Announcing the Meda Chesney-Lind Papers

This post was written by University of Archives & Manuscripts internship student Wen Lin who is trained under the Archivist for University Records Helen Wong Smith.  

Meda Chesney-Lind portrait

The University Archives is pleased to announce the Meda Chesney-Lind Papers have been processed and available online in ArchivesSpace. This collection contains the research, academic work, and professional services of Meda Chesney-Lind, the former Director of the Women’s Studies Program and Emeritus professor of the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She is nationally recognized for her work on delinquent girls, incarcerated women, girls in gangs, and women and crime. 

Born in Woodward, Oklahoma in 1947, Chesney-Lind was reared in Maryland and graduated from high school in 1965 as valedictorian. She earned a BA in Sociology with summa cum laude at Whitman College in eastern Washington. Also, her commitment to social activism began with the Anti-Vietnam War Movement in 1969 which influenced her becoming a criminologist. In the same year, she was accepted to the graduate program in sociology at the University of Hawai‘i. Even though she had grown up with stories about Hawai‘i where her mother and grandparents were from, it was her first trip to Hawai‘i. During her master’s study, she develop an interest in the feminist movement and involve in the first CR (consciousness raising) group on campus which comprised the majority of faculty wives and female students. 

In 1971, Chesney-Lind went into the doctoral program and began her dissertation on abortion in Hawai‘i in the Sociology Department at the University of Hawai‘i. In 1973, she taught her first class at Honolulu Community College (HCC) as a lecturer and received a full-time position there the next year. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Chesney-Lind taught courses in the largest co-ed prison in Hawaiʻi as part of her teaching load at HCC. In 1977, she completed her doctoral degree. A decade later, she received an Associate Professor position in the Women’s Studies Program at UH Mānoa.   

Chesney-Lind teaching at Honolulu Community College.

Over the years, she taught courses that focused on the sociology of gender, women, and crime. She also served in multiple leadership roles as the Chair at Women and Crime Division of American Society of Criminology from 1989 to 1991, President of Western Society of Criminology in 1992, and Vice President of American Society of Criminology from 1993 to 1994. Moreover, her extensive contribution to the field of feminist criminology has been recognized with a large number of publications and prestigious awards. 

In 1992, she received the Paul Tappan Award for Outstanding Contributions to Criminology from the Western Society of Criminology, and Michael J. Hindelang Award for the most Outstanding Scholarship to Criminology from the American Society of Criminology for Girls, Delinquency and Juvenile Justice. In 1994, she was honored with the Distinguished Scholar Award, Division on Women and Crime, American Society of Criminology. She also received the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regent’s Medal for Excellence in Research in the same year. In 1996, she received the Herbert Block Award for Outstanding Services to the Society and the Profession from American Society of Criminology. In 1997, she received the Cressey Award from National Council on Crime and Delinquency and Morrison-Gitchoff Award, Western Society of Criminology. She was also identified as an “alumna of merit” by Whitman College. Her recent book on girls’ use of violence, Fighting for Girls (co-edited with Nikki Jones) won an award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

The Meda Chesney-Lind Papers comprises five series: University Activities, Professional Services, Research Topics, Correspondences, and Notebooks. Spanning from the 1970s to 2010s, this collection reveals her professional life as a scholar and activist with a focus on women and crime. It provides valuable research materials about the brutal shakedown of the Oʻahu Community Correctional Center in 1981 and the experience and backgrounds of delinquent girls and incarcerated women in Hawaiʻi.  

Meda Chesney-Lind with Mayor Eileen Anderson.

You can find more information about this collection through the UH-Mānoa Catalog for Archival Materials:


Belknap, Joanne. “Meda Chesney-Lind.”  Women & Criminal Justice, vol. 15, no. 2, 2004, pp. 1–23.

Chesney-Lind, Meda. Curriculum Vita

Snyder Hall – Part 2

Line drawing of the Health Research Institute Building from 1961.Note: Part 1 focused on Laurence Hasbrouck Snyder (1901-1986), sixth president of the University of Hawai‘i (from 1958 to 1963) and also an internationally known geneticist.  Designed by architects Takashi Anbe (1925-1985) and George K. C. Lee (1921-1995) and completed in 1962, the building that was eventually named after Snyder was built of reinforced concrete at a cost of $1.5 million. It is considered an excellent example of Tropical Modern architecture[1].

A group of people with picks and shovels at the July 1961 groundbreaking ceremony for the Health Research Institute Building

Snyder and others at the July 1961 groundbreaking for the Health Research Institute Building (later Snyder Hall). Masao Miyamoto photograph collection, University Archives.

Originally known as the Health Research Institute Building, the five-story, 60,000-square foot Snyder Hall is an excellent example of Tropical Modern architecture on campus; its operable metal louvers span the exterior, interrupted by vertical concrete columns and simple metal rails. The entrance features an elegant cascading staircase and landing—protected by a generous concrete and sheet metal canopy[2].

Over half of the University’s buildings were constructed during the period from 1960-1982. Between the years of 1959 to 1962, the old McCarthy Road—named after the Territorial Governor Charles McCarthy—was transformed into a pedestrian mall lined with monkeypod trees that helped to soften the harsh lines of structures along the mall. Four buildings—Webster, Spaulding, Edmondson, and Snyder Halls—formed what was designated as the “Memorial Quadrangle” in honor of those who had given their lives in the various wars of the 20th century[3]

Two men standing in front of the new commemorative plaque at the Snyder Hall renaming dedication ceremony in March 1968. The man on the right (with lei) is Laurence Snyder.

Laurence H. Snyder (right) at the dedication ceremony for the renamed Snyder Hall, March 1968. Masao Miyamoto photograph collection, University Archives.

