University Archives & Manuscript Collections Dept. Newsletter, Spring 2022

In this issue:

  • Note from the Chair
  • Update from the University Archives
  • Update from the Hawai‘i Congressional Papers Collection
  • Update from the Jean Charlot Collection

Note from the Chair

This time last year, the world was ten months into the COVID pandemic, and the Library—including the University Archives and Manuscripts Department—was still mostly closed.  As frustrating as it is to still be in the grips of COVID, I’m nevertheless pleased that we’ve managed to open up to some in-person activities.  And once again, much of the accomplishments of the past year are due to the efforts of Dawn Sueoka, Helen Wong Smith, Malia Van Heukelem, and Sherman Seki: Dawn, Helen, and Malia have each initiated interesting projects and/or new programs supported with outside funds, while Sherman continues to serve as the department’s central hub, taking care of everything that allows us to function smoothly.

This past fall semester we re-opened our reading room on a by-appointment-only basis, and have been delighted to host students, faculty, and community researchers in-person.  We’re also continuing to digitize more of our collections to make them accessible online—Dawn and Malia have been especially pro-active in this regard—in order to better serve everyone who finds it more convenient to use our materials on their own time rather than ours.

The fall also saw the Library embark upon strategic planning; I’m looking forward to seeing how the University Archives and Manuscript Collections will fit within a re-imagined Hamilton, and especially to how we might participate in the Library’s efforts to move the campus towards its goal of becoming a place of Native Hawaiian learning (this is an area where Helen has been doing notable work).

Update from the University Archives

Student Learning: Multiple opportunities were realized in 2021 through practicums, internships and externally funded positions. Two UH Library and Information Science Program students successfully completed their practicums, one processing the Willard Wilson Papers within the University Archives and the other processing the School of Travel Industry Management Records at the Sunset Reference Center.  Native Hawaiian Student Services (NHSS) funded two interns to continue processing the Luciano Minerbi Papers which includes the earliest community based planning activities in Hawaiʻi.  A new funding source from the Office of Native Hawaiian Relations of the Department of Interior through the Hawaiʻi-Pacific Islands Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (HPI-CESU) infrastructure allowed two student assistants to support the research and development of a Hawaiian Home Lands Trust – Land Information System providing public access to historical documents over the last century.  The students were trained to investigate the disputed land holdings of Department of Hawaiian Homes Lands in Nānākuli, Lualualei, and Waiʻanae with the data provided to the UH Community Design Center (UHCDC) who will create a Story Map showcasing the research results with GIS interface.  A Graduate Assistant position will be reinstated with funding by the Office of the Provost to identify records for the Commission on Racism and Bias after successful work completed in 2021.

Acquisitions: Due to NHSS support, accruals to the Luciano Minerbi Papers were possible adding 19 linear feet (LF)  to the existing 50 LF for active processing. Additional KTUH records were accepted and 15 LF of papers from Joseph DeFrank of the College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources were accepted. A researcher in Weed Science, Dr. DeFrankʻs papers include no-tillage farming; weed control in vegetable and ornamental crops, and turfs; ground covers in orchards; establishment of native Hawaiian plants on roadways as well as efforts to eradicate pink snail from wetland kalo loʻi. Accrual of papers have been incorporated into the digitization of the Mitsuo Aoki Papers funded by a grant from the Hawaiʻi Council for Humanities.  This project collaborates with ʻUluʻulu: the Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi who have digitized the videos related to Rev. Aokiʻs “Living your Dying” documentary film with his papers which cover his decades as a Department of Religion professor, community leadership and writings. Visits to another Department of Religion professor, John Charlot at his Hawaiʻi Island home resulted in the acquisition of papers which will supplement both the University Archives and the Charlot Collection.  Records of the General Education Office and Mānoa Writing Program and Faculty Senate Committee were acquired.

Processing: In addition to the Luciano Minerbi, Mistuo Aoki, and Willard Wilson Papers mentioned above, processing of the John DeFrancis Papers was completed and now available in ArchivesSpace. DeFrancis is considered one of the most influential scholars and teachers of the Chinese language in the 20th century with international scholars seeking access.

