Association of Hawaii Archivists Newsletter                        

November - December 2004                                                                 

Holiday Social December 5, 2004 at Hale Koa

Happy Holidays! Please join us for the AHA Holiday Social. Members and guests welcome. Prizes galore!


Date: December 5, 2004

Time: 12:30 pm

Place: Hale Koa Hotel, Sunday Champagne Brunch

Cost: Adult- $24.15, Children under 12- $14.35 (tip included)


Payment will be collected at the Brunch. Please RSVP to Linda Soma at with names of adults and children by e-mail by 26 November 2004.

Revision of Bylaws pending approval of membership

The Board has several amendments for the membership to consider and vote on at the Annual Meeting in February.  The bylaws state that amendments may be made by a two-thirds vote of the voting members providing the proposed amendments have been circulated to members at least thirty days before the meeting.  The bylaws currently read:


Section IV.  Officers:

  1. The Officers of the Association shall be a President, a Vice-president, a Secretary and a Treasurer.  The latter three officers shall be chosen by the Board of Directors from its membership at its first meeting after each Annual Meeting of the Association.

A.    President.  The president shall preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Board of Directors except as provided in Section C of this article; shall appoint committees as directed by the Association or the Board of Directors; shall call special meetings as provided in Article V, Section 2 of the By-Laws; shall look to the general welfare of the Association, and shall perform the other duties pertaining to the office. 

B.    Vice-president.  The Vice-president shall at all times render assistance to the President; shall, in the absence of the President, preside and perform the further duties of this office.

C.    Secretary.  The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the Association; shall keep, and when required, call the roll; shall keep a list of all committees and a list of the standing and special rules as well as copies of the By-Laws.  In the absence of the President and the Vice-president, the Secretary shall call the meeting to order and proceed with the elections of a Chairman pro tem.  The Secretary shall have charge of all papers and records and at the close of his term, shall turn the same over to his successor.  The Secretary shall conduct the correspondence of the Association, except as naturally belongs to certain committees or officers in the performance of their duties; and shall send out all notices where previous notice is required, and all notices of meetings.

D.    Treasurer.  The Treasurer shall have charge of the funds of the Association; shall expend funds as directed by the Board of Directors; shall file bills paid, keep an account of receipts and expenditures, and make a report at each meeting of the Association.

2.     A Nominating Committee of three members appointed by the President shall prepare a slate of candidates to be circulated to all members at least thirty days prior to the Annual Meeting.  Additional nominations may be made from the floor.

3.     Elections of Officers and Directors shall take place at the Annual Meeting each year.


Section V.  Meetings

1.  Unless otherwise ordered by the Association or by the Board of Directors, the regular meeting, call [sic] shall be held once a year.

2.     Special meetings may be called by the President, the Board of Directors, or by nine members of the Association. 

      3.   Ten members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.


Section VI.  Board of Directors

1.     The Board of Directors shall consist of seven members of which the President shall be one.  At each Annual Meeting of the Association, the members shall elect a President to serve until the next Annual Meeting and three Directors to serve two-year terms.  Any member may be elected or re-elected President if such member shall not have completed four consecutive years as a Director before the expiration of his term as President.  A person may serve as a Director for no more than four years, and may not stand for re-election as President or Director until one year shall have elapsed…


Section VII.  Vacancies

1.     Should a vacancy occur in any office except that of President, a successor thereto shall be immediately appointed by a majority vote of the Board of Directors to complete the unexpired term.

2.     Should the office of President become vacant, the Vice-president shall immediately become President, and a successor to complete the unexpired term of Vice-president shall be appointed by a majority vote of the Board.


Suggestions for Revisions:


Section IV Officers

I.  The Officers shall consist of a President, a President Elect, and a Board of Directors consisting of eight members, including the President and President-Elect as ex officio members with voice and vote. 


A.  The President shall serve a one-year term and elected from among the membership in good standing at the annual meeting of the Association. 


B.  The President-Elect shall serve a one-year term and be elected from among the membership in good standing at the annual meeting of the Association and shall, after serving one year as President-Elect, become President.  The immediate past president may not run for President-Elect during the next election.  


C.  The Board of Directors shall consist of six members elected to two-year terms, with three directors elected each annual meeting from among the membership in good standing. 


1.  The directors shall have numbered positions, 1-6, with odd numbered positions being elected in odd-numbered years, beginning in 2005 or in the first odd-numbered year following the adoption of these bylaws, and even numbered positions being elected in even-numbered years. 


2.  A director may serve two consecutive full terms.  If a director resigns for any reason before the completion of the two years of a term, another may be elected either in a special election or at the following annual meeting for the duration of the unexpired term. 


3.  The Board and Officers may also call upon the immediate past president to participate in any Board meetings and vote therein, particularly in order to resolve a perceived tie among Officers and Board members. 


II.  Other officers, such as Treasurer, Secretary, and such other officers as the Board shall decide, shall be chosen by the Board of Directors, President and President-Elect in the first Board meeting after elections shall take place.  


