Digital Archives Go Live!

Relive memories of your time at Punahou and throughout the School’s 180-year history. Explore historical images, past Bulletins, as well as audio and video resources via the School’s new digital Archives, which debuts this month.

Punahou’s vast collection of primary source material offers a rich look back at milestone events and at those who have played a role in shaping the School, Hawai‘i and the larger world. What initially started as a loose collection of records and materials many decades ago, has since flourished into a wealth of photos, documents, publications, institutional records, maps and other historical artifacts relating to Punahou that the School’s Archives Department preserves and organizes.

It has long been a goal of the Archives Department to digitize the collection, which is stored in climate controlled stacks inside Cooke Library, and was previously accessible only onsite and upon request. And in 2017, the Lum Digitization Initiative, named for a generous grant from Lum Yip Kee, Limited, was launched to preserve archival materials and increase their availability to the public.

The point is not merely to archive information, but to support curriculum, storytelling about the history of Punahou, and research interests of students, faculty, staff and others in our School community, according to Kylee Mar, Punahou’s archivist. “Archives offer a rich trove of information that can be mined for teaching and learning,” she said. “Students can engage with the history of social and political change at Punahou and in Hawai‘i through archival materials and draw connections with the real world.”

Mar teaches an elective course to Academy students interested in “historical detective work” and gaining hands-on research experience by delving into the Archives, while at the same time helping to improve the digital user experience.

The Lum Digitization Initiative has been a multi-pronged collaboration of the Punahou Archives staff, IT and the Communications Department, with the support of the Visual Production Center and Video Production Department. For the past three years, staff have been carefully scanning and meta-tagging Punahou’s historical resources to make them searchable, including more than 2,000 images of the campus, faculty, student life and historic events; 300 publications, including Punahou Bulletins (1926-2016); Oahuans (1899-1950s); and campus maps.

Quarterly uploads will add more maps, photographs and videos. By the end of 2021, the Archives team hopes to upload another 10,000 large format images, Punahou calendars (1979-present); Ka Wai Ola; Ka Punahou and Na ‘Opio.

A beta version of the Punahou Digital Archives can be viewed at
free of charge. Suggestions are welcome at

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