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University Archives & Special Collections

Research Collections About the Archives
  • The BYU-Hawaii campus is closed to the public.
  • The Archives are taking patron requests only via email and phone call. We are closed to all walk-in patrons. The Reading Room is not available for patron use at this time.
    • Email requests should be sent to archives@byuh.edu.
    • Phone requests can be made to 808-675-3868.
  • We reserve the right to not accept a particular research request.
    • Your request needs to be simple, and not require excessive research time with our limited staffing. We can only devote up to 2 hours of staff time toward any given research project.
    • The end product must be a digital product that can be emailed to you.
    • If necessary, we can provide you with an abridged version of our finding aid so you can hopefully identify specifically what you are looking for.
  • Please plan on a significantly increased turn-around time for fulfilling all requests.

  • Thank you for your understanding. Archives around the world are dealing with these same challenging issues.

  • 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.
  • Libraries house and loan out published materials like books, audiovisual materials, and so on. Archives house one-of-a-kind materials relevant to the history of the supporting institution or the subject focus of the archives.
  • During the COVID-19 lockdown, we are our physical materials are not accessible. However, you are welcome to contact us via telephone (808-675-3868) or email (archives@byuh.edu). Our regular hours are usually 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • We are in the Joseph F. Smith Library Building, which is building #24 on this campus map.. Enter the building and turn left. At the end of the hallway, turn right. Halfway down this second hallway, you will see a narrow staircase on your left. We are at the top of those stairs.
    Please note that we are not ADA-compliant. If you are unable to negotiate stairs, please contact us in advance, and we will make arrangements to work with you in an accessible location.
  • The best place to park is the “Main Parking Lot” just above building #26 on this campus map.. There is no charge for parking in this lot.
  • The JFS Libarary Catalog. will let you find many items that are housed in the Archives. After you perform your search, look in the Location field for “University Archives.” Most of our items are only findable using in our internal finding aid, which can only be used in our Reading Room.
  • In brief, materials relevant to the history of the Church College of Hawaii and Brigham Young University-Hawaii, as well as the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hawaii and the Pacific region in particular. For more details, click on the “Collections” link on the Archives webpage.
  • Unfortunately, we do not have staffing to conduct your research for you. Doing research in an archive can be time-consuming, so please plan ahead.
  • Archival research is not a “fast-food” type of experience. You should plan on a minimum of one hour, and you could spend many hours, depending on the nature of your research.
  • The Archives are open to the general public as well. Please bring a photo ID with you and be willing to be abide by the Reading Room Rules posted elsewhere.
  • Our Reading Room Rules will give you the specifics, but you may bring pencils, writing paper, and a laptop. All other materials will need to be stored in a locker which we provide free of charge.
  • No self-service copying is available. Most documents and photographs may be scanned and the digital file can be emailed to the patron at no charge. Please do not expect immediate delivery. Other items such as video or audio files may need to be copied onto media by the Academic Multimedia Lab, also known as the AML or “Copy Center.” In that event, you will need to work with the AML regarding costs and delivery times.
  • Our copyright policy is located under “Policies” on the Archives website. Briefly stated, you may use the materials for non-profit and educational purposes, such as personal research, teaching and private study. Any other use requires written permission.
  • Archives materials do not circulate.
  • We will retrieve the materials from you and make them available when you return on another day.
  • Please contact the University Librarian for permission to use Archival materials for any non-educational use.
  • Please read out Donation Policy under the Policies link on the Archives homepage.
  • We are not able to assess monetary value of materials.
  • Generally you should contact a professional service to do this. If you would be willing to donate the original to the Archives and if the materials fits our Collection Development Policy, we could make arrangements to provide you a digital copy.
  • Because they house unique, irreplaceable items in their collections, museums and archives do not allow materials to leave their collections, unless they loan them to another museum for a short-term display.