A.  Secretary shall keep minutes of the Board Meetings and other meetings of the Association, shall maintain the membership list and periodically provide updates to members and officers, shall maintain the bylaws and other governing records of the Association, and shall be responsible for transferring records of the Association to the official archives of the Association at appropriate times. 


B.  Treasurer shall maintain the funds of the Association and make recommendations to the Board concerning the banking and/or investing of said funds.  Treasurer shall keep records of all receipts and disbursements of funds, maintaining a file of bills paid.  Disbursements shall require signatures of Treasurer and of President or President-Elect.  Treasurer shall not serve more than two consecutive years in that position. 


III.  Standing Committees, with one exception, shall be created by the Officers and Board of Directors. 


A.  One standing committee, Nominations and Elections Committee, shall be chaired by the immediate past president and consist of that person plus one or more directors whose terms expire at the next annual meeting and such other persons as are asked by the above.


B.  The Officers and Board of Directors shall establish such other standing committees as needed. 


Section VI is abolished and merged into section IV. 


Section VII is abolished and merged into section IV. 


Section VIII becomes section VI. 


Section XI [sic; should be IX] becomes section VII.



Revised ____________ 2004; adapted by membership _____________


Bed and Breakfasts on the Island of Lana'i

If you are planning to attend the Annual meeting (19-21 February 2005) on Lana’i, be aware that the Hotel Lana’i, the conference hotel, is completely booked.  However, there are Bed and Breakfast establishments nearby: Strawberry Guava, A Country B&B, Hale Moe, Dreams Come True B&B and more.  Flights in and out of Lana’i are limited so book now!

Nancy Zimmelman, Guest Archivist

Nancy Zimmelman, Legislative Records Archivist of the California State Archives, presented “The Robert F. Kennedy Assassination: the Case, the Records, and the Management of a High-Profile Archival Collection,” sponsored by AHA.  Open to both AHA and SLA members, the presentation was held at the Hawaii Medical Library on 11 September 2004.  Nancy, who is now an AHA member, presented Myth & Reality: Records of the RKF Assassination at the 2003 SAA Annual Conference in Los Angeles.  Since Nancy had expressed a desire to present the archival management facets of the collection, i.e., acquisition, processing, reference service, and access issues, the AHA Board invited Nancy to speak in Honolulu believing this was an opportunity for our members that should not be missed.


Nancy’s presentation consisted of two parts: the events of 4-5 June 1968, and managing the Records of the RFK Assassination Investigation.  Information regarding the animosity between Senator Kennedy and the Los Angeles Police Department, the lack of a secure environment, the shooting and the immediate events in Ambassador Hotel, Sirhan Sirhan’s background, and the questions surrounding the case were presented in the first half.  Nancy also covered the struggle over jurisdiction of the investigation files and how it affected the management of the collection, from red polka dot dresses to bullet fragments.  Mayor Bradley conducted a nationwide search for a repository; State Archivist John Burns responded, “The State Archives does not ‘compete’ for public records” pointing out the State Archives was the “only repository specifically empowered by California law to accept this kind of material.”


The LAPD Collection and trial exhibits consist of approximately 50,000 documents, 2,800 photographs, 1,200 negatives, 300 audiotapes, film footage, videotape, and hundreds of evidence items. Processing the collection required seven archivists eight months resulting in two sets of microfilm, one for preservation and one as a public set without restricted materials.


The second half of the presentation focused on the challenges of managing these records.  Preservation is a challenge with dicta-belt recordings and 10” reels of multi-track police logging tape formats but how many archivists need to worry about bullet corrosion?  The various agencies contributing to the collection, LAPD, L.A. Fire Department, media, County Coroner’s Office, and FBI, posed a great challenge in keeping original order and provenance.  Access could have been further complicated by the unusually large volume of personal information contained within the collection gathered by the LAPD.  However, issues of privacy have not been a significant deterrent to access; the State’s Attorney General’s Office determined the public’s right to know outweighed any individual right of privacy because of the nature of the collection. 


As with any high profile collection, use is a great challenge.  Several books, both scholarly and not, television programs, and court cases, have all caused high use of the collection.  One not so common use is the conspiracy theorists that claim Sirhan Sirhan did not act alone including his attorney. 


Nancy summed up the daylong presentation with suggestions:


  1. If you have a choice in whether to accept a high profile collection, consider whether you have the resources – financial, staff, facilities, legal and administrative – to handle the collection.  Comment: It was originally estimated that the processing of the LAPD collection would cost $100,000.
  2. Have the support and involvement of your administration.
  3. Document everything you do with the collection.  Comment: In the case of the LAPD materials, where there is strong suspicion about how the evidence was and is handled, it is essential to document everything beyond creating an accession record.
  4. Break archival rules – save everything, even duplicates and the inconsequential.  Comment: It has been much easier to defend our handling of the materials by saying that we have kept everything.
  5. If possible, have one archivist as the principal archivist for the collection.  Comment: It is easier to track use, prevent duplicate requests and limit staff exposure to subpoena if there is a principal archivist.
  6. Keep records of how much time is spent on this collection whether arrangement and description or reference service.
  7. Create microfilm or digital copies for use and security, particularly if it is anticipated that there will be great demand for use of the collection.
  8. If the collection contains potentially sensitive records, consult legal counsel.
  9. Depending on the particular collection, you may have to be prepared for media inquiries.
  10. Expect the unexpected.


