One of the important programs of the Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center is the collection of historical records from Lāna‘i — describing the land, resources, people and history of the island.
Lāna‘i Culture & Heritage Center maintains a growing collection of more than 40,000 items which help tell the story of Lāna‘i and the many people who have called the island home. The collections are still being catalogued with indices and finding aids being developed. In 2017-2019 The Hawai‘i State Legislature Grant-in-Aid program provided funding to engage in a major conservation program, including providing online access to many of our archival resources.
The collections include more than 432 linear feet of archived historical papers, photos, and maps dating as far back to 1878; 2,500 indigenous Hawaiian artifacts; 500 plantation tools and family memorabilia; 170 oral history recordings; and 3,000 digitized records dating back to 1828 in both English and the Hawaiian language. Many records and items in the collection (yet to be catalogued) exist nowhere else. Lāna‘i CHC’s paper collections are especially vulnerable to environmental conditions and require immediate rehabilitation. Many items were filed in highly acidic folders that cause discoloration, were stapled or otherwise secured with metal clips that rust and deteriorate the paper, or are adhering to one another as a result of glues used in envelopes and bindings. Ignoring this need would deprive present and future generations of exploring the history of Lāna‘i. Working with Archivist, Helen Wong Smith and community volunteers, preservation issues are being addressed under the GIA grant (Grant OCS-GIA-18-01).
Of particular interest to families from the plantation era of Lāna‘i some 18,000 “bango” (employee cards) dating from 1923 to 1946 have been indexed. These “bango” include in important family history and offer a glimpse into the life of those who came before us. Another important visual resource is the Aurelio Del Rosario Photo Collection, which contains nearly 10,000 photos dating from ca. 1938 to the 1960s. Volunteer Debbie de la Cruz has works for several years creating indices to these collections.
"Pine Parade" A monthly publication by employees of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company documents life and plantation work on Lānaʽi and at other HAPCo sites. Selections from the archive now available on-line (in chronological order, starting with the last available plublication) include the January, 1952 issue from the collection of Alfonsa Lopez, and 1948 issues from the collection of Natsuko Minami.
If you have copies of the Pine Parade publications, please consider donating them to the Lānaʽi Culture & Heritage Center. Please note some of the pages are damaged and not shown in their entirety.