Outreach and Instruction: Outreach was delivered to University units and auxiliary groups including the Office of Cooperative Extension, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources regarding 4-H records. Tailored instruction to EDEF 652 History of Education in Hawaiʻi and to HWST 602: Hawaiian Archival Research were delivered virtually. A presentation on archives and records management to the Hōʻili Hoʻoilina Training Program whose goal and purpose is to build professional capacity on Molokaʻi to better preserve, enhance access to, and perpetuate the island’s unique resources, while building a Molokaʻi-based community archive resulted in an intern applying for a graduate library program.

Joining the Manuscript Collections and the Hawaiʻi Congressional Papers Collection a virtual tour was given for the SAA annual conference and the UHM SAA Student Chapter.  All three delivered the only in-person instruction to History 396c.  With the Congressional Papers Archivist a presentation was made to the Association of Records Managers and Administrators – Hawai’i Chapter.

Blog posts highlighting University Archives included a two-part post on Snyder Hall commemorating its namesake and construction upon its demolition in 2021 and those penned by students, e.g. UH Army ROTC and Willard Wilson Papers.

Archivist: Helen Wong Smith, Archivist for University Records produced a LibGuide for the Provostʻs Commission on Racism and Bias after training and supervising Graduate Assistants who investigated the University Archives. This soon to be published LibGuide contains records with varying degrees of access pursuant privacy guidelines.  Further service on the Campus Signage Committee allowed Wong Smith to contribute resources for planned kiosks which provide the cultural and historical accounts of lands which was commended by the 2021 WASC accreditation team. National service included her role as Lead Co-Chair of the Academy of Certified Archivistsʻ Cultural Competency Task Force, member of the F. Gerald Ham and Else Ham Scholarship, a $10,000 scholarship awarded for archival education, Nominating Committee of the American Association for State and Local History allowing her to successfully nominating two Hawaiʻi-based archivists in leadership positions, and a grant reviewer for the Institute for Library and Museum Services and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Assessing Power Dynamics in Multigenerational Archives published in the Archival Outlook was based on a 2019 presentation at the annual conference of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in Austin. Invited 2021 online presentations to the Society of California Archivists, Council of State Archivists, Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists, Black Metropolis Research Consortia (Chicago). The Journal of Western Archives asked her to review “The Los Seis de Boulder Sculpture Project: A Case Study of Socially Engaged Archivist/Artist Collaboration at the University of Colorado Boulder” and she serves as Cultural Competency Advisor on a National Leadership Grant, Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Council of State Archivists.

Update from the Hawaiʻi Congressional Papers Collection

Senator Tammy Duckworth (then Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs) and Congressman K. Mark Takai (then a state representative), ca. 2009-2011. Takai and Duckworth were leaders in ASUH together when they were both undergraduates at UH Mānoa. K. Mark Takai Papers.

Senator Daniel K. Inouye Papers: Due to staffing shortages, work on the Inouye digitization project was paused for much of the year, but with a new student in our digitization lab, we are getting back into gear and resuming digitization of portions of the Senator’s papers. Congressional papers archivist Dawn Sueoka was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend commissioning of the USS Daniel Inouye in December, and looks forward to re-submitting a grant proposal for a project to create a corpus of the Senatorʻs speeches that can be analyzed using computational methods.

Acquisitions: This summer, we were honored to accept a collection of papers and memorabilia from Sami Takai, the wife of late Congressman K. Mark Takai. Known as a dedicated and energetic public servant, Takai served in the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives for 20 years before being elected to Congress in 2014. The K. Mark Takai papers document Takai’s campaigns, his time in Congress, as well as his tenure as president of ASUH and editor of the UH student newspaper Ka Leo. Processing of the K. Mark. Takai Papers is underway, and the collection will be opened for research in 2022.

Photo of ‘Ulu’ulu and Hamilton Library staff gathered around the boxes transferred from Hamilton to ‘Ulu’ulu. From left to right: Aragaki (crouching), Sueoka, Omura (in back), Pascua (crouching), Luke, and Quirante.
Assistant Archivist for Research and Outreach Archivist Tisha Aragaki, Congressional Papers Archivist Dawn Sueoka, Digital Media Specialist Robbie Omura, Auxiliary and Facilities Services Officer Mark Pascua, Cataloger and Assistant Archivist Koa Luke, and Head Archivist Janel Quirante with the Hawaiʻi Congressional Media Collection.

Partnerships: One of the highlights of the year was the establishment of a partnership with ‘Ulu’ulu: the Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi to preserve and digitize moving images from the congressional collections.

