On April 4th, 2011, KITV Four News, Hawaii’s number one news channel broadcasted a story about an online Hawaiian resource center. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) partnered up with many entities to combine several databases containing land and government records, geneology indexes, and historic Hawaiian language newspapers into one resource called Papakilo Database.
“So folks that need to do historical research, like from the neighbor islands for example, you have to literally fly to Oahu to get some of this research done. Because the documents are digitized and now online, no longer will you have to do that,” OHA Chief Executive Officer Clyde Namuo said.
The project has taken several years and at least $400,000 from OHA alone. Those involved said it was a cost-effective effort. Papakilo will continue to be a project in progress and as more information comes up they will add it to the database. Officials are planning to add World War I service records and some statistics from 1826 – 1929 later this year.
Other database partners include Awaiaulu, Bishop Museum, DL Consulting, Hawaii State Archives, Ho’olaupa’i, Kaiwakiloumoku Hawaiian Cultural Center, Kumu Pono Associates, The Nature Conservacy, and Ulukau.
I believe this is a great resource that the Native Hawaiian community could use. I’ve only seen a few old Hawaiian language newspapers but they were only dated back to the 1930’s. I’m very interested in these newspapers because my great grandfather used to write for Ka Lama Hawai’i, one of Hawaii’s oldest Hawaiian language newspaper.