Moir Reading Room Interim Hours

Due to staffing shortages during the holidays the Moir Reading Room will be open by appointment only December 24 and December 28-31. Normal reference hours (10 AM-4 PM) will be held December 22 and 23. To make an appointment send an email to or call (808) 956-6047.

Happy Holidays from the University Archives & Manuscripts Staff!


Aloha Dainan!

Dainan's Speech

Dainan had just a few words to say Friday… [Photograph Courtesy of Elva Young]

On Friday we said farewell to Dainan Skeem, our Archivist for Manuscripts, who is going to be starting a new position as the 21st Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts Curator at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. We wish him all the best in the next phase of his career and are thankful for his four dedicated years in the University Archives and Manuscripts Department.

We will miss you Dainan-see you at SAA!

New Romanzo Adams Social Research Laboratory Database

With contribution from the Hawai’i Council for the Humanities and the staff and researchers of the Archives and Manuscripts Department there is a new online database dedicated to the RASRL (Romanzo Adams Social Research Laboratory) Collection. This is an exciting opportunity for users to search by topic through the many papers in the collection. New ones will constantly be added to the database, providing access to a treasure trove of student research papers covering over fifty years (1920s – 1970s) of personal observations of family, community and workplace relations throughout Hawaii.

The database delivers a wide range of  keywords one can utilize to search the topics discussed in the papers, all related to intimate stories that retell the diverse history of communities found in the Hawaiian islands. The professors of the Sociology Department at the University of Hawaii asked students to look at the world around them and to examine the changes taking place through the lens of sociology. The students went out into the field as interviewers and observers, and their fresh and firsthand perspectives provide details about life – social, on-the-ground history. Race relations, urbanization, autobiographies and generational change are topics that were often discussed in the papers.

Here are just a few examples of subject terms used:

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Through….informal get-togethers people began to realize that they agreed on a lot of things and the other person was a very nice neighbor. Common needs, common sufferings, and similar worries tended to knit these people closer together and made a primary group out of the members of the neighborhood. 
(Hatsune Koto “The Neighborhood”)

Tips to dig into the RASRL database:

  • Browse the subject terms to get a better idea of what topics are being discussed in the papers.
  • Papers have not been scanned but we welcome you to see them in the Hamilton Library Moir Reading Room (Tues – Friday 10AM – 4PM) or by appointment.
  • To see a paper send an email with the call no., title or author of item to

Archives staff member publishes article on the Hawaii War Records Depository


Jack Kormos of the Archives & Manuscripts Department recently published an article in the Society of American Archivists newsletter about one of the Archives’ most prized collections – the Hawaii War Records Depository. You can view the article here:

The Hawaii War Records Depository collection was created after World War II began in order to document the special role that Hawaii was playing in that war. University administration saw the need to preserve records that told the story of wartime life in the Islands, in part so that University faculty could use the materials to research and write publications about the part that Hawaii played in the war.

As a result, archives staff were hired to begin soliciting materials from government agencies, businesses, and the general public. Collecting went on for several years, and eventually the collection grew to over 250 linear feet of materials, from diaries, to student posters, to state agency reports, to photographs of peoples’ experiences during the war. The project eventually ran out of funding and its staff subsequently disbanded, but the resulting collection remains one of the most heavily-used resources in the Archives to this day.


Work begins on the Senator Daniel K. Inouye papers

Late last year, we received 1,237 records boxes of the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye’s congressional papers, the largest of our 11 congressional collections. These represent his work in the U.S. House for over 3 years upon statehood and the almost 50 years he was in the U.S. Senate.

These papers will form the basis for UH’s wider program related to Sen. Inouye that will also include scholar exchanges, a speaker series, oral histories, civic education and exhibits. 

Sen. Inouye’s family worked with the Hawaii Community Foundation to raise funds to support the processing of the papers. The most immediate result of this effort was the hiring of two archives technicians who are processing the papers under the supervision of our archivist for congressional papers. We expect to add UH Manoa student workers and library school graduate assistants to the work force; they will help in digitizing significant portions of the papers.


Jack Kormos


Charise Michelsen

‘Ulu‘ulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi on the campus of UH-West Oahu is the repository for all moving images and audio material in the Sen. Inouye Papers. The items will be preserved and digitized by ‘Ulu‘ulu’s expert staff.

New exhibit in the Archive’s Reading Room

Bookmaking in the 18th Century in Diderot’s Encyclopédie, 1751-1780


Find out how books were produced in the 18th century, in this exhibit that features reproductions of copper engravings that describe the mechanical arts and trades of man. Former University Archivist James Cartwright assembled the exhibit, selecting images from Denis Diderot’s Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, a set of volumes housed in the library’s rare book collection. The Encyclopédie describes, in painstaking detail, the mechanics of everyday trades in 18th century France. Cartwright focused on papermaking and the casting of metal alphabets for printing on sheets of handmade paper that would eventually be turned into books.

The exhibit includes four original volumes of the Encyclopédie on display, as well as implements of the papermaking and printing trades. Artifact loans from Mission Houses Museum and contemporary Hawaii-based book artist James Rumford, complete the narrative of the bookmaking arts. Pages in the original volumes will be turned weekly to reveal more engravings that illustrate the complex processes of book making.



The John and Gertrude Troupe Moir Reading Room
Hamilton Library, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Room A550 (Library Addition; take the elevator to the 5th floor)

Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10:00am to 4:00pm
Dates: Through the end of August 2014

Introducing our new student assistant

The Archives & Manuscripts Department welcomes a new addition to their staff.  Karen Kadohiro Lauer was hired as a student assistant this past December and plans to remain here until she graduates this fall with a master’s degree in Library and Information Science (LIS).  In addition to her studies in LIS, Karen is also working on earning a master’s degree in Anthropology.  She believes these fields are related as they both aspire to preserve historical and cultural information.  Our department has been keeping Karen busy inventorying shelves and reorganizing cabinets and files. She will soon begin processing the recently acquired Richard Sakakida Collection.  Please check back for more information on this new collection.