The newly formed Hawaiʻi Congressional Media Collection documents significant issues facing Hawaiʻi over the last half-century, as well as issues and events of national and international importance. Highlights include footage of Senator Fong and President Nixon at the White House in 1970; television campaign spots for Representative Tom Gill; Senator Fong’s and then-Representative Matsunaga’s 1960s and 70s messages from the Senate and House Recording Studios; debates on redress for Japanese Americans interned during WWII; Representative Pat Saikiʻs Washington Reports; footage of President George H. W. Bushʻs 1990 visit to Hawaiʻi; Representative Neil Abercrombie’s campaign ads; and televised programming and debates on topics like sovereignty, land, the economy, the Jones Act, sugar, natural resource management, the Iraq war, and public education.

Research: This spring, we welcomed back in-person researchers, while continuing to provide remote support to researchers who were unable to travel due to the ongoing pandemic. Reference questions continue to steadily increase across all of our congressional collections. Research topics included redress for Japanese Americans, underground nuclear testing in Alaska, Senator Fongʻs support for Chinese Cuban refugees, Taiwanese servicemen from the 1930s through 1970s, the military in Hawaiʻi, and Senator Inouyeʻs support for the Emergency Medical Services for Children program.

We are excited to announce the establishment of an endowment-funded summer fellowship to support UH Mānoa graduate students doing research in one or more of our congressional collections. One $5,000 award will be made annually, and awardees will be invited to share their research via an informal talk, and to curate a small digital collection of primary source documents that can be explored by high school students. In addition to supporting our UHM graduate students, this fellowship will raise the visibility of these important collections, and encourage dialogue about subjects and events that they document. The call for 2022 applicants was posted in January.

Archivist: Congressional Papers Archivist Dawn Sueoka has joined the Electronic Records Committee of the Society of American Archivists’ Congressional Papers Section and has begun a term as co-editor of the Congressional Papers Section newsletter. She continues her rewarding service on the board of the Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities.

Outreach and instruction: This year’s Hawaiʻi History Day theme is “Debate and Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.” To help Hawaiʻi middle and high school students explore this theme, we added materials from the papers of Senator Daniel Inouye, Senator Hiram Fong, Senator Spark Matsunaga, Representative Tom Gill, and Representative Pat Saiki to our Hawaiʻi History Day resource.

We have also been planning a small virtual exhibit and a talk by Judy Tzu-Chun Wu and Gwendolyn Mink to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title IX and the publication of their biography of Patsy Mink. The talk, “Fierce and Fearless: Patsy Takemoto Mink, First Woman of Color in Congress” will be on Friday, April 29, 2022, from 12 to 1:30 pm on zoom. Register here! Mahalo to the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Department of American Studies, and Department of Ethnic Studies for hosting; and to co-sponsors the William S. Richardson School of Law, UH Mānoa Women’s Center, Bridge to Hope, Student Parents at Mānoa, Student Equity Excellence Diversity (SEED), and the UH Mānoa Office of Title IX. The talk and exhibition are part of the larger William S. Richardson School of Law-sponsored series Rewriting the Rules: Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX.

Finally, the Congressional Papers Archivist worked with a Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies class to explore primary source documents relating to the Hawaiʻi ERA and the package of equal rights legislation that Representative Pat Saiki shepherded through the state legislature. Reflecting on the activity, students reported that it challenged some of their assumptions and helped them to understand how the actions of many individuals can create change on a large scale. Students also connected the campaign for equal rights with other movements like civil rights and Hawaiian sovereignty.

In a year that began with storming of the Capitol and continued with fierce debates about the teaching of history, these reflections underscore how our congressional collections can help us connect the past to the present, and inspire the next generation of Hawaiʻiʻs leaders.

Update from the Jean Charlot Collection

Much was accomplished this past year in the Jean Charlot Collection and related archives of Hawaii artists and architects collections. The pandemic continued to disrupt in-person library services and presented challenges for students and researchers. Malia Van Heukelem, Art Archivist Librarian and Curator of the Jean Charlot Collection, began the year with a mix of remote work and work in the library, while continuing to receive major additions to the collections and supporting researchers. She is now working in the library most days and will resume a Tuesday afternoon (1 – 4pm) and Thursday morning (9 – noon) for in-person research as well as by appointment the rest of the week during spring 2021. Processing Art Archivist Ellen Chapman returned to the library at the end of 2021 to assist with processing new acquisitions.

