The Internet has become one of the major venues for the sharing of
culture and knowledge. A growing body of primary source material is being created digitally and
distributed on the web. Yet because of the Internet’s fluid nature, often pages or entire sites can
change or disappear without leaving a trace. Researchers want to ensure that the content of a
website can be viewed repeatedly, at any given time. They need this digital material in order to
fully understand the cultural, economic, political and social activities of today and to analyze
changes in the future. Consequently, there is a growing awareness of the need to track and archive
web content, both as a record of our time and to recreate the web experience for future analyses.
With this in mind a team of University of Hawaii at Manoa librarians
have organized a Web Archiving Project. Supported by the ArchiveIt project through the
Internet Archive, this team has begun to build an
archive of websites, which will be available for our research community.
For the Hawaiian Collection at the University of Hawaii at Manoa
Library it is especially important to archive websites and blogs related to cultural, social, and
political movements in Hawaii, in particular the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. Self-determination
for Hawaiians has been a continuing theme for Hawaii, since its illegal takeover by the United
States government. The Hawaiian sovereignty movement is a constantly evolving one, with new
concepts, individuals and organizations regularly emerging — even as other concepts, individuals
and organizations run their course. What form actual sovereignty will ultimately take is still
undecided, but in the meantime, the Internet has become a major tool for various organizations
seeking to disseminate information on the movement.
The Hawaiian sovereignty movement is also a topic of great interest
within the academic community and the public at large, and is already a much-studied movement on
the University of Hawaii campus. In the future, the topic will continue to be researched by
students, faculty, international scholars, and other indigenous peoples of the world seeking to
regain their own sovereignty. Hawaiian sovereignty is not only a concern for the US; it is an
international question, and has been discussed and examined in international forums.
If you would like to submit requests to have us archive certain Pacific Island websites, please contact Eleanor Kleiber, Pacific Specialist Librarian, at firstname.lastname@example.org
During the last three decades of the 20th century, many Pacific island
nations have gone through the process of decolonization. As such, they face multiple challenges when
it comes to preserving online material. Given the various instabilities that exist in the Pacific —
instability of internet connections and servers, instability of public financing (resulting in
governments reducing or phasing out printed products in favor of online versions), and instability
of governments themselves (resulting in the disappearance of online-only material that serves as the
only documentation of a specific government’s actions) — the archiving of Pacific-based Internet
content is not only of value to researchers, but serves as a means of maintaining community memory.