The Marjorie Grant Whiting papers came to the Archives in Hamilton Library at the University of Hawai'i in February 2004 as a gift from the Marjorie Grant Whiting (MGW) Center for Humanity, Arts and the Environment. Dr. Whiting performed some of her important research on cycads, a traditional food of the Chamorros of Guam, at the Lyon Arboretum of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
The papers came in fourteen standard record center boxes along with some additional photographic materials. As processing proceeds, the number of containers will change. Several files of research notes, for example, will be stored in smaller, 8 x 5 x 12 inch boxes; notebooks may be stored in other sized boxes. The final extent of the collection has not yet been determined as of Spring 2009.
Dr. Whiting performed research into the health affects of various foods in the diets of indigenous peoples in various areas throughout the world. She worked on projects dealing with several peoples of Africa. She worked extensively on the toxicity of cycads on the Chamorro people of Guam. She also worked among peoples of southeast Asia. The emerging fields of study related to indigenous/local knowledge in relation to nutrition and sustainability are primary areas of research supported by the MGW Center. Providing a record of the research materials produced by Dr. Whiting via this web site will support cultural, scientific and nutrition education. In addition to creating a standard inventory, biographical statement, and scope note of the collection in a finding aid, a project is currently underway to include full text scans of selected documents, including Whiting's bibliography Neurotoxicity of Cycads: An Annotated Bibliography for the Years 1829 - 1989 published in the journal Lyonia, the journal of the Lyon Arboretum.