In 1963 the Zoology Department moved from Gartley to Snyder Hall, which also housed the Microbiology Department and the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, parts of the John A. Burns School of Medicine[4].  It would be several years later before the laboratory rats were moved to the fifth floor of Snyder Hall, which housed Lab Animal Services[5].  Many recall the plaintive cries of other laboratory animals emitting from the fifth floor, including monkeys and roosters during the second half of the 20th century.

In 2015 Dr. Marguerite Butler, Associate Professor of Biology at UHM, supported the strategic thinking of the System-Level Integrated Academic & Facilities plan resolution but expressed concern over the lack of consultation with faculty regarding Snyder Hall and the unmet needs of the biology department to the Board of Regents[6].

The same year The Worst of Mānoa: Snyder and Kuykendall Hall was produced, revealing the degradation of the building.

The following year a steam leak filled the hallways of the second floor, renewing the call for renovation.  Two of the pharmaceutical cold rooms were broken at the time and despite passing the annual inspection on March 9, 1995, students and staff reported chemical fume hoods were not ventilating properly, compounded by falling ceiling tiles[7].

Inadequate facilities in Snyder Hall was cited as one of the reasons against the establishment of U.S. Navyʻs University Affiliated Research Center in 2006. Microbiology professors estimated that roughly 30% of all research conducted needed to be redone because of contamination from the building.

Line drawing of the Health Research Institute Building from 1961.

Line drawing of the Health Research Institute Building (later Snyder Hall), 1961. Masao Miyamoto photograph collection, University Archives.


[1] MXD_MOD: Modern Architecture in a multicultural context. DOCOMOMO US National Symposium 2019 Hawaii

[2] Tropical Modernism – UH SOA Higo and Irene Shen Gallery, 2019

[3] Science & Technology Department of Hamilton Library: History and Recollections, Wermager et al., 2017

[4] Hawaii Medical Journal July 1994 v 53 n7

[5] History of the Department of Psychology at the Univerity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Haynes and Weaver 2007

[6] September 17, 2015 Board of Regents minutes

[7] “Snyder Hall steam leak raises concerns” Ka Leo o Hawaiʻi May 4, 2015.

Snyder Hall – Part 1

Image of  the newly-built Health Research Institute, which was later renamed Snyder Hall
Note: Part 2 continues with more of the history of Snyder Hall
The impending demolition of Snyder Hall provides an opportunity to offer an account of the sixth UH President, Laurence Hasbrouck Snyder (1958 – 1963), for whom the building–originally named the Health Research Institute Building upon its completion in 1962–was renamed in 1967. Its construction cost of $1,507,025 was met partly by federal funds and it was designed by architects Takashi Anbe and George K. C. Lee, who also designed Webster and Spalding Halls.

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New Online Exhibit – THE LUCIANO MINERBI COLLECTION: 50 years of collaborative Community Activism through Urban and Regional Planning

The UH Mānoa Archives is pleased to announce “The Luciano Minerbi Collection: ​50 years of collaborative community activism through urban and ​regional planning,” an online exhibit by LIS student intern Sharnelle Renti-Cruz.

This page replicates Sharnelle’s exhibit text and captures a few of the images she used, but please also check out the original exhibit site to see its proper formatting and additional content. Continue reading

CTAHR History: Wahiawa Pineapple Festival Exhibition and Recipes from the Cooperative Extension Service

Some of the oldest records in the University Archives are found in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) collection.  Act 24 signed by Governor Carter on May 24, 1907 established the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts of the Territory of Hawai‘i as a Land Grant college under the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890, and since then various internal and external entities have been assumed under CTAHR.

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Updates on University Archives & Manuscripts services

As noted by our colleagues in the Library’s Hawaiian & Pacific Collections, Hamilton Library is operating under extraordinary circumstances.

While the Archives’ reading room hours currently remain the same–Tuesday-Friday, 9:30-3:30–the Library building is open only to UH (including East-West Center) students, faculty, and staff with valid ID.

Additionally, we will be following our colleagues’ lead in prioritizing the needs of UH patrons over all other users until such time as normalcy returns to campus.

This page will be updated as the situation changes.  In the meantime, thank you for your patience, and please take care of each other.

1930 UH Graduate won first Documentary Film Oscar in 1941

Gladys Li as shown in Ka Palapala

Gladys Li as shown in Ka Palapala

You may have seen the PBS documentary Finding Kukan, about the story of Li Ling-Ai, a female film producer from Hawai‘i who was uncredited for her work on an Oscar-winning documentary about World War II in China called Kukan.  Winning an Honorary Academy Award in 1941—the first instance of an Oscar being bestowed to a documentary before becoming an official category the next year—Kukan introduced audiences to the ethnicities within China and provided the only ground-level footage of the bombing of Chongqing by the Japanese Air Force in World War II.  Finding Kukan producer and director Robin Lung brought to light Ling-Ai’s story, which had gone untold for decades. Both mysteries are unraveled over a seven-year journey in Finding Kukan.

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UH and ASUH ownership of the Honolulu Stadium

At one time the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) and the Associated Students of the University of Hawaiʻi (ASUH) were the major shareholders of the Honolulu Stadium located on King and Isenberg Streets.  From 1926 to 1976 the “Termite Palace[1]” hosted thousands of high school and UH football games, was the home of the Triple-A Pacific Coast Leagues’ Hawaii Islanders, and hosted notables such as Elvis, Babe Ruth, Irving Berlin, and Billy Graham, at times exceeding its 26, 000 seat capacity.

Early 20th Century UH cheerleaders lined up on the field of the Honolulu Stadium.

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