Types of Materials

The purpose of this bibliography is to provide a broad outline of some important sources that are available to students researching local history and culture. Most of these sources are available in the Hawaiian Collection of Hamilton Library; we have provided a short listing of other archives, libraries and collections which are accessible to the general public. The bibliography is neither exhaustive nor is it comprehensive. It is idiosyncratic in that it reflects particular topical and thematic interests and offers a range of materials that reflect some particular ways of conducting research. Some annotation has been provided in an effort to contextualize certain sources or types of materials.

Over Honolulu

Conspicuous by their absence in this bibliography are, most notably: Hawai'i Creole English or pidgin, tourism, neighbor islands, local humor, labor, politics, Statehood, Pearl Harbor and World War II. Many of these topics are over-represented in Hawai'i history. Others are under-researched to the point of neglect. Local humor, for example, has had little critical study utilizing contemporary theories of popular culture. This is not surprising given the general neglect of popular culture critique in Hawai'i. The neighbor islands remain under-studied or at least ignored in some disciplines like history and sociology, largely because the research base in Hawai'i is located on O'ahu. Urban politics and economics and social movements dominate the historical narrative so thoroughly that research on neighbor island history is largely confined to historical societies and museums on the neighbor islands.

Street cars, Fort and King streets

Few students in our introductory courses have arrived with awareness of the various archival collections on campus and off, and many have not been provided with an introduction to the concept of primary and secondary resource materials. Even more surprising, a majority of students have had very limited experience with the libraries on campus beyond a few visits to the stacks or a quick consultation with an encyclopedia. Although the majority are avid video viewers and CD listeners, they are often unaware of the Wong Audiovisual Center and have not been introduced to the value of bibliographical works nor visited the newspaper and periodical room. What we have learned, however, is that many students often begin with searches on the Web and hope to find everything they need through the computer. However, once students begin investigating primary source materials, they often become fascinated with what they find. Although these encounters with the past are not unmediated experiences for them, students often characterize them as exciting, as if they have apprehended real history for the first time.