“It’s like going into a worm hole and you- all of a sudden look up and it’s been four hours. But it’s really time well-spent.”
Stacy Naipo, a former graduate and the new archivist of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama, has spent countless hours sorting through and organizing (some of) the thousands of artifacts that make up her Alma Mater’s twenty-one year old archive.
While Stacy has seen it all, she has a few of her very own favorites, including journals that were written by Elanor Little Baker, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama’s Annual Reports, and the early editions of the school newspaper, “Ka Mōʻī”.
“Thereʻs a survey about mini skirts and whether the boys like it or not… They liked it!” she says.
Although a lot of the content comes from Kamehameha School’s timeline, the archive is growing with collections from the broader Hawaiʻi community too.
“The closest associations are The Offices of Hawaiian Affairs. We are speaking with Lunalilo Trust in possibly housing some of their items, and we also have the Polynesian Voyaging Society archives here!”
Getting people to contribute to their collection is not a problem at the Archives, for them the challenge is now about organizing things by genre, title and then by numbers so that they can easily be found in the future.
“That’s what archiving really is about: to know exactly where something is at any given moment.”
Luckily, the process is a little bit easier- thanks to the enormous help put in by the assistant archivist, Candace Lee and the handful of specialized volunteers.
“Right now we have four. One of our volunteers kind of stays with the photography collection and another one is a librarian and she can do conservation of paper, which is really important. Not many people can do that.”
But what many people can do is access the content within this archive because Stacy believes that it is valuable information for not only for the Kamehameha Schools ʻohana, but for everyone who is willing to take the time.
“There’s so much rich Hawaiian culture here. And I think we’re too quick to throw away what has passed. This age of technology goes very quickly. But to come into this room is to slow down time. And step back into the past.”
Take a step into the rich history of our Hawaiʻi by visiting their website. Ua lehulehu a manomano ka ʻikena a ka Hawaiʻi. Great and numerous is the knowledge of our Hawaiʻi.