One of Hawaii’s most enduring assets, Hamilton Library maintains and cares for rare and special collections in all fields of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and information & technology. Libraries are the foundation upon which students and researchers find relationships that lead to new discoveries and, sometimes, unexpected conclusions. Using the library’s special collections, students and researchers from around the world make connections and discoveries that contribute to our global community.
Our library treasures reflect the complex nature of our community and the areas of excellence within the university – especially relating to Hawai’i, the Pacific, and Asia.
In 2005, then University of Hawaiʻi Art Gallery Director, Tom Klobe, organized a major exhibition, “Making Connections: Treasures from the University of Hawaiʻi Library.” A representative range of our special collections – some 350 items – was showcased at this exhibition, and some of them can be viewed online as well as in the published catalog.
This online exhibition showcases just a fraction of a much larger corpus of special collections and rare books that Hamilton Library holds. Further guides to the library collections can be found on the Library Web site under the following categories: Archives; Asia; Audiovisual; Digital Collections; General; Government Documents; Hawaiian and Pacific; Jean Charlot; Maps, Aerial Photographs, and GIS (MAGIS); Music; and Russia.
In Fall 2017, Hamilton Library launched a Library Treasures Initiative to promote the use, across disciplines and media, of our many library treasures by students, faculty, and researchers. Furthermore, this Initiative aims at enhancing the ability of Hamilton Library to acquire, organize, preserve, and provide access to these unique resources in fulfilment of the University Library’s core mission, viz. to serve as the center of knowledge, as an intellectual, cultural, and social hub, and as an essential partner in fostering teaching, research, and community engagement at the University of Hawaiʻi. This Initiative is sponsored by the College of Arts & Humanities and Hamilton Library, and it is funded since Fall 2018 by an anonymous donor of the library.