University of Hawaii at Manoa Library
Hawai'i Council for the Humanities
Hawai'i Council for the Humanities

Final Report - The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Documents On The World Wide Web
submitted October 2002

RE Grant No.  C-L-02-C-007
Project Title: The Annexation of Hawai'i: A Collection of Documents on the World Wide Web
Project Primary Sponsor Name    Hamilton Library
Address    University of Hawai'i at Manoa
2550 McCarthy Mall
Honolulu, HI  96822
Phone    956-7205    fax   956-5968
Authorized Representative Name:    Diane Perushek
Title:    University Librarian

Project Director Name:    Martha Chantiny
Address   Hamilton Library Desktop Network Svcs
2550 McCarthy Mall
Honolulu, HI  96822
Phone  956-2473 (office)   fax   956-5968

Principal Humanities Scholar Name:    Noenoe Silva
Address   University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 2424 Maile Way Saunders Hall 640, Honolulu, HI  96822
Phone 956-6877

Public Understanding and Appreciation of the Humanities

The HCH provided grant support for this project because of its promise in furthering public understanding and appreciation of the humanities areas of knowledge or fields of study. The HCHC wants to know what humanities information and interpretive perspectives were provided to the audience and of any evidence that public understanding and appreciation of the humanities was furthered. What humanities information and interpretive perspective were provided to the audience?

The legitimacy of the annexation of Hawai'i by the United States has recently emerged as a significant area of inquiry in Hawaiian studies. In addition to the issue of the legality of the annexation, the question of the role of the United States in the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893 is being reexamined by historians and included in Hawaiian studies curricula. This project provided broader and improved access to documents of primary importance to these discussions - the Blount Report, the Hawaiian anti-annexation petitions of 1897 and the following documents in both Hawaiian and English: Queen Lili'uokalani's protest of the 1897 proposed treaty of annexation, the (Hawaiian) Citizens' Committee protest of the same, and the joint resolution of the Hui Aloha 'āina and the Hui Kālai'āina protesting annexation after the passage of the Newlands Resolution, and the Congressional debates on the Organic Act of Hawai'i, 1899-1900. The project's presentation provided a demonstration of the web accessibility to these documents and a discussion of the increased opportunity for scholarship and research this access enables. The project's humanities scholar Dr. Noenoe Silva discussed specific aspects of her research which drew from the documents that were digitized, and emphasized the importance of the use of Hawaiian language materials in historical research on Hawai'i. Kevin Roddy discussed the history of the availability of the Blount Report to researchers, and demonstrated specific examples of how the project's website improved access to the project's documents' content. Together, these discussions demonstrated how use of the project's documents contribute to the recovery of a fuller Hawaiian history and support of studies that provide alternatives to the dominant narratives used in the teaching of Hawaiian and U.S. history.

What evidence is there that public understanding and appreciation of the humanities were furthered? Provide specific examples of audience comments and reactions in support of your conclusions and whether this project has generated continuing interest in humanities programs or involving humanities scholars and their perspectives in public dialogue.

This project was undertaken in response to demand for improved access to two of the documents described above, the Blount Report and the anti-annexation petitions. The comments submitted through the project's website indicate that we were successful in fulfilling this demand, that the website is furthering understanding of historical events in Hawai'i, and that the additional documents are opening new avenues of inquiry for users. The comments show particular interest from those working in the field of history. In addition, we also received two requests for additional documents to be added to the website, and requests for the project's presentation to be taken to the neighbor islands.


