field to share these place-specific stories. A keynote address by Dr. Keao NeSmith, author, Hawaiian translator, and University of Hawaii at Mānoa Instructor introduced the place that is Kaua`i. NeSmith’s ongoing efforts seek to use various media to reintroduce the Island’s traditional place names. By educating visitors and locals alike, such efforts foster stewardship for the environment and the stories so closely tied to place.


NeSmith has received accolades for his Hawaiian translations of  literary classics

Other local presenters spoke about their roles at Kaua`i’s cultural and historic sites. Aletha Kaohi, Manager of the West Kaua`i Visitor Center, spoke about Hawaiian perspectives of the Russian Fort Elizabeth. These perspectives, richly tied to personal stories and family traditions, illustrate how certain sites can manifest multiple senses of place. While a single perspective might be presented via road signs, maps, and brochures, efforts like those of Aletha help bring in the perspectives of Native Hawaiians. Frank O. Hay and Jim Ballantine shared the efforts of Kaua`i non-profit organizations to preserve and repurpose a couple of the Island’s historical sites. Frank’s organization, Hui o Laka, has helped preserve the historic CCC Camp for more than 60 years. Through the CCC Camp, Hui o Laka preserves and shares the stories of the young men that contributed to area’s forest management and conservation in the 1930s and 1940s. While maintaining its historical integrity, Hui o Laka use the renovated CCC Camp to host volunteer groups, researchers, and educational groups.

Jim’s Hale Puna organization recently acquired the Gulick Rowell Mission House and has initiated efforts to restore the home to its early 1900s condition. Today, the home’s grounds are maintained as a community garden and it is hoped that a restored home will serve as a community center. Aletha, Frank, and Jim showed how important a “sense of place” is to local people. They also reminded us of the desire to share this sense of place with the world and create more meaningful experiences for Hawai`i’s visitors. The conference’s theme of retaining a  “sense of place,” provides not only a connection to Hawai`i’s culture, which is so tied to the land, but also contributes to the preservation of place and community identity as we, as collections professionals, find new and engaging ways to share our collections and sites.

Jenny Leung, the Collection Manager at Mānoa Heritage Center took away much from these presentations,  “The HMA conference is an opportunity to listen, share and collaborate with our peers who work in diverse kinds of museums/cultural organizations, many of whom we often regard as being in “other departments” beyond collections management – educators, registrars, exhibit designers, directors, etc. The Kauai conference encouraged our staff who attended to work more integratively on projects within our organization, as well as reach out to other very different HMA members for solutions.”


Aletha Kaohi shares with HMA Members Native Hawaiian perspectives of the Russian Fort Elizabeth. Photo by Mina Elison.


A historic photo of the CCC Camp at Kōke`e. Image courtesy of Hui o Laka.

Other presenters allowed us to take a broader look at the needs of Hawai`i’s museums, their staff, and their visitors. Museums reflect the people they serve and more often visitors seek hands-on experiences. Bishop Museum’s Michael Wilson shared how interactive exhibits and games nurture a deeper level of learning and create more meaningful and memorable experiences for visitors. Michael’s presentation was itself interactive and encouraged conference attendees to create their own games, using simple instructions, to convey information. Technology will continue to play an evolving role in our field. The staff of the Kōke`e Museum showed us how GPS technology can play an important role in how we explore our sites and even maintain our collections. Discussions illustrated how GPS technology, combined with software like PastPerfect, can be used to geotag collections that are often spread across a wide area. Volunteers can regularly be the heart and soul of museums and their programs. Seasoned museum veterans Victoria Wichman of Kaua`i State Parks and Jill Laughlin of Lyon Arboretum shared their experiences in attracting and maintain volunteers, thus increasing museum productivity and advocacy.


Conference attendees visit the Kōke`e Museum.

Roundtable discussions allowed HMA members to discuss the challenges faced as museum professionals. Topics included conservation and collections care, professional development, marketing and promotion, volunteer training and management, and fundraising. “From a collections stand point, the HMA conference roundtable was an invaluable opportunity to talk story with colleagues who work in varying capacities with collections within a diverse range of museums and organizations in Hawai’i,” said Mina Elison, Curator at Kona Historical Society. “From collections of large-scale public art to biological specimens, not only could we honestly discuss our challenges of handling and curating these objects, participants were able to share some ‘victories’ and new strategies for success.” Roundtable discussions reminded attendees of the networks available to support Hawai`i’s museum professionals.


HMA conference attendees visit the National Tropical Botanical Garden.

Like AHA, the Hawai`i Museums Association is a community of deeply passionate professionals committed to the idea that stories do not necessarily have endings. We are meant to preserve and share those stories in a manner that is respectful, meaningful, and creative. Our shared work ensures that the stories of Hawai`i’s kupuna will be here for generations to come. Professional organizations such as AHA and HMA remind us that, although an ocean may separate us from some of the larger professional organizations on the mainland, we are not alone. We can rely upon active networks of Hawai`i professionals deeply committed to a set of shared interests and values. Our work may be challenging and ever-changing, but thanks to AHA and HMA we are able to build upon the ideas of those that came before us.


Conference attendees visit the Loy McCandless Marks Collection of Rare Books at the National Tropical Botanical Garden


Honolulu Fire Museum Site Visit: Saturday, June 18

Association of Hawaii Archivists members will be visiting and viewing the collection maintained at the Honolulu Fire Museum on Saturday, June 18th at 9:00 am. This promises to be a truly unique visit!  The event is already at capacity, but to inquire about the waiting list,  e-mail Linda Hee, visit organizer at: handwoven.lhee@gmail.comupload-0fcb53dc78e755f133a30a7b77cc0ef4