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Lānaʻi Survey Collection

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Lāna‘i CHC contracted certified archivist Helen Wong Smith to conduct activities in conservation and collection arrangement. She engaged 30 community members in various workshops through the grant period and developed the best management practices policy for existing collections and new accessions.


Several community presentations were also offered to Lāna‘i residents, sharing preservation methods for their own family collections. Pamela Pili Alconcel, a community member and founding board member, participated in a weeklong workshop offered by the Western Archives Institute in archival skills.

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Working with Lāna‘i CHC staff and volunteers, Helen Smith conducted a survey of the archival collection. As a result of the survey, collection categories were updated, and new captions were established to facilitate identification and retrieval of records. The categories (in alphabetical order) include:


Reports and related material of surveys.


Material created by or for government entities, including schools, agencies, and review boards.


1922- 1992

Materials of companies engaged in large-scale agriculture activities (e.g. Hawaiian Pineapple Company, Ltd. and Castle and Cooke). Includes formats, photoprints, maps, artifacts not belonging to private individuals.


All formats of expression, two- and three-dimensional works. Includes representation of Native Hawaiian artifacts made in modern times.


Artifacts resulting from Native Hawaiian culture and activities. 

Pūlama Lāna‘i


Records generated by this company and activities they are responsible for; also includes historical manuscripts and items of previous land owners transferred with sale of the island.

Castle & Cooke


Records generated by this company and activities they were responsible for.


Items on loan to Lāna‘i CHC. 


Books, newspapers, newsletters, pamphlets not associated with a specific group or entity.


Includes community and church records and artifacts 


Although manuscript literally means handwritten, “manuscript collection” is often used to include collections of mixed media in which unpublished materials predominate. 



Records and artifacts from or covering these years. Includes material from/on Walter Murray Gibson, Gay Family, Irwin, Lanai Ranch Company, Munro, and Baldwin.

During the grant period, additional archival storage space was given to the Lāna‘i CHC by Pūlama Lāna‘i, and a new H-Vac/Climate Control System was installed in the archives. As a result of the addition of space and updating of collection categories, the entire collection of Lāna‘i CHC was reorganized, and many objects were rehoused in archival-safe storage materials.


New accessions also continued to be added to collection during the grant period, and include, but are not limited to:


  • 22 boxes from the 1987-1988 Kalaehī UH Archaeological Field School Studies

  • 20 boxes from the 1989-1991 Hulopoʻe Field Archaeological Inventory Surveys

  • 7 boxes from the Kō‘ele and Lāna‘i Rural District Field Archaeological Inventory Surveys

  • 3,000+ historic photos have been scanned and accession/call numbers assigned

  • 190 Plantation Land Survey Books covering the 1920s to 1950s

  • Indigenous artifacts 

  • Plantation family memorabilia.

Following much work and review, PastPerfect Collections Software was purchased to establish a uniform indices of collections. More than 22,532 records were input to the new museum software. Development of the collections indices is ongoing. 


Examples of the kinds of records and resources housed in the Lāna‘i CHC collections, may be found in the temporary indexes (searchable PDF documents) — covering more than 30,200 entries — available through the links.


Please remember that the indices linked below are version 1 drafts. They are incomplete, need to be edited, and will change as collection work continues.

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