Since 1992, Nancy has been Administrator of the Western Archives Institute, the annual two-week introductory workshop to basic archival management theory and practice, co-sponsored by the California State Archives and SCA. Last summer, she served as both Administrator and On-site Coordinator for the Western Archives Institute-Institute for Native American and Tribal Archivists.


Nancy is a member of the Society of American Archivists and the SAA Committee on Education and Professional Development. She serves on the Working Group and is one of the Special Research Consultants for A*CENSUS. She will be preparing the report on the census results concerning continuing education needs in the profession.  (Nancy shared with us the results of the Hawaii responses to  A*CENSUS as an added bonus to her presentation.) She is a member and a past Secretary of the Society of California Archivists.  For a recent article regarding the Robert Kennedy Assassination Papers, check out

Basic Archives Workshop for Staff and Volunteers - Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i

On Saturday, 2 October, Helen Wong Smith, Andrew Wertheimer, and James Cartwright presented a basic introductory workshop for the staff and volunteers working in the Resource Center of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. 


Jim Cartwright began with the general statement of beginning preservation: don't do anything you cannot undo.  He covered a few basic preservation actions and instructions, including removing metal fasteners and unattached highly acidic paper.  Jim discussed basic archival principles of provenance and original order and talked about record groups, series, and other levels of arrangement.  He ended with a hands-on exercise in which participants organized papers following the principles discussed. 


Helen presented the care, preservation, and storage of photographs.  She discussed the types of early photographs and how workers could identify them, the various types of twentieth century film, how to identify dangerous types and what to do with them.  Helen discussed methods of storing photographs and encouraged the separation of prints from negatives and large size materials from smaller size materials.  She emphasized that consistency in temperature and relative humidity is more important than having the ideal temp/Rh for part of each day and high temp/Rh for rest of the time.  She also pointed out how destructive light and dust could be on photographs. 


Andrew Wertheimer introduced finding aids to the attendees.  He discussed agency histories or biographies; scope notes; series descriptions; inventories.  Andrew demonstrated points he discussed with some examples of finding aids.  He drew on his experiences doing research in archives to illustrate the perspective of the patron and the effect finding aids can have on them. 

From our Colleagues in Georgia: An Invitation


June 13-24, 2005

Atlanta, GA

Designed for beginning archivists, manuscript curators, and librarians, the 38th Georgia Archives Institute will offer general instruction in basic concepts and practices of archival administration and management of traditional and modern documentary materials.  The Institute is sponsored by the Georgia Archives, the Society of Georgia Archivists, and the Atlanta Regional Consortium for Higher Education.  Dr. Gregory Hunter, Associate Professor in the Palmer School of Library and Information Science at Long Island University, will be the instructor during the first week.  Topics will include acquisition, appraisal, arrangement, description, reference, and legal and administrative issues.  The second week of instruction will begin with training on preservation by Christine Wiseman, Preservation Manager at the Georgia Archives. To link archival theory with real world application, students will also participate in individualized, three-day practicums at local archival repositories.

Tuition is $500.  Enrollment is limited and the deadline for receipt of application, resume, and $75 application fee (refunded if not admitted to Institute) is April 1, 2005.  Tuition does not cover transportation, housing, or meals.  Housing information is available upon request.  (The Society of Georgia Archivists awards one scholarship for the Institute consisting of full payment of tuition.)  For an application to the Institute or information, please contact:


Anne A. Salter, Director                                                 phone             404-364-8514 

Weltner Library                                                               fax     404-364-8517

Oglethorpe University                                                    email  

4484 Peachtree Road

Atlanta, Georgia 30319 


Care of Maps

Mary Todd Glaser, retired Director of Paper Conservation for NEDCC, spoke on the care and handling of maps and other oversized materials on 28 October 2004.  “Toddy” was in town at the invitation of Kamehameha Schools and our thanks go to Helen Wong Smith for bringing this to the Board’s attention, making it possible for AHA to sponsor this session.  AHA extended an invitation to our local SLA chapter and together 17 people turned out to hear her presentation.


Innovative methods of storage, such as the proper storage container and wrapping the map or plans around the outside of a lignin-free tube (at least 4" in diameter with pieces of polyester film), were particularly instructive for those of us with this kind of material in our collections.  Toddy authored several NEDCC’s Technical Leaflets, including “Storage Solutions for Oversized Paper Artifacts” ( and “Protecting Paper and Book Collections During Exhibition” ( as well as Leaflets on treatment options for works of art, matting and framing, and relaxing paper by humidification.  We were very pleased to have a speaker of this stature make time for us in her busy schedule.


If you have missed previous issues of the newsletters or need general information, applications for membership, etc., check out our web site, kindly hosted and posted by Andrew Wertheimer at UH, at



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Association of Hawai’i Archivists

P.O. Box 1751

Honolulu, HI. 96806