Repository Spotlight: Lahaina Restoration Foundation

Happy New Year!

This month, our featured repository is the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.  Founded in West Maui in 1962, the Lahaina Restoration Foundation (LRF) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the restoration, preservation and interpretation of Lahaina’s physical and cultural legacy.  It manages several important historic sites on Maui including:

  • Baldwin Home Museum – the oldest house still standing on Maui, built by missionary Reverend Ephraim Spaulding
  • Hale Pa‘i Printing Museum – the home of the Ramage press used to print the first newspaper west of the Rockies
  • Lahaina Heritage Museum – the Old Courthouse turned exhibit space, offering a comprehensive, interactive look at the rich and varied history of Hawaii’s first capital
  • Pioneer Mill Smokestack & Locomotives Exhibit – a place for visitors to learn the history of the sugar industry in Lahaina
  • Wo Hing Museum – the home of the Wo Hing Society, highlighting the rich history of Lahaina’s earliest Chinese immigrants and their many contributions to the Maui community.

LRF also oversees the maintenance and operations of several other historic buildings, parks and walking trails throughout West Maui.  You can read more about these individual sites here:  http://lahainarestoration.org/historic-sites/

Lahaina Heritage Museum.  Photo courtesy of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

Lahaina Heritage Museum. Photo courtesy of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

According to their website, LRF maintains several collections of artifacts, photographs, manuscripts, maps, logs and other materials representative of Lahaina’s colorful past. These collections are available to the public and researchers by request.  They are also used in displays assembled by LRF Director of Museums & Events, Arrianna D’Orsay, who is responsible for cleaning, conserving and reorganizing their treasures, all according to archival standards.  The most recent LRF newsletter described some of the treasures that D’Orsay has unveiled including a camera from the 1890s that was used by the Baldwin Family to help document Lahaina.  Chinese wedding chests featuring handpainted scenes of life in China were also recently cleaned and conserved for the Wo Hing Museum.

Watercolor of Hale Pa‘i.  Photo courtesy of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

Watercolor of Hale Pa‘i. Photo courtesy of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

In addition to exhibits, the LRF hosts several events to bring the community together in celebration of their heritage.  One popular event is the annual ‘Lahaina Plantation Days’, a multi-day affair which looks back at fond memories of sugar and pineapple plantation life through lively displays, nostalgic games for kids, and cultural demonstrations.   Their most recent event paid tribute to the many jobs that were done on the plantation and featured a display of old Pioneer Mill Company newsletters, field equipment, anecdotes from workers’ families, and other intriguing objects from their collections.

Looking forward, D’Orsay says that they will focus on creating a climate controlled archive for their collections, and building a digital archival database.  The future looks bright for the Lahaina Restoration Foundation and we look forward to hearing more about their achievements.

If you’d like to read more about LRF and become a friend, you may do so here:  http://lahainarestoration.org/friendship/

Repository Spotlight: Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (SS.CC) United States Province Archives

On November 15, Stuart Ching, Provincial Archivist for the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (SS.CC.) United States Province Archives, treated AHA members to a tour of the new archives facility at St. Patrick Monastery in Kaimukī.

Provincial Archivist Stuart Ching reads excerpts from a journal chronicling the activities of Sacred Hearts missionaries to Hawai`i.

Provincial Archivist Stuart Ching reads excerpts from a journal chronicling the activities of Sacred Hearts missionaries to Hawai`i.

The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts, a Roman Catholic religious community, was founded in Poitiers, France, in 1800. After establishing schools and parishes throughout France, the male branch of the Congregation embarked on its first foreign mission to the Hawaiian Islands in 1827. Over the next hundred years, the Congregation established churches across the islands, including the Cathedral of Our Lady Peace in downtown Honolulu, Saint Joseph Church in Hilo, and Maria Lanakila Church in Lahaina.

The SS.CC. U.S. Province Archives was established in 2011, when the USA East Province and the Hawai‘i Province of the Congregation were combined. Because Hawai‘i was the older province, it was decided that the archives would be centralized here. In May 2014, the collections of the Hawai‘i Province Archives were moved from Kāne‘ohe to St. Patrick Monastery, where they were combined with boxes of records from the USA East Province. The St. Patrick archives facility, located in retrofitted monastery dormitories, features a climate-controlled processing area, reading room, and storage vault with compact shelving and custom-made light-blocking shades.

Boxes of records entering the provincial archives are frozen at -10 degrees Fahrenheit for three weeks to kill pests and their larvae.

Boxes of records entering the provincial archives are frozen at -10 degrees Fahrenheit for three weeks to kill pests and their larvae.

The collection, which dates from 1825, contains correspondence, photographs and photo albums, scrapbooks, publications, seminary records, journals, plans, chalices, memorabilia, and even relics. It includes material in Hawaiian, Portuguese, English, French, Latin, Italian, and Dutch. Among the collection highlights are carpentry tools, vestments, and other personal objects of Saint Damien De Veuster; journals of early Sacred Hearts missionaries; photographic images of Catholic churches and communities throughout Hawai‘i; early twentieth-century glass plate negatives documenting people and life at the Kalaupapa Settlement on Moloka‘i; and nineteenth-century Catholic Mission Press publications in the Hawaiian language.

Stuart shows us Saint Damien De Veuster’s walking stick, which was made from a guava branch.

Stuart shows us Saint Damien De Veuster’s walking stick, which was made from a guava branch.

The Sacred Hearts U.S. Province Archives is taking measured steps to preserve and access its historical collections. Its goal is to transform itself from a closed-off private repository to a valuable community resource. Scholars and members of the general public are welcome to view the collections by scheduling an appointment with the provincial archivist.

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.

Mica and Dave

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.

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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.

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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!