Friday, June 25, 2010

Dr. Jack A. Tobin: 1920-2010

We regret to note the passing of Dr. Jack A. Tobin, a highly respected Pacific anthropologist who devoted his life's work to the Marshall Islands. Tobin first went to the Marshalls in 1950 as a student of Dr. Len Mason, to work on the Pacific Science Board's Coral Atoll Project (CAP) -- an initiative meant to study the needs of atoll dwellers with limited resources and growing populations. Arno Atoll was chosen as the first CAP research site. 

Later in 1950, Tobin was hired as an anthropological field consultant by the Civil Administration Unit of Naval Operations. During the Trust Territory Administration era, he served as the sole district anthropologist for the Marshall Islands, a position he held through 1957. Between 1967 and 1975, he served as community development adviser to the Marshall Islands. (The photo above shows Dr. Tobin in 1957, preparing to land on Ejit. It is taken from the Pacific Collection's online Trust Territory Archives Photo Collection.)

A few years back Dr. Tobin began donating his research materials to the Pacific Collection. Shortly before his passing last week, he transferred the remainder of these materials, including some twelve linear feet of manuscripts and an estimated 1,500 photos and 35mm slides. The manuscript collection is as yet unprocessed; in the meantime, the Pacific Collection has begun work digitizing Dr. Tobin's photos and slides, with the aim of making them available online later this year.

Dr. Robert Kiste, professor emeritus of anthropology at UH and a longtime friend of Tobin's, has written an obituary notice for the Pacific Islands Report. It can be viewed online at:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More Hawai'i Newspapers Online

As part of an ongoing project funded by several large National Endowment for the Humanities grants, Hawaiian Collection curator Joan Hori announced today that another round of 19th- and early-20th century Hawai'i newspapers has been added to the Library of Congress' open-access "Chronicling America" site, where they are now full-text searchable. The newspapers in this project are all English-language editions, and complement the ongoing work on The Ho'olapa'i: Hawaiian Nupepa Collection (a joint venture of Alu Like, Inc., Bishop Museum and UH-Hilo's Hale Kuamo'o) to digitize Hawaiian language newspapers. 
For more on the Library's participation in the Chronicling America project, click here. For more on researching in early Hawaii newspapers (both English and Hawaiian language) see also this previous blog entry. Below is the complete list of newspapers currently available on the Chronicling America site. For each newspaper listed, the dates immediately following the title indicate the overall publication period of the paper (question marks indicate an unclear final publication date). Dates that appear below the paper title indicate those that have been digitized as part of this project. The "Yes" that follows certain of the date ranges indicates that a historical essay on the newspaper (composed by UH Library staff) is also available online:

Austin's Hawaiian weekly. (Honolulu [Hawaii) 1899-190?
  1899-06-17   1900-05-12   Yes

The Daily bulletin. (Honolulu [Hawaii]) 1882-1895
  1882-02-01  1894-06-30

The daily herald. (Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands) 1886-1887
   1886-09-01  1887-07-30  Yes

Daily Honolulu press. (Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands) 1885-1886
   1885-09-01  1886-06-03  Yes

The Democrat. (Honolulu, T.H.) 1910-1910
  1910-10-25  1910-11-08  Yes

Evening bulletin. (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii) 1895-1912
  1895-05-16  1897-08-31

The Hawaiian gazette. (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii]) 1865-1918
   1877-03-07  1913-12-30  Yes

The Honolulu republican. (Honolulu, T.H.) 1900-1902
  1900-06-14  1902-01-08

The Honolulu times. (Honolulu [Hawaii) 1902-1911
  1902-10-01  1911-02-01  Yes

The Independent. (Honolulu, H.I.) 1895-1905
  1895-06-24  1905-10-24  Yes

The Independent. (Honolulu, H.I.) 1895-1895
  1895-05-01  1895-06-15  Yes

Saturday press. (Honolulu, H.I.) 1880-1885
  1880-09-04  1885-08-29  Yes

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Images from the UCSD Melanesian Archive online

The below email is quoted verbatim from a message recently circulated by Kathryn Creely, who is Melanesian Studies Librarian at the University of California-San Diego's Melanesian Studies Resource Center. To access the site, click on the link below or the photo at left. Questions or comments on the site should be sent directly to Kathryn at

 Nearly 6500 photographs, depicting Pacific Islands people and places, have been added to the digital library collections of the University of California, San Diego.  The newly-digitized photographs are drawn from the Melanesian Archive, housed in the Mandeville Special Collections Library.  Digitization and cataloging of the photographs was funded by the UCSD Libraries, with additional support from the Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance.  Although the photographs will eventually be added to several other repositories, including the Oceania Digital Library and the Online Archive of California, at present they are accessible only through the UCSD Libraries website at
Many of these photographs were taken in the Solomon Islands by anthropologists Roger Keesing (1935-1993) and Harold Scheffler (1932-  ).     Scheffler’s ethnographic work in the Solomons took place in 1958-1961 and 1967-1968.   The 1370 images digitized from the Scheffler collection depict the people,   cultures and landscapes of Choiseul, Rendova and nearby islands.  

Another 3700 of the images were scanned from materials created by Roger Keesing in the context of his long-term research work with the Kwaio people of Malaita between 1963 and 1990.  About 700 of the Keesing images are available only on a restricted basis, in response advice on cultural sensitivities provided by anthropologists Christine Jourdan and David Akin, in consultation with members of the Kwaio community.  Akin also wrote detailed descriptions of the photographs and identified many of the individuals pictured. 

The oldest photographs in this online collection are those taken by public health physician, Sylvester Maxwell Lambert (1882-1947).  Lambert worked in the Pacific Islands from 1919 until 1939, with funding from  the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Health Board.  His papers, including the photographs, were given to UCSD by his daughter, Sarah Davis, of Oakland, California. 

The Lambert images depict aspects of indigenous and colonial cultures of the Pacific Islands in the early twentieth century.  Lambert travelled widely in the Pacific while conducting health surveys and he took photographs in many locales, including Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.  Among the Solomon Islands images are those taken in the context of Lambert’s two visits (1930 and 1933) to Rennell and Bellona.  Other images of special note include many from 1919-1920 taken in the Gulf Province and in the Owen Stanley Range of Papua New Guinea, and images of the Tongan royal family taken in the 1920s and 30s.  Lambert’s involvement with medical research and health education in the Pacific is also well-documented in the collection and photographs.  

In addition to the images drawn from the Melanesian Archive, there are other Pacific photos accessible through the UCSD website, including many from the archives of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library. 

Enjoy!  We hope to add many more images from other collections in the Melanesian Archive over the coming years.

Kathy Creely

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

CPIS Occasional Papers online

In conjunction with the UH-M Library's Open Access initiatives, the Center for Pacific Islands Studies has digitized its Occasional Papers series (which was initially known as the Pacific Islands Studies Program Working Papers series). All of the digital content is freely available to the public via the Library's Scholarspace site. The Center has created a web-page with direct links to each of these publications; to access it, click here.

The Occasional Papers series joins the first twenty years' worth of Contemporary Pacific journals on the Scholarspace site. To view the entire set of online CPIS publications, click here.  

The UHM Library currently has two open access sites available to the public: Scholarspace houses material that is produced on the University of Hawaii campus; eVols houses material produced elsewhere, which the library has digitized as part of grant projects and digital library program initiatives. Both sites include a range of material that will be of interest to Hawaii and Pacific scholars. (For more information on the Library's work with Open Access and scholarly communication more generally, click here.)