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Navigating Papakilo Database

Navigating Papakilo Database

Aloha nui kākou! Eia nō ka pukana ʻelua o Wiliau. 

As we mentioned in our pukana mua (first blog entry), on July 19th, 2021 the fourth installment of the Papakilo Database Webinar series was held, celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Papakilo Database. Kale Hannahs, Digital Archivist for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), began the webinar by giving a brief overview of the history and launch of the database. 

The database was launched on April 4th, 2011 with 13 collections and around 500,000 total records, and in 10 years has grown to contain 70 total collections with over 1.1 million total records. A large portion of those records are digital scans of Nūpepa Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Language Newspapers) dating as far back as 1834.

Kauʻi Sai-Dudoit and Puakea Nogelmeier, Programs Director and Executive Director of Awaiaulu, were invited to share about the collections of Newspaper records that can be found on Papakilo Database. They broke down the timeline of Nūpepa Hawaiʻi and the history of literacy in Hawaiʻi, as well as how it influenced society during that time. If you are interested in watching the full webinar, this link will take you to OHA's Facebook page, where the webinar is saved as a past Live. There, you can also find the other Webinars in the series that speak on the other features and portions of the Papakilo Database as a whole. 

For those who are unfamiliar with Papakilo Database and its uses to the general public, we wanted to answer some FAQ's that we have come across in our own research and navigating of the site. 

What kind of resources can be found within the database?

You can find various Hawaiian Language newspaper, genealogy, and land records. The database contains a multitude of word-searchable records surrounding a number of different topics.

Who can utilize the database?

Anyone! The database is open to the public and all of the different collections are available for the community to search through. 

Do you have to know Hawaiian in order to use the database?

Many of the records within the database are in Hawaiian so a basic understanding of the language would definitely help in terms of reading the material that you find in your searches.

How do you navigate the database?

You can search by location using the interactive map, by collection, by genealogy to find marriage, divorce, death, and citizenship records, and by newspaper to find specific articles.

Why should we use the database?

The database has such a wide range of records and resources surrounding all aspects of Hawaiian History; from our individual family histories to our collective history as a lāhui. If you are interested in conducting your own research on your family or to learn more about Hawaiian History, the primary resources available within the Papakilo Database are valuable tools to do so. 

We, at Native Books recognize that books are only one form of knowledge exchange. With this resource review series, we hope to continue sharing about these other physical and virtual resources, enabling the community to conduct their own research, regardless on enrollment in conventional forms of education. 

Subscribe to our nūleka and follow our Instagram and Facebook to keep up with future posts. 

me ka haʻahaʻa,

Native Books ʻOhana

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