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'Iolani School Archives: About

The ‘Iolani School Archives collects, organizes, preserves and provides access to historical records of ‘Iolani School.


The ‘Iolani School Archives collects, organizes, preserves and provides access to historical records of ‘Iolani School.

Information Requests

Please allow two weeks
for information requests.

                Content disclaimer


Wearing a mask, covering nose and mouth area, is required while on the 'Iolani School campus.
For more information see the school’s Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update page.

Normal Hours:
By appointment.
Mon., Tues, Thurs., Fri.
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Closed Wednesdays.
Hours may vary.
For an appointment, please email

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The Archivist reserves the right to restrict use of materials which are exceptionally fragile.

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'Iolani School Archives | 'Iolani School
SCIL (Sullivan Center) - 205
Next door to the Tsuzuki Group Library,
Upper School.

(808) 943-2336


What is an Archive?

Archives can refer to any of the following:

  • Records of enduring value created during the daily life and activities of an organization or person. Records can be in any format.
  • The program that administers and is responsible for historical records
  • The building or location that contains archives

How archives differ from libraries


  • contain unique and unpublished records, mainly primary sources
  • have materials that are arranged in the order in which they were created. As a result, items on the same topic may be in different collections.
  • are accessed using finding aids (tools that describe records e.g. lists, indexes, inventories), rather than by browsing the stacks
  • do not loan out their items (since these items are often unique and irreplaceable)


  • contain published materials e.g. books
  • have materials that are grouped by subject
  • are accessed through a catalog or by browsing shelves
  • allow items to be borrowed

Mission & Purpose

                 Iolani High School Class of 1918.

The ‘Iolani School Archives collects, organizes, preserves and provides access to historical records of ‘Iolani School, in order to make these collections available for research and educational purposes.

These documents, memorabilia, and other materials promote an understanding of and appreciation for the history of the school and the individuals who laid its foundations and nurtured its development.


A special, non-circulating collection of 'Iolani School materials are housed in the Archives including photographs, yearbooks, videos, and memorabilia. The Archivist works to collect, organize, preserve and provide access to these historical records. The educational program component strives to connect current 'Iolani K-12 students with historical events through supplemental experiences with primary sources. Use of the collection is available to faculty, staff, students, and the public by appointment.

Collection Highlights

Materials collected reflect the programs, policy, organization, functions, and other activities related to the daily operations of 'Iolani School. They include:

  • School publications – catalogues, The ‘Iolani School Bulletin (alumni magazine, started 1960), alumni directories, parent and faculty calendars, faculty handbooks, ‘Ohana newsletters
  • Student publications – Ka Mo‘olelo O ‘Iolani (yearbook, started 1924), Imua ‘Iolani (student newspaper, started 1923), Mane O Ke Ola (literary magazine)
  • Photographs, slides
  • Audio and video recordings
  • Artifacts
  • Oral histories
  • Scrapbooks
  • Programs and Invitations
  • ‘Iolani Authors (published works)
  • Special collections on Sun Yat-Sen, Father Bray, Harold Keables


Subject Files

Reference files, organized by subject, that cover a variety of ‘Iolani School related topics, and include articles, newspaper clippings, fliers, pamphlets, and other miscellaneous items.



For more information see the 'Iolani School Archives policy pages.

Teaching and Learning

The educational program component strives to connect current ‘Iolani K-12 students with historical events. This is done by integrating into curriculum based on archival holdings to provide supplemental experiences with primary sources. Examples include Lower School students "meeting" historical images, and Upper School students investigating facets of topics to draw inferences.

Goals and desired outcomes include:

  • Develop teaching and learning methods to improve visual literacy.
  • Develop teaching and learning methods to improve information literacy.
  • Develop teaching and learning methods to improve archival literacy, i.e. archival organization and use of archival tools, for more sustained use of materials.
  • Develop awareness of historic events and relevance to current events.
  • Develop interpretive, analytical, and evaluative skills.
  • Develop independent researchers who are prepared to implement skills in postsecondary education and beyond.

History & Progress of the Archives Program

Material began to be collected by school librarians in the late 1970s. Dubbed Iolaniana, this led to the establishment of an Iolaniana Room within the Upper School Library; then, over time, dedicated space as the 'Iolani School Archives. The collection was organized and managed part-time by librarians, using Dewey Decimal Classification in lieu of archival organization standards, until the mid-1990s.

In the mid-1990s, professional archivists took over stewardship in the part-time Archivist position. Due to the part-time hours of the position, scope of stewardship was limited; however, archivists were able to contribute invaluably by creating subject authority controls and partial inventories. Prior to 2014, this important work was the extent of collection description information. From 2010 until its elimination in 2018, there was also a half-time technician position who generated metadata to increase research access points. The Archivist position became full-time in July 2018; and, parity status with the Librarian position effective July 2022.

