Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Papakilo Database - a new tool for historians and students in Hawaiian History

Aloha mai käkou a pau,

I am writing to notify the students and faculty of the UH Mänoa Department of History of the debut of the Papakilo Database, which will hopefully be an invaluable tool to historians and to students in Hawaiian History or in a related field or who do research on topics in Hawai‘i.  Completely free to the public, the database “an ongoing development of a comprehensive ‘Database of databases’ consisting of varied collections pertaining to significant places, events, and documents in Hawai‘i’s history.”
The database has been in development since 2007 and incorporates more than 225,000 records from dissimilar databases, including Mähele records, 45 Hawaiian language newspapers, records from the State Inventory of Historic Sites and State Historic Preservation Department Reports (SHPD) up to 2006. The Database reflects OHA’s partnership with many organizations that serve as repositories of important historical and cultural information, much of which has never been available publicly online.  It is hoped the Database will enhance research capabilities, quality and ease while minimizing time and financial costs to researchers.  For example, a search for the term “Waimea” will bring search results that are diverse in scope, and may include mele, historic photographs, nüpepa articles, GIS maps, archaeological and environmental surveys, and other information that is important for a variety of research applications and contexts.
The following brief list (including database integration dates and partners) reflects other records which have been or will be integrated into the Papakilo Database.
 ·        Ali‘i Probate Records (Fall 2011: partner Hawai‘i State Archives) Leiohoku, Kamehameha IV, V, Lunalilo, Pauahi Bishop
·         Environmental Assessments/ Impact Statements, 1970s and 1980s
·         Greater Register of Voters 1887-1888 (Hawai‘i State Archives)
·         Hawai‘i Archaeological Survey Database (2012: Bishop Museum) Museum Archaeology Index, manusc-ripts database, map collection, photo inventory, Artifact databases
·         Hawai‘i Genealogical Indexes (Ulukau) include Marriage records, Court records, Probate Wills, Citizenship
·         Hawaiian Footprint Project (Fall 2012: Nature Conservancy) GIS maps and files
·         Hawaiian Newspapers (Awaiaulu and Ho‘olaupa‘i)
·         Hawaiian Place Names (Ulukau) Compiled from Records of the Boundary Commission and Board of Commissioners to Quiet Land Titles
·         Land Indexes (Fall 2011, Kumupono Associates) entire collection of Mähele (including registration and testimony) indexed; previous indexes were only based on awards, which left 50% of total record of native tenant residency and land use unrecognized
·         Names Indexes (Hawai‘i State Archives)
·         State Inventory of Historic Places
·         State Historic Preservation Department Index of Reports
·         Various Digitized reports and maps compiled by OHA
·         Vital Statistics (Fall 2011, Hawai‘i State Archives)
·         World War I Service Records (Fall 2011, Hawai‘i State Archives)

Please check it out and help us spread the word… we hope this resource will foster historical and cultural research in Hawai‘i!

The Papakilo Database can be accessed online at:
For questions, email:

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