View of the Jean Charlot Collection Reading Room in Hamilton Library showing researcher reading area, books from the collection, and Jean Charlot art works on the walls.
Jean Charlot Collection Reading Room, Hamilton Library 5th floor. Across from the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections
Student assistant Seng Khang seated at the table in the Jean Charlot Collection Reading Room, entering data about the print she is examining into a laptop computer.
Charlot student assistant Seng Khang cataloging Honoré Daumier prints, November 2021


We were able to provide in-person student opportunities for hands-on work in the collections which accomplished much this past year. Josann Jenks was the Charlot Student Assistant from September 2020 to May 2021 and assisted with various projects in the Charlot Collection and architect archives. Miriam Diane Sappington received a Visual Resources Association Foundation internship award to support an online catalogue raisonné of Juliette May Fraser’s work and was in the collections August 2020 to May 2021. In August 2021, Seng Khang was hired as the Charlot Student Assistant. She helped to install an exhibition of Francis Haar’s Hawaii photographs and other art in the first floor and she stayed on until December inventorying prints before leaving to pursue her dissertation research. Rachel DeNagy completed her service-learning hours inventorying, scanning and linking images of Charlot’s early drawings to our database for her Museums and Collections class in the fall.


An incredible assortment of drawings and prints spanning Charlot’s career from France, Mexico, across the United States to Hawaii was gifted over the past year by a member of the Charlot Family. One of the gifts included works on paper by Lola Cueto, Manuel Martínez Pintao, Grant Wood, Ben Shahn, David Alfaro Siquieros, and more which belonged to Charlot.

Additional important gifts include Kahuna with Sacred Stone, a large drawing matching a portable fresco by Charlot; drawings for Eric Thompson, Jean Charlot’s roommate and fellow archaeologist at Chichén Itzá, 1926; a stoneware trivet with an incised Tortillera image; addition of books related to the Jean Charlot Collection were received by donation.

Hawaii artist and architect collections received significant additions as well. A watercolor was added to the Madge Tennent Collection in Donald Angus Papers; additional photographs related to the Artists of Hawaii book were added to the Francis Haar Collection; the Goodsill House drawings were added to the Ossipoff & Snyder Architects Collection; and more Spencer Leineweber Papers were donated by the School of Architecture.


There were 425 research inquiries related to Charlot and the other artist and architect collections in 2021. A sampling of the research focus demonstrates a range of interest: biography of Jean Charlot; PhD Candidate in English writing the biography of Juliette May Fraser; the relationship and art of Affandi & Charlot for an East West Center presentation; Vladimir Ossipoff architectural drawings for a class project, articles, and restoration projects; Spencer Leineweber Collection – Mission Houses Frame House for 200th anniversary; Francis Haar photographs of Alfred Preis for an online exhibition; PhD Candidate in American studies writing about contemporary Hawaiian artists; and an Art Department faculty member investigating art and papers in the Jean Charlot, Ben Norris and Isami Doi collections.

Online content

The pandemic reinforced the need for increased remote access to collections. Small requests were handled with a quick scan or a few snapshots, while a great deal of time was spent on Digital Collections in Omeka. Two image collections were launched: José Guadalupe Posada prints in the Jean Charlot Collection and Ossipoff & Snyder Architectural Renderings.

Two major online access projects are ongoing: ArchivesSpace for collections finding aids including the Jean Charlot Collection; and the PastPerfect database for works on paper in the Jean Charlot Collection


Malia was invited to present her work for three Library Information Science and one Museum Studies class, all graduate level classes at the University of Hawaii in 2021.

She also presented on her work via Zoom for a variety of local and national professional organizations related to art libraries and archives: ARLIS/NA; Visual Resources Association; ACRL Image Resources Interest Group; Association of Hawai‘i Archivists; Society of American Archivists – Design Records; and UH Library – for Hawaii Council for the Humanities


A $7,000 grant awarded in January 2020 from the Hawaii Council for the Humanities to Preserve and Provide Access to the Ossipoff and Snyder Architects Collection was completed in mid 2021.

Three donors made monetary gifts totaling $22,150 in support of collections care and processing.

The annual payout from an anonymous donor funded endowment was $3,991.

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