Association of Hawaii Archivists Newsletter

September 2005


On Saturday September 24 at 2:00 PM, members will be treated to Treasures of the University of Hawaii Library.  Tom Klobe, UH Art Gallery Director, will have some remarks for us in Art Building 101; we will then proceed to the gallery.  Refreshments will be served after the lecture and exhibit tour.  Please RSVP to Judy Kearney ( by September 21 so we will have a head count for the goodies.   Parking is $3.00 IN CASH; remember, parking is prohibited in dorm residency lots, emergency vehicle spaces, handicapped spaces, and twenty-four hour reserved spaces. Carpooling is suggested.

Holiday Social

Our Holiday Social will be held on Tuesday December 6, on the grounds of the Mission Houses Museum starting at 5:30 PM.  The cost of $25 per person includes wine and a catered buffet meal.  You may RSVP to either Kanani Reppun or Judy Kearney (; (; the deadline to respond is November 28.  Mahalo to Kanani for the invitation to her lovely campus.  Door prizes!!

Annual Meeting

Plans are in the works for the Annual Meeting being held on Oahu this year on March 18, 2006.  Please note the date is NOT President’s Day weekend!  The Board is working to organize a visit to the Honolulu Academy of Arts for a special presentation by HAA’s director, Stephen Little, of the exhibitLife in the Pacific of the 1700'S: The Cook/Forster Collection of the George August University of GöttingenThe showingof the exhibitwill be the first time that the entire collection will be shown in a public museum.  More details will be made available as the day’s program is finalized. 

Donations to Hamilton for flood recovery                 

Generous AHA members donated a total of $725 to the Hamilton Library flood recovery fund.  Mahalo nui loa!

Report on Summer Social

Puu Pueo, the Judd home, was the setting for the annual Summer Social on July 30.  Mary and Bonnie once again showed true hookipa, Hawaiian style.  Mary arranged for a Hawaiian weaving demonstration, the food was ono as usual and all had a good time.

The Senator Spark M. Matsunaga Papers

by Ellen Chapman

Spark Matsunaga was a saver--some might say a "pack rat." He saved papers and memorabilia from his childhood, from University of Hawaii days, from service in the 100th Infantry Battalion during World War II, from Harvard Law School, from the Hawaii Territorial Legislature, and from Congress-14 years each in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. Sparky was well known for many things and his legacy will endure because he recognized the importance of documenting every aspect of his rich life.

From his service in the 100th Infantry Battalion he saved, among other things, an Army-issue writing kit, photographs, his insignia, Bronze Star and Purple Hearts, boxing gloves and an Italian phrase book. Other personal items in the collection include Lions Clubs pins from many dens (Sparky was a longtime member), a congressional shaving mug with his name on it, harmonicas he played, and poems he wrote.

The wide variety of papers and other items make this a particularly interesting collection. Sparky's major legislative concerns are represented by large numbers of documents about renewable energy, space exploration, peace, civil rights, and reparations for Japanese Americans interned during World War II. His devotion to Hawaii constituents is partly reflected in the large monthly bills from the House and Senate dining rooms--he was famous, in Hawaii and on Capitol Hill, for treating more visitors to lunch than any other member of Congress!

In 1997, Sparky's family generously donated his papers and other material to the University of Hawaii at Manoa where they form a cornerstone of the Library's Hawaii Congressional Papers Collection. The papers are now fully processed and available to researchers.

The processing of this collection took seven years-that meant arranging the material from 1200 boxes into series and sub-series; labeling everything; cleaning some of the items; removing damaging paper clips, staples and rubber bands; and placing documents into acid-free archival folders and all folders into acid-free archival boxes. The archival folders and boxes, along with temperature and humidity control in the repository, insure that the collection will be preserved for generations to come.

The final step was to prepare a "finding aid," a kind of user's guide, so that researchers would be able to decide which parts of the collection would be most useful for their study. The finding aid gives a brief biography of Sparky, a general overview of the collection, lists and descriptions of the different series and sub-series, and inventories which have even more detailed information. The finding aid is on the web at and a print edition is available in the Collection. Contact archivist Ellen Chapman to set up an appointment: email, phone 944-7656.


Aftermath – Archives/Archivists and Hurricane Katrina

Joint Statement by the Boards of Council of State Archivists (CoSA) National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA) Society of American Archivists (SAA) Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA)

Members of CoSA, NAGARA, and SAA are overwhelmed by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. As archivists we are, of course, concerned about the collections. But first and foremost, we are concerned for our friends and colleagues, as we are for all the people whose lives have been affected.

It is difficult to comprehend the scale of the damage. How can anyone plan for a disaster that completely destroys the surrounding infrastructure? Those of us in the rest of the country cannot know how to respond. Without reliable communications, we don't know what's needed.  But we know that people need food, water, and shelter immediately.

The Boards of CoSA, NARAGA, SAA, and COSLA are encouraging their membersto support all those whose lives have been affected by Katrina by making a contribution to the charity of their choice. For a list of charities, see the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website at

Many of these charities already have people on the scene and have the experience to distribute help where it's needed most.  In the future, we hope to learn more about specific ways we can help our colleagues care for their collections. We will keep you informed.

Members who would like to be added to a hurricane-response volunteer list for future efforts may submit their names using a form on the SAA website

( We will make this list available to archival institutions so that they can contact volunteers directly. At this time, it is impossible to predict when, or if, volunteers might be contacted for help.

Richard Pearce-Moses

President, Society of American Archivists

Email: or

SAA offices: 312-922-0140 / Mobile: 602-568-5869

Several professional organizations have posted links on their web sites specific to Hurricane Katrina and various ways to help in the recovery efforts.  If you are wondering what you can do, you may want to check out some of these direct links:


Report on SAA

by James Cartwright

SAA Conference, New Orleans, 14 - 21 August 2005

Society of American Archivists met in “The Big Easy” in mid-August.  That’s quite a hot, humid time to be in New Orleans. One of our members, Charlene Alipio, attended a one-day workshop on the new descriptive standard for Archives, Describing Archives: a Content Standard, published earlier this year by SAA.  This workshop occurred on Sunday, 14 August.  Two days of Pre-conference Workshops on Monday and Tuesday followed.  SAA Committee and leadership meetings occupied most of Wednesday with several tours available for the general membership of SAA.  Three days of sessions followed. 

One of my highlights was the Congressional Papers Roundtable dinner, which took place at the Pelican Club in the French Quarter.  The food was delicious, the milieu quiet and semi-elegant.  Other exciting food experiences included an afternoon at the New Orleans School of Cooking, with a cooking demonstration followed by our eating the cook’s work. 

On Saturday morning, I chaired a panel discussion on mainstream institutions collecting records of minority groups.  The panel consisted of archivists from Northeastern University, Texas A&M University, the University of Oregon and the James C. Hormel Center at the San Francisco Public Library.  Questions I posed for the panel members probed into various aspects of relationships between the libraries and the minority groups. 

To my knowledge, five AHA members attended SAA: Charlene Alipio, Helen Wong Smith, Jan Zastrow, Wally Mahan, and I.  (If I forgot anyone, I apologize.) I’m sure that if you have questions, anyone of us would be willing to share experiences.

HHS Hawaiian Language Conference on Hawaii Loa campus ?lelo Makuahine: New Hawaiian Language Based Resources, a one-day conference presented by the Hawaiian Historical Society on Saturday,October 22 may be of interest to those who work with Hawaiian language materials.  Vist the link below to find out more.

Position Vacancies

Below are URLs that have the job descriptions, etc., for positions at the State Archives of Hawaii and Georgia College & State University, respectively: