1864 An Online Archives for Kawaiahaʻo Female Seminary — LAUNCHED

This is an independent blog and fledgling volunteer effort to create an online archives for the history of Kawaiaha’o Female Seminary.  Despite a school history that spans over 55 years (roughly 1864 to 1920), there is no curated archival repository for the Seminary– materials are scattered at institutions throughout Hawaiʻi and the continental US and remain largely uncatalogued. The Seminary’s official records have not been systematically collected or preserved.   These posts are an attempt to rectify this loss, with a particular focus on building a database of student names and creating a bibliography of materials relating to its haumāna, teachers, and to the school, in general.

Posts are based on wide-ranging searches that glean information from historical documents, newspapers, print and online publications (including re-blogs), and information provided by descendants. Your contributions are welcomed and appreciated, so if you are aware of any materials or stories relating to the Seminary and its haumāna, please email KawaiahaoSeminary@gmail.com or comment on any of the posts.

All postings will cite sources and transcribe excerpts of interest, especially student names, but will not publish images not otherwise made available online or in the public domain. Those documents can be easily accessed directly through their source institutions.

THE FRIEND, July 1918:

As far back as 1918 the lack of a record was declared a
“Singular effacement of forty-five years of history!”

It was a singular beginning that Kawaiahao had, when it came up to Manoa. With nearly a half-century of history, it began as though it were a new school. The principal was new, no regular teacher of the old force came up to the new school and only one Hawaiian assistant. The books and records of the old school had been mislaid, none of the old furniture was worthy of a place in the new building, and not even the fine old traditions could be handed over to the new institution. Singular effacement of forty-five years of history!

As to those records, search has been made again and again, and yet it is still hoped that they may be found. Not to know the names of the girls who passed through Kawaiahao is to be in ignorance of the fine fruitage of the many years of faithful effort. For of course the fruit was good. When we see the list of women who put their best into groups of girls whose lives averaged, say, six years within those walls, even admitting a fair average of failures, the resultant must have been a goodly crop. That crop must be scattered in terms of character all over this Territory. Some day we will post the records and cast up footings, careful to annex the *”E., and O.E.” of the poor fallible accountant. *Exceptions and Omissions Excepted.”

The Friend, July 1918 [accessed via GoogleBooks]

*There is in fact no comprehensive archival repository for any of the female seminaries that existed in the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi — no complete records of nā inoa haumana (names of students) or of the individual and collective accomplishments of the 1000s of girls educated at Hawaiʻi’s female seminaries.


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