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'Iolani School Archives: Research

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.


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


                Content disclaimer

What to Expect When Visiting the Archives

Materials are non-circulating, so items must be used in the archives.

The archives stacks are restricted. This means that if you need a record, the archives staff will retrieve it for you.

Allow plenty of time when you visit, archival research is time consuming.

Keep track of the resources you use!
Note the collection, box number, and folder just-in-case you need to revisit or cite the item.

'Iolani School Archives
'Iolani School Archives, Honolulu, Hawai'i

Handling instructions for using archival materials.

In order to prolong the life of materials, please:

  • Do not bring food and beverages into the archives.
  • Be sure hands are clean and free of food and lotions.
  • Open folders or portfolios flat on the table. Handle each item separately and carefully to avoid tears and scratches.
  • Use pencils only. Keep pencils and note pads on the table surface and not on archival materials.
  • Keep materials in the original order as they were given.
  • Use paper strips provided to mark for copying.



Archivist Assistance with Research

The Archivist can help determine what records will help you with your research.

Students should come to the archives to do their own research.

Researchers may contact the archives with questions or research queries. The amount of time the Archivist can do research for you is limited; for in-depth queries please come into the archives to do research.

Information from the Society of American Archivists:

What’s an Archivist?
In the course of everyday life, individuals, organizations, and governments create and keep information about their activities. These records may be personal and unplanned—a photograph, a letter to a friend, notes toward a manuscript—or they may be official and widely shared—financial and legal documents, recordings of public speeches, medical files, and electronic records. These records, and the places in which they are kept, are called archives, and archivists are the professionals who assess, collect, organize, preserve, and provide access to these records.

The Work of Archivists
Archivists hold professional positions requiring adherence to national and international standards of practice and conduct in accordance with a professional code of ethics. The majority of professional archivists hold a baccalaureate degree, and many have one or more advanced degrees related to the profession...

Archivists and Other Professions
Archivists are sometimes confused with other closely related professionals, such as librarians, records managers, curators, and historians. This is not surprising, as many archivists share a location, materials, or goals with these professions. Although some work is related, distinct differences exist in the work of the archivist.

Librarians and Archivists:
Both professionals collect, preserve, and make accessible materials for research, but they differ significantly in the way they arrange, describe, and use the materials in their collections. Materials in archival collections are unique and often irreplaceable, whereas libraries can usually obtain new copies of worn-out or lost books.

Records Managers and Archivists:
The records manager controls vast quantities of institutional records, most of which are needed in the short term and will eventually be destroyed. The archivist is concerned with relatively small quantities of records deemed important enough to be retained for an extended period.

Museum Curators and Archivists:
Although their materials sometimes overlap, the museum curator collects, studies, and interprets mostly three-dimensional objects, while the archivist works primarily with paper, film, audio, and electronic records. Selections from an archives may be exhibited in a museum.

Historians and Archivists:
These two professions have a longstanding partnership. The archivist identifies, preserves, and makes records accessible for use; the historian uses archival records for research.

Archivists in the World
Archival records serve to strengthen collective memory and protect people’s rights, property, and identity. For example, historians and genealogists rely on archival sources to analyze past events and reconstruct family histories; businesses use the records to improve their public relations and promote new products; medical researchers utilize records to study patterns of diseases; Native Americans may use archival records to establish legal claims to land and privileges guaranteed by federal and state governments; and authors use archives to acquire a feel for the people and times about which they are writing. In short, archives benefit nearly everyone—even those who have not used them directly.


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

Information Requests

Please allow two weeks
for information requests.


Due to the irreplaceable and sometimes fragile condition of documents, all reproduction (photocopying, scanning, and use of cameras) is at the discretion of the Archivist.

Reproductions from the ‘Iolani School Archives are for research or personal use only. For any other use written permission must be obtained. The researcher assumes all responsibility for complying with copyright, libel and privacy laws.

See the Policies tab for more information.

Explore the Collections

'Iolani Login Required for Digital Objects

To view digital content from the catalog:

  • access via 'Iolani School issued iPad
  • or
  • via computer by
    1. log onto 'Iolani School email account
    2. open item record in additional tab of the same browser

Our catalog, description database, is a work-in-progress.
Records may be added or updated as a result of
further research or acquiring new collection items.  

Quick links - Recent Publications

'Iolani School Bulletin (school magazine)
Available through the 'Iolani School website:

Older editions of the Bulletin, beginning in 1960, are available in the 'Iolani School Archives.

Imua 'Iolani (student newspaper)
Available through the newspaper's website.

Older editions of Imua, beginning in the 1920s, are available in the 'Iolani School Archives.

Primary and Secondary Sources

A primary source is created by someone who experienced an event firsthand, usually at or near the time of that event.

Examples of primary sources:
letter; photograph.

A secondary source is created after an event by someone not present at the event. It uses other sources to get information.

Examples of secondary sources:
biography; journal article

Arrangement & Description

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.