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University Archives & Special Collections

Research Collections Policies About the Archives

How Do I Find...

Information on how to find resources in the University Archives and Special Collections.

  • Click on the “Research” link on this website, and scroll to the section entitled “Reading Room Rules and Procedures.
  • Use the J.F. Smith Library online catalog to find books and periodicals held in Archives and Special Collections. Click on “BYU-Hawaii Catalog Only” on the left after searching if you want to limit to printed materials.
  • City Directories – Search for “Polk City Directory” in the online catalog to find copies of this important research tool. The Pacific Islands Research Room has copies from 1935 to 2000.
  • The catalog also has more than 1,500 e-books on Hawaii, for example. E-books can only be accessed by current students and employees of BYU-Hawaii.
  • There are nearly 1,500 cultural artifacts in the BYU-Hawaii Archives and Special Collections, mostly from Hawaii and the Pacific region. Several hundred of these artifacts are on display in the Pacific Islands Research Room in the JFS Library, and in various display cases, as described under the “About the Archives” link. Other artifacts can be searched for using our in-house finding aid.
  • We are putting photographs and background information about these artifacts on our website. These collections are currently accessible:
  • Millions of dissertations and theses from around the world can be searched for and read online at ProQuest’s Dissertations and Theses Global. Full text coverage runs from 1743 to present. This resource can only be accessed by students and staff of BYU-Hawaii.
  • The BYU-Hawaii Archives and Special Collections have some publications on genealogy, most of which are housed in the Pacific Islands Research Room. These items can be found using the J.F. Smith Library online catalog.
  • The Archives themselves have very little genealogical information. We recommend you contact the Laie Hawaii Family History Center.
  • Issues of the school newspaper Ke Alakaʻi between 1955 and 2008 have been digitized and should be available on this website in the near future.
  • Our collections include more than 100 diaries and journals kept by early missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific between 1825 and 1963. Many of the items are photocopies or typescripts of the originals. We hope to provide a complete listing of missionary diaries here in the near future.
  • You can use the J.F. Smith Library online catalog to search for a particular missionary, although not all of our holdings are in the catalog.
  • Diaries from more than 200 early missionaries serving around the world can be viewed at the Missionary Diaries database at BYU.
  • Another excellent resource is the 1830-1930 Missionary Database, managed by the Church History Department of the Church.
  • Clinton Kanahele conducted 20 interviews with kupuna in Hawaiian in 1970. The audio files and transcripts (in Hawaiian and English) are located here.
  • Ken Baldridge and William Kauaiwiulaokalani Wallace III and their successors conducted over 400 interviews with people from Hawaii and the Pacific region between 1971 and 2004. Transcripts from those interviews are available here.
  • The records of the Filipino plantation workers between 1906 and 1949 has been digitized and can be accessed here. This information has also been uploaded to FamilySearch.org
  • It is our understanding that the Chinese and Japanese plantation worker records are housed at the Bishop Museum Library.
  • Nearly 4,000 videos and films are housed in our Archives, in a wide variety of formats. All of the 8 mm and 16 mm films to which the university owns copyright and more than 500 videos in VHS format have been digitized. We are developing a system to enable this video content to be viewed from within the JFS Library.
  • A majority of the videos in our collection are in formats for which we have no equipment to play them on. You can request that a particular video be digitized, although we might ask that you contribute to the costs of having third-party vendors convert that content.
  • Videos can be best searched for using our in-house finding aid.
  • All issues of Na Hoa Pono have been digitized and can be viewed here. It was published 1956-1971, 1976-1978, and 1983-1986.