OHA Papakilo Database

Alison Young
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April 13, 2011
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Last week the Office of Hawaiian Affairs announced its creation of the Papakilo Database, a digital library of significant historical and cultural information in Hawaii. More than three years in the making, this is the first source to integrate more than 225,000 records into a single digital resource. Papakilo collaborates several databases of land and government records, genealogy indexes and historic Hawaiian language newspapers into a single resource.

“The Papakilo Database will be the central repository of all Hawaiian knowledge,” says Clyde Namuo, OHA’s chief executive officer. “The information stored in the database is important to preserve the Hawaiian language, culture and history and lays the foundation for self-determination. This would not have been as robust as it is without the many community partnerships we have formed. We are extremely proud to be a part of this unique resource and extend our deepest gratitude to all those who made this possible.”

This database will save a lot of time for anyone wanting to access these valuable records. Seventy-one thousand records are from Kumu Pono Associates’ Mahele Aina Index, and approximately 53,000 records are from more than 45 different newspapers published in the Hawaiian language that were digitized and made searchable by Awaiaulu and Hoolaupai Hawaiian Newspaper Resources. In addition, records from the State Inventory of Historic Sites and the State Historic Preservation Department (SHPD) were integrated into Papakilo.

Here is a list of what the Papakilo Database currently includes:

* Environmental Assessments/Impact Statements from the 1970s and 1980s

* Hawaiian Genealogy Indexes: Includes marriage records (1826-1929), court records (1848-1915), probate and wills (1852-1916), and citizenship records (Naturalization 1844-1894, Denization 1846-1898, Passports 1845-1874)

* Hawaiian Newspapers: A collection of 48 newspapers published in the Hawaiian language from 1834 to 1937

* Hawaiian Place Names Collection: Compiled from the records of the Boundary Commission and The Board of Commissioners to Quiet Land Titles of the Kingdom of Hawaii

* Mahele Aina Index: A collection of land records from the Mahele (including the original registration of, and testimony for claims) indexed, and easily accessible

* State Inventory of Historic Places

* State Historic Preservation Department’s Index of Reports

* Various digitized reports and maps compiled by OHA

Others will be added later this year and in following years.

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Thankfully we don’t have to worry about this too much in Hawaii, but it’s useful if you’re travelling or have ohana near a nuclear site. It sells for $1.99 on the iTunes App Store and the Android Market.


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