I spent Presidents’ Day weekend working. Luckily, I was “working” on the lovely island of Kaua‘i, attending (and helping to coordinate) the annual conference of the Association of Hawai‘i Archivists, which is a statewide network of archivists, librarians, and other information professionals. The conference is a great way for all of us to share what we’ve been doing over the past year. This year, our group was over 40 strong, including 10 members of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Society of American Archivists Student Chapter.
We started our Saturday at the Grove Farm Museum, where we got to check out Curator Moises Madayang’s large-format reproduction setup, which is primarily used for digitizing maps and architectural drawings. Using a series of mirrors and a process called cross-polarization, Moises can create images that are perfectly straight and glare-free.
After lunch we toured the Kaua‘i Historical Society’s archives and library, which are currently housed in the historic county building. Because the building is historic, archives staff aren’t allowed to take the “Mayor’s Office” sign off their door, which occasionally results in visits from some pretty confused patrons!
On Sunday morning, we headed out to the National Tropical Botanical Garden on the south shore, where we got a guided tour of the library and herbarium. Most impressive was the glass-enclosed rare book room, modeled after the one at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
After lunch on Sunday, we tried something new: a Pecha Kucha lightning-round session where we got to hear updates about AHA’s activities, the Army Cultural Resources Program, the photo digitization initiative at the Kamehameha Schools Archives, ‘Ulu‘ulu: The Henry Ku‘ualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawai‘i, and the Pacific Island Network of the National Park Service. I discussed Shangri La’s social media efforts and passed out our new social media flyer. (If you’re in the Honolulu area, please be on the lookout for it!)
Finally, the group split up to take self-guided walking tours of the garden “rooms” and the home of Robert and John Gregg Allerton, the garden’s creators.
It sometimes feels isolating to be in the middle of the ocean, so the conference was a nice reminder that the local archival community is supportive and strong. It was great to see the diversity of repositories, and to welcome so many students into the profession. (And it didn’t hurt that dinner was served at sunset, 50 feet from the beach!)
Many thanks to our gracious hosts!