After an observation process of user needs and patterns from 2014-2016, the archivist began restructuring the repository in 2016 to honor the tenets and theories of archival science with a focus on the 'Iolani community's access needs. This resulted in the reunion of collection materials that had been separated as result of the imposed Dewey Decimal Classification system, as well as assignment of the record group and manuscript collection structure. These methods improve the preservation of provenance, original order, and context. The benefit to users is situational insight or insight to the collector in the creation of collections, lending itself to the value of context which is found in the aggregate.

Due to remaining open during restructuring, in order to maintain the level of customer service to which our community is accustom, and the Archivist being the sole staff member, this project is ongoing. The restructuring is contributing to the discoverability and accessibility of collection materials.

The content management system ArchivesSpace was acquired in January 2019 via a Lyrasis hosted instance. Inputting of collection holdings and creation of enhanced descriptions is ongoing. The resulting 'Iolani School Archives Catalog is available online.

The educational programming and curricular integration component also began in 2016. 'Iolani School students are in the unique position of having an archival repository on-campus, affording them the opportunity for early experiences in developing primary source and visual literacy using place-based materials that supplement existing curriculum. Examples of archival teaching and learning experiences available to 'Iolani School faculty and students can be found in the Lessons & Activities tab of this guide.

In addition, the Archivist is striving to create digital archives program capability and access. In January 2024 the repository acquired Preservica, a hosted digital preservation system. Inputting of collection media and metadata has begun.


About the Archivist


archival science - n. A systematic body of theory that supports the practice of identifying, acquiring, authenticating, preserving, and providing access to records of continuing value.

archive - n. a physical or digital collection of historical records.
v. To transfer records of continuing value to a repository and to preserve and manage those records.
adj. relating to archives and archival practice.

archives - pl. n. Records created or received by a person, family, or organization and preserved because of their continuing value.
pl. n. Non-record material selected, preserved, managed, presented, and used in the same manner as archives.
sing. n. an institution's or individual's entire preserved body of interrelated and interdependent records; a fonds.
sing. n. A collection of manuscript collections managed as a thematic unit and representing a collecting specialization of an archival repository.
sing. n. An organization that collects the records of individuals, families, or other organizations; a collecting archives.
sing. n. The division within an organization responsible for acquiring and maintaining the organization's records of continuing value; institutional archives.
sing. n. The buildings, or portion thereof housing records of continuing value.
sing. n. The professional discipline, practice, and study of administering such collections and organizations; archivy.
(sometimes capitalized to note reference to a particular archival organization) related to archives; archival.
(The records, the facility where they are stored; and the organization responsible for both.)

archivist - n. a professional with expertise in the management of records of enduring value.

artifact - n. A physical object that is made or modified by human culture.
n. A three-dimensional object held in an archives.
n. A library or archival resource that has value as a physical object in addition to its informational value.

archival material(s) - n. Records in any format retained for their continuing value -- also, in early use, as distinguished from manuscripts.

archival value - n. The ongoing usefulness or significance or records, based on the administrative, legal, fiscal, evidential, or historical information they contain, justifying their continued preservation.
Also: enduring value; continuing value.
[Not commercial.]

finding aid - n. A description that typically consists of contextual and structural information about an archival resource.


Source: Dictionary of Archives Terminology. Society of American Archivists, 2020.


The 'Iolani School Archives provides the following services:

Curation / Technical Services -

  • organizing / processing
  • description / metadata creation
  • data management consultation
  • preservation consultation
  • digital curation
  • repository management
    • collection development
    • monitoring environmental conditions
    • integrated pest management strategies

Public Services -

  • reference
  • instruction
  • curriculum support
  • research consultation
  • exhibitions
  • research guides
  • online resources
  • other 'Iolani community engagement and outreach


About the Archivist

Archivist's Daily Responsibilities

Daily responsibilities of the school's Archivist include:

  • answering detailed reference questions
  • primary source & information literacy instruction
  • physically processing collections
  • describing collections
  • creating metadata
  • digitizing materials
  • creating physical and online exhibits
  • ready reference and reading room services
  • paging materials
  • fulfilling AV use requests from researchers
  • acquiring collections
  • meeting with donors
  • historical research
and more.

About the Archivist

Keep In Mind...

Archives are "the non-current records of individuals, groups, institutions, and governments that contain information of enduring value."
(Society of American Archivists)

  • There are NOT records for everything.
  • Not all records are indexed.
  • Even if records do exist, they are NOT ALL available digitally.
  • Archival arrangement ensures preservation of content AND context:
    • Provenance- different origins means materials are kept separately, even if subject matter is the same.
    • Original Order- creator established order is maintained.
  • Archival research takes time. Materials are often described at the box or folder level, NOT the item level. Therefore, general information is maintained and specific information is for the researcher to explore and discover. Happy hunting!

Records Management vs. Archives

  • Records management
    • active records
    • institutional need
    • legal mandate: state, federal
  • Archives
    • inactive records
    • permanent retention
    • historical and/or institutional reasons

For More Information

For more information, schedule an appointment to conduct your research. Please note the Archives' open hours.

© The researcher assumes all responsibility for complying with Copyright and other Intellectual Property laws.