Thursday, March 24, 2016

Recent acquisitions: Twenty-four original photo cabinet card views of Tahiti

The Pacific Collection recently acquired a set of twenty-four cabinet card images of Tahiti, taken circa 1895 by an unidentified member of an American tourist group. The photographs include a range of subjects, some with captions, including landscapes, interiors and exteriors of buildings, and Tahitians. One image in particular stands out -- a man, woman and child in front of their home. On the back of the image is a hand-written caption: "Lawyer Goupil's residence, finest on the island." On the one hand, both the image and caption are somewhat unimpressive, but they hint at a more historic value: Auguste Goupil was a well-known lawyer in Tahiti. The image presumably shows Goupil, his wife and their daughter, Jeanne. Roughly a year after this photo was taken, Goupil hired Paul Gauguin to paint Jeanne, which resulted in one of Gauguin's more famous works, "Portrait of a Young Woman, Vaite (Jeanne) Goupil." A detail of the photograph and Gauguin's painting are pictured at right.
The Tahitian images are one of thirty-seven separate photo collections maintained by the Pacific Collection. To browse a list of these collections, visit the library's Voyager catalog, and in the basic search mode, select "Call number (DVD, CD, VHS, etc.)" from the list of search options, and then search for Photograph P. The Pacific Collection has also digitized roughly 16,000 images from it's physical holdings. All of these are available for viewing online via the UH-M Library's digital collections homepage.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Jack Tobin Papers

Pacific Collection librarian Eleanor Kleiber recently finished processing the Jack Tobin Papers, and they are now available for public use. Jack Adair Tobin, Ph.D. (June 15, 1920-June 18, 2010) was an anthropologist who worked in the Marshall Islands, beginning in 1950. This manuscript collection, which comprises roughly six linear feet of material and covers the bulk of Dr. Tobin's professional life, is extremely important in that it contains primary source documentation of numerous aspects of Marshallese life during a period of intense change.

In addition to the physical materials in the collection, nearly 2,000 photographs have also been digitized and are available online. A finding aid for the collection is also available online.

The Jack Tobin Collection is one of more than 60 Pacific manuscript collections -- because these collections are comprised primarily of unpublished material, they are an important tool when searching for primary source documentation. To view a browseable list of these collections, go to the library’s Voyager catalog, and in the basic search mode, select Call number (DVDs, CDs, VHS, etc.) from the list of “search by” options, and then search for MANUSCRIPT P. This search will bring up a list of all manuscripts held by the Pacific Collection. You can also search through our cataloged photograph collections by repeating the above steps using the search term PHOTOGRAPH P. (In both searches, do not include the period that follows the "P" in the above sentences.) Researchers interested in Hawai‘i can duplicate these searches using the terms MANUSCRIPT H and PHOTOGRAPH H to pull up Hawai‘i-specific manuscript and photograph collections.