Hawaii Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections

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This entry was originally written by Dwight A. Radford for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the Hawaii Family History Research series.
History of Hawaii
Hawaii Vital Records
Census Records for Hawaii
Background Sources for Hawaii
Hawaii Maps
Hawaii Land Records
Hawaii Probate Records
Hawaii Court Records
Hawaii Tax Records
Hawaii Cemetery Records
Hawaii Church Records
Hawaii Military Records
Hawaii Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Hawaii Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Hawaii Immigration
Ethnic Groups of Hawaii
Hawaii County Resources
Map of Hawaii


An excellent periodical published on Hawaii's history is The Hawaiian Journal of History, a scholarly journal published by the Hawaiian Historical Society in Honolulu. Between 1892 and 1940 the Hawaiian Historical Society published the Hawaiian Historical Society Papers, which are devoted to scholarly articles, genealogy, and early record sources. The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, publishes The Journal of Pacific History, which has printed many articles on Hawaii. The Institute for Polynesian Studies at Brigham Young University'Hawaii publishes Pacific Studies, which also contains articles and book reviews on Hawaii.


The Hawaiian Historical Society publishes Guide to Newspapers in Hawaii, 1834-2000 (Honolulu: Hawaiian Historical Society, 2000) which can be read online at its website (see Archives, Libraries, and Societies). The Hawaii State Archives has an index to many newspapers published in Hawaii from 1836 to 1950. This index includes the following: Advertiser, Star Bulletin, Polynesian, Hawaiian Gazette, and Friend. An index to marriages and deaths from English language newspapers in Hawaii (1836'1929) is also available at the archives.

During the history of Hawaii, many Hawaiian language newspapers were published. These newspapers were not only reflections of politics and culture but were primary instruments of movements and individuals. An indispensable guide to Hawaiian language newspapers is Esther K. Mookini's The Hawaiian Newspapers (Honolulu: Topgallant Publishing Co., 1974). This work will help in locating Hawaiian language newspapers and the dates they were published.

Native Hawaiian genealogies were published in Hawaiian language newspapers between 1834 and 1900 and are published in Hawaiian Genealogies: Extracted from Hawaiian Language Newspapers (Laie, Hawaii: Institute for Polynesian Studies, vol. 1, 1983; vol. 2, 1985) by Edith Kowelohea McKinzie with Ishmael W. Stagner II, editor.

Chinese newspapers can be helpful in reconstructing the Chinese experience in Hawaii. Unfortunately, many Chinese newspapers have not survived, and those that have were often organs for political groups, although vital material can be obtained from these newspapers. Chinese newspapers have been gathered and microfilmed by the University of Hawaii, Hamilton Library. The University of Hawaii'Sinclair Library also has several Chinese newspapers. Among these are the United Chinese Press, Hawaiian Chinese Journal, and the Hawaii Chinese Weekly.

The FHL has microfilm copies of many older Japanese newspapers in Hawaii. These include the Nippon Jiji (1896'1942) and Hawaii Hochi (also Times, 1912'42). These papers frequently published items on the arrival of immigrants as well as community affairs. The Bishop Museum and Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have a good collection of early Japanese newspapers. The Hamilton Library also has various early Korean and Filipino newspapers.


The Hawaiian Mission Children's Society Library has records of the nineteenth-century missionary families sent to Hawaii by the American Mission Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. This collection also has information on the early Hawaiian converts. The library is not open to the general public but will accommodate descendants. Fortunately, many of its records have been utilized in various publications over the years. One such publication is Descendants of New England Protestant Missionaries to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaiian Islands), 1820'1900: An Alphabetically Arranged Copy of Births, Marriages, and Deaths from the Records of the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society Library, Honolulu, Hawaii (Honolulu: Privately printed, Hawaiian State Regent, National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, 1984). For a more detailed listing of the holdings of this library, see 'The Hawaiian Mission Children's Society Library,' The Journal of Pacific History 16 (1981): 1-2.

The Hawaii State Archives has supplemented many sources for early Hawaiian research. Some collections have been gathered from outside Hawaii. Sources include the records for the British Consulate in Hawaii (1824'94); Admiralty and Foreign Office records in the Public Record Office, London (1824'75); and the portions of journals concerning Hawaii from Captain Cook's voyage. Other sources include a 'Biographical File,' which indexes the names of individuals whose names appear in both published and unpublished sources.

Several hundred Hawaiian and 'haole' genealogies have been compiled by Bruce Cartwright in the Cartwright Collection at the Hawaii State Archives. Voters records are also available at the state archives. These include the 'Great Register of Voters' (1887'88), which gives the name, age, place of birth, and occupation of the voter. This register is arranged by island and precinct. The 'Oath and Certificates' of persons registering as voters in 1894, arranged by island, is also available. In some cases they list age and birthplace. Registers from 1900 to about 1960 are presently being organized and microfilmed for availability through the FHL.

The Russian presence has been in Hawaii since the 1800s. Czarist Russian Consulates were in the U.S. port cities of Chicago, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle, as well as the office in Nome, Alaska. The Russian Consular Records, deposited at the National Archives in Suitland, Maryland, have been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah. This collection has been indexed by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Washington in Sallyann Amdur Sack and Susan Fishl Wynne's The Russian Consular Records Index and Catalog (New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1987). This valuable collection covers the period of 1849 to 1926, with the majority of documents dating from 1917 to 1926, and is on microfilm at the FHL and the National Archives.

The Hawaii Historical Society in Honolulu has a collection of telephone books from 1909 to 1973 and city directories from 1880 to 1973.