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HIST288: Survey of Pacific Islands History: Archival & Manuscript Collections

Archives and Manuscripts: What's the difference?

In the world of Libraries and Archives, typically, "archival records" refer to a collection of material created by an institution, business or government agency, whereas manuscript collections and personal papers are those materials gathered or created by an individual or a related group of people (for instance a family, as opposed to the more formalized groups of people that produce archival records). Of course, "typically" is not "always": Sometimes in day-to-day speech (as well as in our library catalog) "archives" and "manuscripts" end up being used interchangeably to mean everything from one-of-a-kind documents produced either by individuals or organizations, to "grey literature," pre-publication drafts and other "unpublished stuff." It's also worth noting the difference between libraries and archives as institutions: Libraries typically (but not always) hold materials that were produced for broader public distribution (books, films, recordings, dissertations, grey literature, government documents and so forth). Archives typically (but not always) hold one-of-a-kind materials that were not originally produced for broad public distribution. There are many exceptions to these broad definitions, but ... it's a start!

eVols & Scholarspace

The  library's digital repositories, eVols and Scholarspace, include selected manuscripts and archival collections of both the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections. The difference between the two repositories is that Scholarspace holds material created by UH-Manoa faculty, staff or students, while eVols holds material that was produced outside of UH-Manoa. Most (but not quite all) of the Pacific Collections' available content of this type can be accessed by clicking here (for eVols) or clicking here (for Scholarspace).

Most (but not quite all) of the Hawaiian Collections' eVols content can be accessed by clicking here. (The Hawaiian Collection does not maintain a separate "Community" in Scholarspace, but there are several Hawaii-related communities in the repository that do include archival or manuscript content.)

The reason not quite everything can be found under each of the above links is that in some cases items have been posted in eVols as "monographs" or "serials" might also be considered manuscripts ... for instance, unpublished reports ("grey literature") produced by individuals, governmental agencies or non-governmental organizations (NGOs). For example, see From a Time of Starvation to a Time of Hope: The Relocation of Bikini Marshallese.

Pacific Manuscripts Bureau (PAMBU)

The Pacific Manuscripts Bureau (PAMBU) copies archives, manuscripts and rare printed material relating to the Pacific Islands. The aim of the Bureau is to help with long-term preservation of the documentary heritage of the Pacific Islands and to make it accessible. The Pacific Collection at UH-Manoa is a founding member of PAMBU, which was established more than 50 years ago. In early years, all PAMBU materials were distributed to members via microfilm; more recently, PAMBU has switched to digital distribution. In addition to the e-material available by clicking this link, UHM library also holds all older PAMBU materials that were produced on microfilm. The microfilm materials are all cataloged and findable via OneSearch. However, OneSearch does not currently search PAMBU's online collections.