University of Hawaii at Manoa Library


Manuscripts Collection


The Manuscript Collections of the Archives & Manuscripts Department document the people, history, culture, and politics of Hawaii. These collections support scholarly research, teaching and public awareness, as well as promote an understanding of Hawaii's rich multicultural heritage. Several dozen manuscript collections, i.e., unpublished primary source materials not created by the parent institution of the University of Hawaii, have been accepted in the Archives over the years due to relevancy of content or significance of donor.

Major manuscript collections include:

The Hawaii War Records Depository (HWRD) Created by the Territorial Legislature in 1943, the HWRD is an extensive collection of personal accounts, correspondence, reports, photographs, scrapbooks, posters, maps, newspapers, clippings, phonograph discs and other materials that document life in Hawaii during World War II.

The Japanese American Veterans Collection (JAVC) Collections in the JAVC document the rich heritage of Hawaii's AJA veterans and their families. AJA veterans served with distinction in World War II as members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, Hawaii Territorial Guard, Varsity Victory Volunteers, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 1399th Engineers, and Military Intelligence Service.

The Hawaii Congressional Papers Collection This collection comprises the papers of Hawaii delegates to the US Congress from the time of statehood in 1959 to the present. Current holdings include the papers of Hiram Fong, Spark Matsunaga, Tom Gill , Pat Saiki and Ed Case; small collections of memorabilia from John Burns (Territorial Delegate), Oren Long and Patsy Mink are also housed with the collection.

The papers of the Democratic Party of Hawaii These comprise two record groups - a large collection of the statewide organization and one from the Oahu County organization - which document the party from the late 1950s to the late 20th century.

The Institute of Pacific Relations This international organization working for peaceful reconciliation between nations began in Honolulu, holding its first biennial conference in 1925. In the mid-1930s, the International Secretariat moved to New York City, but the Honolulu group remained active until the McCarthy Era in the 1950s.


The Manuscript Collection is reliant on gift donations for its continued growth. Collections offered to the Library are reviewed for appropriateness before acceptance. The focus to date has been on people or subjects of local interest. If appropriate, the specialists in the Hawaiian & Pacific collections are consulted to help determine the most suitable home for incoming materials.


Language: Primarily English.

Chronological: 20th and 21st centuries.

Geographic: Primarily Hawaii, U.S. Mainland, and the Pacific.

Date of Publication: Unpublished materials.

Types and Formats of Materials Collected: All formats, including but not limited to documents, scrapbooks, photographs, negatives, slides, filmstrips, audio recordings, video recordings, memorabilia (except firearms) and digital files may be accepted if appropriate. Non-proprietary digital formats are preferred.

Treatment: No limitations.


Manuscript materials are always unique. Acquisition, processing, storage, and use all require special policies and procedures. Preservation concerns, arrangement & description (processing), and creation of Finding Aids necessary to prepare materials for use by patrons are intensive; donation of funds along with the collections helps expedite the opening of manuscript collections to researchers.

Compiled by: Jan Zastrow
Date: June 2008

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