Archives Update

No Kō Mākou Lāhui: Mai kinohi mai a i ka wā e hiki mai ana
For Our People: Past, Present, and Future

By Avis Kuuipoleialoha Poai, Director of Archives and Legal History

Welina e nā hoa makamaka! I am pleased to announce that Ka Huli Ao’s archives program, Punawaiola, was awarded the 2018 International Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) Guardians of Culture and Lifeways Award for Archives Excellence. ATALM’s international awards program “identifies and recognizes organizations who serve as outstanding examples of how indigenous archives, libraries and museums contribute to the vitality and sovereignty of Native Nations.” The theme for this year’s ATALM conference is: “For Our People: Past, Present, and Future”—an apt description for much of what we strive to do at Ka Huli Ao.

He Pūkoʻa Kani ʻĀina
A coral reef that grows into an island.

A person beginning in a small way gains steadily until he becomes firmly established.*

Punawaiola is dedicated to the collection and dissemination of digitized Hawaiian Kingdom historical and legal materials. Punawaiola, which is translated as “spring water of life,” thematically represents how our past nourishes and sustains us today. Since 2008, Punawaiola has been working collaboratively with the Hawaiʻi State Archives, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and LLMC to digitize significant historical legal collections. The ATALM Guardians’ award recognizes ten years’ of hard-work and dedication. To read more about Punawaiola’s history, please read this article: The Realization of a Dream: A Digital Archives Partnership.

Hawaiian language version of Punawaiola’s homepage.

In 2008, we provided online access to approximately 30,000 images from four legal archival collections. Ten years later, Punawaiola has expanded to include access to nearly 200,000 images from over 36 legal archival collections. Earlier this summer, we released the redesigned website for Punawaiola. Importantly, Punawaiola’s new website is published bilingually with Hawaiian language contributions from students, alumni, and lawyers. This is the first bilingual site to provide public access to a wide range of Hawaiian legal archival materials, and is the first bilingual website at the William S. Richardson School of Law. Finally, a “blawg” is a new component of the site that displays images from the past, highlighting significant events that occurred “this week” in Hawaiʻi’s legal history. Here are some of the images from the past three months:

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Punawaiola’s rich corpus is being used in numerous ways to revitalize the language—from the rediscovery of Hawaiian legal lexicography, to the translation of the Hawaiʻi Constitution in ʻŌlelo.  Ka Huli Ao is helping to disseminate the knowledge of our ancestors to future generations. To read more about our outreach efforts, please see these articles: Ka Huakaʻi no ka Papa ʻEwalu a ke Kula Ānuenue, Ka Huakaʻi Kipa Kapikala a ke Kula Ānuenue, Student Outreach Update Fall 2018.

In terms of our future plans for Punawaiola, we are currently working collaboratively with the Hawaiʻi State Archives in designing a system that will provide better access for our users. We currently use a hosted site search solution that provides crawler-based indexing of PDFs. Essentially, this site search solution extracts text within the body of a PDF document, as well as any standard metadata fields. While this is an adequate solution for PDFs that contain typewritten text, all other types of documents (e.g. maps and manuscript documents) are “omitted” from this site search. We are excited at the current progress of this initiative. Please stay tuned for future updates!

As the director of this program, I would like to take a brief moment to recognize all of the people who helped me grow Punawaiola, “from a coral reef, into an island.”

Keith Johnston and Ray Wang, 2008

First, mahalo to Raymond Wang, Keith Johnston (ʻ08), and Il Ung-Jeong for their help in creating Punawaiola. Each of you made sacrifices because you believed in this project, and I am grateful.

Second, if this campus truly seeks to be a model Indigenous serving institution, we at the law school must do what we can to foster and promote Hawaiian culture and language. Punawaiola is perhaps the first step toward achieving language parity. For this reason, I wish to personally acknowledge Iokana Aronowicz Esq., Kamakakaulani Gramberg (ʻ18), Leimomi Morgan Esq. (ʻ17), Liʻi Nahiwa (ʻ21), and Kamalolo Koanui-Kong Esq. (ʻ17) for their Hawaiian language contributions to Punawaiola. I would also like to send my sincere aloha and mahalo to my two Kumus, Lalepa Koga and Kapali Lyon. They have continuously supported and helped me throughout this process. I could not have achieved this without their help.

Finally, I would also like to thank Kaleio Cromwell (ʻ20), Rachel Figueroa (ʻ16), Kealiʻi MacKenzie, Brittanie Nery, Mason Yano, and Zeslie Zablan. Thank you to everyone for helping Punawaiola grow and expand!