Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cultural Diplomacy in the Marshall Islands


In late January 2017 digital and print copies of several genealogies from the Jack Tobin Papers were given to the Council of Iroij (Council of High Chiefs) of the Marshall Islands. The previously-made agreement relating to access was reconfirmed, this time by the entire Council. As part of the agreement the Pacific Collection created print copies for the Library at the College of the Marshall Islands, for the Historic Preservation Office, for the Alele (National Library, Archives and Museum), and for the Council. This is the conclusion of several years of work between the UHM Pacific Collection and Wilbert Alik, the head of the Department of Marshallese Studies at the College of the Marshall Islands.

The originals of these genealogies were donated to the University of Hawai'i-Manoa Library by Dr. Tobin in increments over several years, and will be permanently archived by the Pacific Collection. Dr. Tobin first went to the Marshall Islands in 1950 as a student of Dr. Len Mason, to work on the Pacific Science Board's Coral Atoll Project (CAP). Later in 1950, Tobin was hired as an anthropological field consultant by the Civil Administration Unit of Naval Operations. During the Trust Territory Administration era, he served as the sole district anthropologist for the Marshall Islands, a position he held through 1957. Between 1967 and 1975, he served as community development adviser to the Marshall Islands. (More on Dr. Tobin's life and work can be found here. To view an online collection of photographs from Dr. Tobin's time in the Marshalls, click here.)

Dr. Tobin worked on collecting and editing the genealogies throughout the decades he spent in the Marshall Islands, and remained closely connected to the islands even after he had retired and relocated to Honolulu. Many thanks to Seth Irwin, Ellie Seaton, Allyson Ota, and Kealiʻi MacKenzie who all worked at various times to ensure these sacred objects were preserved, digitized and copied. Thanks to Ruth Abbott and Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner for transporting the copies from Hawaiʻi to the Marshall Islands.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Recent acquisitions: Twenty-four original photo cabinet card views of Tahiti


The Pacific Collection recently acquired a set of twenty-four cabinet card images of Tahiti, taken circa 1895 by an unidentified member of an American tourist group. The photographs include a range of subjects, some with captions, including landscapes, interiors and exteriors of buildings, and Tahitians. One image in particular stands out -- a man, woman and child in front of their home. On the back of the image is a hand-written caption: "Lawyer Goupil's residence, finest on the island." On the one hand, both the image and caption are somewhat unimpressive, but they hint at a more historic value: Auguste Goupil was a well-known lawyer in Tahiti. The image presumably shows Goupil, his wife and their daughter, Jeanne. Roughly a year after this photo was taken, Goupil hired Paul Gauguin to paint Jeanne, which resulted in one of Gauguin's more famous works, "Portrait of a Young Woman, Vaite (Jeanne) Goupil." A detail of the photograph and Gauguin's painting are pictured at right.
The Tahitian images are one of thirty-seven separate photo collections maintained by the Pacific Collection. To browse a list of these collections, visit the library's Voyager catalog, and in the basic search mode, select "Call number (DVD, CD, VHS, etc.)" from the list of search options, and then search for Photograph P. The Pacific Collection has also digitized roughly 16,000 images from it's physical holdings. All of these are available for viewing online via the UH-M Library's digital collections homepage.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Jack Tobin Papers

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http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/tobin/index.php?s=
Pacific Collection librarian Eleanor Kleiber recently finished processing the Jack Tobin Papers, and they are now available for public use. Jack Adair Tobin, Ph.D. (June 15, 1920-June 18, 2010) was an anthropologist who worked in the Marshall Islands, beginning in 1950. This manuscript collection, which comprises roughly six linear feet of material and covers the bulk of Dr. Tobin's professional life, is extremely important in that it contains primary source documentation of numerous aspects of Marshallese life during a period of intense change.

In addition to the physical materials in the collection, nearly 2,000 photographs have also been digitized and are available online. A finding aid for the collection is also available online.

The Jack Tobin Collection is one of more than 60 Pacific manuscript collections -- because these collections are comprised primarily of unpublished material, they are an important tool when searching for primary source documentation. To view a browseable list of these collections, go to the library’s Voyager catalog, and in the basic search mode, select Call number (DVDs, CDs, VHS, etc.) from the list of “search by” options, and then search for MANUSCRIPT P. This search will bring up a list of all manuscripts held by the Pacific Collection. You can also search through our cataloged photograph collections by repeating the above steps using the search term PHOTOGRAPH P. (In both searches, do not include the period that follows the "P" in the above sentences.) Researchers interested in Hawai‘i can duplicate these searches using the terms MANUSCRIPT H and PHOTOGRAPH H to pull up Hawai‘i-specific manuscript and photograph collections.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Volume 48, 2014 of Hawaiian Journal of History available online

http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/47248
Volume 48 (2014) of the Hawaiian Journal of History is now available online via eVols, the UH-M Library digital repository devoted to materials produced outside of the UH System. (The Library also maintains a separate digital repository, Scholarspace, for materials produced within the UH system.) Back issues through Volume 1 (1967) are also available in eVols, along with indexes.
The Hawaiian Journal of History is also indexed in the Hawaii-Pacific Journal Index. More information on the HJH can be found on its website.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hawaiian Historical Society Lecture, May 7

Yosihiko Sinoto: A Life of Research at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

Thursday, May 7, 7:30pm
Hale ʻŌhia
Kapiʻolani Community College

A Hawaiian Historical Society event in support of the upcoming publication, Curve of the Hook: An Archaeologist in Polynesia.