University of Hawaii at Manoa Library
[ Student Equity, Excellence, and Diversity ]Student Equity, Excellence, and Diversity

The Annexation Of Hawaii:
A Collection Of Documents On The World Wide Web

Final Report and Evaluation July, 2003

Martha Chantiny and Dore Minatodani, UHM Hamilton Library
Noenoe Silva, Assistant Professor, Political Science Department
Amount: $2,000.00

Continuation of Project
Survey Comments

Questions and comments:


In December 2001, a Diversity and Equity grant of $3,500.00 was received. The funds were awarded to digitize and provide electronic access via the world wide web to documents of primary importance to discussions of the role of the United States in the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893 and the legitimacy of the annexation of Hawai'i by the United States. While we were granted just half the amount of funds we requested, we were able to complete 65% of the project because of an additional 345 hours donated by 5 people involved in the project in various ways.

The web site created during this project,, has been publicly available (in "under construction" mode) since March 2002 [current site is:]. In November 2002, a follow-up Diversity and Equity grant of $2,000.00 was received to continue work on this project.

Description of Project

As the project progressed, it was expanded to include preparation of the scanned materials from the website for presentation in compact disk format. Recognizing the continuing demand for access to these documents, and understanding that not all members of the larger community have high-speed access to the internet, we proposed to copy the anti-annexation petitions of 1897 to compact disk. Since initiating the scanning of annexation-related documents in 2001, we have been contacted by two community groups who were also planning on digitizing the petitions. They were assured that the project's results would be available to the public and that we would be using the Bishop Museum Archives copy of the petitions, therefore both groups decided to halt their projects and rely upon our website. We planned to use DEI grant funds to complete the website, and if any funds remained, begin designing the interface and print support materials for the compact disk.

At the end of December 2002, A Hamilton Library Job Order for Student Assistant was placed with Student Employment:
Department: Desktop Network Services
Type of Fund, Special: SEED Grant
Supervision level: Works Independently
Supervises others: No
Number of positions available: 1
Hours per week: 10-19	Start Date: ASAP (START 1/2/02)
Schedule: FLEX: MON-SUN -9AM-8PM (2 HR BLOCKS)

No applications were received until mid-January (not surprisingly, just after the spring semester began). We hired a M.A. candidate (thesis stage) who started work on February 3rd.

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We received an award to cover approximately 180 hours of student assistance at $ 11.00 per hour. This was less than half of what we requested, as a result not quite as much work was accomplished as we would have wished. By June 2003, we hoped to be able to present the petitions and the Blount Report as completed, plus have the CD ready to go; the secondary priority was to complete the Organic Act debates cleanup and proofreading.

Approximately 500 pages of HTML and 500 pages in MSWord format of the Blount Report and 613 each of HTML, PDF and gif files of the Anti-annexation petitions were proofread, corrected and checked for working links (next, back, etc.). The process of proofreading and checking links is tedious at best, but necessary to make the site as useful as possible. In addition to the paid student, Kevin Roddy (now at Kapiolani Community College Library) continued to volunteer and proofread "his" portion of the Blount report.
An online survey on the main page has received 20 responses to date. Some are requests for reference assistance, but many indicate the type of use to which they are putting the site (see attached excerpts).

This project advanced the diversity goal of the Strategic Plan by addressing the need for greater accessibility to information, by encouraging dialog between individuals and groups, and by providing increased opportunity for scholarship and research in the area of Hawaiian studies. The project addressed a significant unmet need related to diversity by contributing to the recovery of a fuller Hawaiian history, in support of studies that provide alternatives to the dominant narratives used in the teaching of Hawaiian and U.S. history. These efforts are of great importance to the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. For students at the University of Hawai’i the discussion is both an academic one, debated in the classroom, and a personal question, discussed in the broader community, whether one is of Hawaiian descent or not. This project provides primary source material for use in addressing the diversity dimensions of national origin and race.

The project publicized via a feature article in the Honolulu Advertiser on May 26, 2003 and announcements (flyer1 [PDF] flyer2 [PDF]) distributed to Hawaiian studies and other classes and departments. 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. See also the online comments below.

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Final Expenditure Report

The MA student worked 224 hours on the project. Additional funding from the Hawai’i Council for the Humanities was also used to fund student assistant hours as well as Library G-funds. A graduate student paid from the Desktop Network Services, Hamilton Library student account also worked on proofreading and editing the petition HTML documents.

Continuation of Project

Final proofreading and link checking of the petitions will continue in order to produce a CD ROM (funded by HCH). 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.

Another public presentation, probably in late August at Leeward Community College will occur in order to further disseminate the results of this project.

During the course of the project, a free, web-based "group editing" tool called a "wiki" ( was discovered and a pilot implementation installed. One definition of a wiki is an "expandable hypertext system of interlinked Web pages that allows any user to edit any page […] good for collaborations, discussions, storing information" (see Research Libraries Group RLG Shelflife news item below). Eventually we hope to make it possible for people to connect to the web page, view the petition names in PDF format in the right side of a page, and enter the text of the name in the left side. The resulting data will need to be incorporated into the petition web pages, and then the names will be searchable. Use of the wiki will involve the community at large and utilize the power of individuals familiar with the Hawaiian language and the family names represented on the petition documents.

WIKI WATCH (ShelfLife, No. 101 April 10 2003)
A wiki -- just one of the emerging and disparate communication technologies that sail under the banner of "social software" -- is an expandable hypertext system of interlinked Web pages that allows any user to edit any page. Easy to learn and use, wikis are good for collaborations, discussions, storing information or just exchanging e-mails. While their popularity is currently overshadowed by blogs, David Mattison, access services archivist at the British Columbia Archives, predicts you'll be hearing a lot more about wikis in the future. There are plenty of applications in the library field, he says, "both behind the scenes where they are being used, and in public customer service areas where you could create a librarian-administered, self-serving knowledge bank." Among his suggestions: a readers' advisory or book-rating wiki, a suggestion box wiki, an FAQ wiki, a collaborative story created by children, or a guide to using the library wiki by friends and neighbors. The National Science Digital Library offers several, including, and Wikis also can be used to create a more flexible type of Web log, as in such "wiki-like" Web content management systems as Scoop [] and SnipSnap [].
(Information Today Apr 2003)

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Survey Comments

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

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