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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.


’Iolani School is CLOSED to the public.
This closure includes the ‘Iolani School Archives.
For more information see the school’s Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update page.

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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
Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership (SCIL)
2nd Floor
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  • contain unique and unpublished records, mainly primary sources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

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.

Information Requests

Please allow two weeks
for information requests.


The 'Iolani School Archives provides the following services:

  • Student Research Support
  • Faculty / Curriculum Support
  • Administrative Research Support
  • Research Guides
  • Online Resources

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 archival literacy, i.e. archival organization and use of archival tools, for more sustained use of materials.
  • Develop student 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.


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 contains materials, information, videos, images, etc., that may be considered sensitive or offensive according to today's standards. These items are indicative of societal attitudes at particular points in time. Such materials are retained and preserved in an effort to adequately represent the historical record.

History of the Archives Program

Material began to be collected by school librarians in the late 1970s. Dubbed Iolaniana, this lead 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 until the mid 1990s. Professional archivists took over stewardship in the Archivist position which was part-time until July 2018 when it became full-time.

After an observation process from 2014-2016, the archivist began restructuring the repository in 2016 to honor the tenets and theories of archival science. This resulted in the reunion of collection materials that had been separated as result of the imposed Dewey Decimal System, as well as assignment of the record group and manuscript collection structure. Due to remaining open during restructuring and maintaining the level of customer service our community is accustom to, this project is ongoing as of 2020. The restructuring is contributing to the discoverability and accessibility of collection materials.

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 experiences available to 'Iolani School faculty and students can be found in the Lessons & Activities tab of this guide.

The content management system ArchivesSpace was acquired in January 2019. Inputting of collection information is ongoing.

For More Information

For more information, schedule an appointment to conduct your research. Please note the Archives' open hours on the Welcome tab of this guide.

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