From: [] Monday, October 21, 2002 
type of user: University student
Reasons for use: I am gathering information for an 8-10 page paper on Hawaii sovereignty.
Problems: I don't know exactly what to do my topic on, so it is hard to narrow
down what information I need.
Comments: The original documents are very impressive and the website is very
well organized.
From: [] Sunday, October 27, 2002 
type of user: Hawaiian language student
Reasons for use: Genealogy research, as well as gaining cultural historical knowledge.
Comments: Mahalo nui, for making this available online.  I'm in N. California
and resources such as this are extremely difficult to come by.  Always have to
fly home to dig up documents and records of this type of historical nature.  I
would much rather spend my time back home visiting w/ my 'ohana.
From: [> Sunday, January 12, 2003 
type of user: University student
Reasons for use: I am writing a research paper for my American history course
at Sonoma State University.
Problems: This site is awesome.
From: [] Wednesday, March 12, 2003
type of user: Researcher
Reasons for use: National History Day Project
Comments: It's a nice site!
From: [> Saturday, May 17, 2003 
type of user: University student
Reasons for use: Needed to refer to the Blount report and Queen Liliuokalani's
letters of protest.
Comments: Very useful site.
From: [] Monday, May 26, 2003
type of user: Other
Reasons for use: Personal use; Researching family;
Comments: Is there a copy of the annexation-petition documents where someone
has typed up all the names? I really appreciate your work in making this
available on the internet, I have been trying to see a copy of this very
important document for a long time! Mahalo nui loa!
From: [] Monday, May 26, 2003 
type of user: Other
Reasons for use: Historical interest. Want to form an opinion based on facts 
rather than emotional views expressed by protagonists; native Hawaiians, 
mainland U.S. citizens, foreigners, descendents of early traders and missionaries.
From: [] Monday, May 26, 2003
type of user: Hawaiian language student
Reasons for use: To learn more about the historical pretenses and newly
opened/available information that defines and develops the overthrow of the
Hawaiian Monarchy, so that I may learn for myself what has happened in my homeland.
Problems: Did not know where to look for this type of information in the past,
I am glad that it is now available to the general public, so that we can make
ourselves an informed opinion on the very controversial subject that to this
day divides the Hawaiian Nation.
From: [] Tuesday, May 27, 2003
type of user: Other
Reasons for use: I am writer and the information, especially the Blount
Report, is critical to my understanding of unfortunate (to say the least)
events in Hawaii's history.
Comments: Thank you very much for the time and effort the University spent in
the assembly of these valuable materials

Key Participants in the Project

List name(s), discipline(s) for humanities scholars or areas of expertise for resource persons and institutional affiliations for key persons involved in public presentations, humanities handouts or guides, and any interpretive exhibit or audio-visual product developed with HCH funds.
1. Humanities Scholars
Name                                  Discipline            Institutional Affiliation
Noenoe K. Silva, Assistant Professor   Political Science     University of Hawai'i Mānoa
                                    and Hawaiian Language    University of Hawai'i Mānoa
Kevin Roddy, Librarian                 Linguistics           Kapi'olani Community College

2. Resource Persons
Name                            Area of Expertise         Institutional Affiliation
Martha Chantiny, Librarian       Information Technology    Hamilton Library, Univ. of Hawai'i Mānoa
Dore Minatodani, Librarian       Hawaiian Reference        Hamilton Library, Univ. of Hawai'i Mānoa

Public Presentations--Numbers, Locations, Audiences

#1 - Hamilton Library, Univ. of Hawai'i at Mānoa, 30
#2 - Leeward Community College, Wai'anae campus, ##

Project Administration and Management

1. Preparation and coordination activities
The project can be divided into three parts: 1) Continuation of the ongoing digitizing required identification and hiring of student workers. 2) Creation of the CD-ROM required delegation and coordination of work for: designing specifications for and selecting manufacturer of CD-ROM, preparation of electronic files to be transferred to CD-ROM, preparation of support materials to be packaged with CD-ROM. 3) Public presentations required coordinating schedules and publicizing event.

2. Publicity and other audience building activities
The project was publicized via a feature article in the Honolulu Advertiser on May 26, 2003, flyers distributed to Hawaiian studies and other classes and departments, and e-mail to listserv list (see attached). The publicity efforts were effective in bringing in 30 people to the May presentation, including individuals from OHA (2), Legislative Reference Bureau (2), Hawaii Council for the Humanities (1) and 12 students. We also received several inquiries from people on Hawai'i island who would not be able to attend the O'ahu presentation regarding whether the project would involve neighbor island presentations. While our budget did not allow for this, it was an indication of some degree of success that the project did generate interest from the broader public, and not just from UH Manoa.

3. On-going and final evaluation activities.
Final proofreading and link checking of the petitions will continue in order to produce a CD ROM. Combined PDF files of petitions grouped by gender and island need to be completed. Then the web site can be duplicated and the links modified so the files on the CD will run "self-contained" within a standard browser. Online comments are encouraged by a link "Please fill out a Survey" on each contents page.

4. Include any suggestions that may be helpful to other projects and their directors
Because the existing web project already offered what we considered to be content that strongly supported humanities-related research and scholarship (e.g. our initial predictions and feedback from the site indicated that the core content was being used in support of historical, genealogical and language research, and an essay written by the humanities scholar provided context for portions of the content), we focused our planning and assessment of how our project would fulfill HCH's goals on the public presentations and the CD-ROM product. Our recommendation would be that for projects that continue work on a product, that the planning process might account for an assessment of the existing project product, to ensure that the whole final product consistently provides humanities context. Additional comments regarding the value of humanities programs for the public and recommendations to the HCH.

The public presentations, which we might not have made time to do if not for the HCH grant, allowed us to more firmly connect with a broader audience than we would otherwise have been able to do. This turned out to be an important component of our project.