Dr. Jack A. Tobin (1920-2010) first went to the Marshall Islands 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, and the first 225 photos in this online collection derive from Dr. Tobin's time there. Later in 1950, Tobin was hired as an anthropological field consultant by the Civil Administration Unit of Naval Operations. Dr. Tobin extensively documented his time in Micronesia, both in written and photographic form. The photos in this collection date from 1950 through 1985, with the majority taken between 1950 and 1972. These images include not only the Marshalls, but also various atolls and islands throughout what was then the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. In addition to his own photographs, Dr. Tobin also amassed a large collection of military images, most of which deal with issues surrounding nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands.
The United States conducted more than eighty nuclear weapons tests on and around Bikini and Enewetak Atolls between 1946 and 1958. The slides in this collection derive from the anthropological fieldwork of Dr. Leonard “Len” Mason and Dr. Robert Kiste, both of whom served as longtime faculty members at the University of Hawaii-Manoa prior to their retirement. The early images in this collection document the lives of Bikinians after they were relocated first to Rongerik Atoll in 1946 and later to Kwajalein (1948), Kili and Jaluit (1949). These early photos were all taken by Len Mason, who returned in 1957 to do further work on Kili and Jaluit.
The images contained in this online collection are digital reproductions of materials in several distinct art and photograph collections, covering a range of geographic regions and time periods. Taken as a whole, these collections document many facets of life in the Pacific during World War II, from the brutal and the tragic to the mundane.
Nearly 6,500 images. The majority are from the Solomon Islands, but collection also includes images from throughout the Pacific, including the Cook Islands, Fiji, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. Photos date from the 1930s through 1990s.