THE HAWAIIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY was organized in January 1892 by a group of prominent Honolulu citizens dedicated to preserving historical materials relating to Hawai‘i and to publishing scholarly research on Hawaiian history. In subsequent years the Society’s interests broadened to include the Pacific region and Hawai‘i’s role within it. Generous donations from families of the founders, including books, pamphlets, newspapers, and documents, formed the base of the library collection.
From 1892 to 1912 the library was housed by cooperative agreement with the Honolulu Library and Reading Room Association, which had many members in common. Then, when the latter organization was superseded by the Carnegie-endowed Library of Hawaii, the Historical Society’s collection was moved to the new library building. Today the library is in a building completed in 1950 to house the collections of the Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society, the Hawaiian Historical Society, and the Hawaiian Evangelical Association Archives. It is located on the grounds of the Mission Houses Museum, close to historic Kawaiaha‘o Church and Honolulu’s Civic Center.
Over the years the Society has cooperated with the Bishop Museum, Hawai‘i State Archives, Honolulu Academy of Arts, University of Hawai‘i, and the Library of Hawai‘i (now the Hawai‘i State Library) in collecting and preserving historical materials and in making them available to students and scholars. Since 1950 a close relationship has existed between the Hawaiian Historical Society and the Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society as their two libraries share the same building at 560 Kawaiahao Street. The complementary nature of their holdings has been of great service to researchers over the years.
The Hawaiian Historical Society is a private, non-profit organization. Funds for the support of its library and publications program are derived from dues and contributions from the Society’s members, supplemented by grants for special projects, and by the income from a modest endowment.
Members receive The Hawaiian Journal of History; the newsletter, Na Mea Kahiko; and the Annual Report reviewing Society activities. Members are invited to the Society’s quarterly membership meetings and programs on Hawaiian history and are welcome to use the Society’s research library of Hawaiian and Pacific history, located at 560 Kawaiahao Street, Honolulu. Members are also entitled to discounts on publications sold by the Society.
Membership is open in a variety of categories to both individuals and institutions.
- Educational Institution $40
- Student (full-time) $20
- Senior Citizen (65+) $30
- Regular (individual) $40
- Contributing $50
- Sponsor $100
- Associate* $250
- Friend* $500
Life Memberships (one-time payment)
- Partner $1,000
- Benefactor $2,500
- Patron $5,000
- Founder $10,000
*Consecutive annual donations in the Associate and Friend categories are credited toward a Life Membership.
Prospective members can join the Society by e-mail or by telephone using a credit card or by regular mail using a check or credit card. If using a credit card, please furnish your name as it appears on the card, the card number, and the expiration date.
For further information about membership and the Society’s activities, contact Lydy Ann Santos-Bear (email@example.com).