Library Collection

The Hawaiian Historical Society library provides a research collection of printed and manuscript material for use by scholars, historians, history buffs, serious students, Society members, and others interested in the history of Hawai‘i and the Pacific Islands area. The library’s strength is on the history of Hawai‘i and the Pacific in the nineteenth century. It has fine collections of early voyages and travels, Hawaiian-language imprints, and newspapers published in Hawai‘i.

The book and pamphlet collection of more than 12,000 volumes and the manuscript collections of approximately 35 linear feet are cataloged by author, title, and subject according to the Dewey Decimal Classification system. Special library guides provide access to the newspaper, photograph, broadside, and map collections. The library materials are housed in a climate-controlled vault and protected by a security alarm system.

Consult the links below to explore various portions of our collections.

Library Reading Room

The Library Reading Room is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All library materials are available for research use in the Reading Room. The materials do not circulate. The Society’s librarian is available for reference and research assistance.

The library provides a photocopy service. All photocopying is done by the librarian. The charge is $1.00 for the first page and $.25 per page thereafter.

Microfilm and microfiche readers are available for patron use. Patrons can use their own typewriters, personal computers, or tape recorders if they are not disturbing to other library users.

Learn more about planning your visit to our library reading room.

Research via Email/Postal Mail (limited assistance available)

For researchers unable to visit the library, limited research assistance is available by e-mail or postal mail. See the fee schedule below for applicable charges for research assistance. Requests for assistance must be submitted by e-mail using the Research Service Request Form. See the form for additional information.

SERVICE HHS MEMBER FEE GENERAL PUBLIC FEE READY
Express $80/hour $100/hour 5 business days
Standard $30/hour* $40/hour 4 weeks
Nominal
15-minute search of card
catalog or other relevant
finding aid
No cost No cost 5 business days
*As a membership benefit, up to one hour of the Standard Fee for HHS Members will be waived per year.

Since its founding in 1892 the Hawaiian Historical Society has been committed to developing its collections relating to Hawai‘i’s heritage through donations as well as purchases. The contributions of friends and members of the Society are very important for fulfilling this responsibility. Photographs, manuscripts, maps, family and local histories, and other materials are welcome.

The acquisition priorities for the library are: accounts of early voyages and travels to Hawai‘i and the Pacific and biographies, histories, serials, pamphlets, photographs, and reference books such as indexes and bibliographies relating to the history of Hawai‘i and the Pacific.

For Further Information

Jennifer L. Higa
Executive Director
Hawaiian Historical Society
560 Kawaiahao Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Telephone (808) 537-6271
E-mail jhiga@hawaiianhistory.org