Karen Peacock Retires

On February 1, 2010, Dr. Karen Peacock officially retired as Curator of Hamilton Library’s Pacific Collection and Head of the Hawaiian & Pacific Collections department. Dr. Peacock's career with the UH Library spanned more than thirty years. She began in the Pacific Collection, where she briefly worked on federal grant funding before accepting a tenure-track position with the Social Sciences & Humanities reference department. She returned to the Pacific Collection in 1980 as a Pacific specialist and, in 1987, assumed curatorship of the collection upon the retirement of R. Renée Heyum.

Raised in the islands of Micronesia, Karen did all of her graduate work at UH, where she earned a Masters of Library Science, an MA in Pacific Studies, and a PhD in History. As a member of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies (CPIS) faculty, she was one of the few librarians at UH with full membership in an academic program. She also served as adjunct faculty for the University’s Library and Information Sciences program.

Karen has more than twenty publications to her credit, including Micronesian histories: an analytical bibliography and guide to interpretations (with Nicholas J. Goetzfridt), published by Greenwood Press in 2002; “Blue-light special: the Pacific Collection, Hamilton Library,” in Pacific places, Pacific histories: essays in honor of Robert C. Kiste (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2004); and several articles in the journal The Contemporary Pacific. She has served on the editorial boards for CPIS’ Pacific monograph series and the journal Contemporary Pacific; the BYU-Hawai‘i journal Pacific Studies; and the Micronesian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Beyond her work at the University, Karen also devoted a great deal of her time and energy to supporting the work of Pacific libraries and archives, developing and maintaining strong professional and personal ties with colleagues throughout the region. In recognition of this work, in 2006 she was honored by the Pacific Islands Association of Libraries and Archives with its Lifetime Achievement Award. At the time, she was only the second person to receive the award (the first being her father, Daniel J. Peacock). She has also previously been honored with an outstanding alumni award by the UH School of Library and Information Sciences (1995), the UH-Manoa Library’s Nina D.P. Horio Excellence in Librarianship Award (2008) and the LIS program’s Dr. Sarah K. Vann Professional Service Award (2008).

We wish Karen all the best as she enters this new phase of her life, and look forward to many more years of informally tapping her wisdom, wit and encouragement as we build upon the foundation she helped to set.


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