Rep. Mina Morita's Blog

Ike Kuokoa – Liberating Knowledge

Posted in Education,Environmental Protection,Events,General,Oceans/Water,Sustainability by Mina Morita on November 6, 2011

Last week I had the pleasure of giving Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier a ride to a friend’s house for a dinner party.  Although on sabbatical this year, he is feverishly organizing to launch a volunteer drive to typescript Hawaiian -language newspapers to make the entire collection word-searchable.  No language skill is necessary and forgive me for not using okina and kahako in my blog.

I don’t have a scanner so I’m going to practice my typing and accuracy, the desired skills needed for this project, by retyping parts of the brochure describing the project:

Awaiaulu: Hawaiian Literature Project

Ike Kuokoa – Liberating Knowledge

Over 125,000 pages of Hawaiian-language newspapers were printed from 1834 to 1948, equaling a million or more typescript pages of text.  Perhaps the largest native-language cache in the western world, the newspapers were an intentional national repository of knowledge, opinion and historical progess as Hawaii moved through kingdom, constitutional monarchy, republic and territory, yet only 2% of that collection has been integrated into our English-speaking world today.

75,000 of the newspaper pages have been converted to digital images.  15,000 of which have been made into searchable typescript, but 60,000 pages remain unsearchable.  For a decade we have used OCR and paid operators to make quality searchable text, educating every person connected with the process.  The 15,000 pages showed the world the importance of this resource, but funding has continually dwindled.  We face closure of the project or export of the work to Asia.  Instead, we are enlisting an army of volunteers to type those pages word-for-word and make them all searchable.  We plan to liberate knowledge from the archival dust because knowledge liberates everyone.

Volunteers Needed – Be a part of this historical Hawaiian legacy effort

No Language Skill Necessary!

Mounting a locally-based volunteer drive will be a massive effort, with thousands of volunteers and a central coordinating hub to engage volunteers and guide production for reliability and accuracy.  The cost is higher than exporting the work and the effort is daunting but this allows for community engagement, personal investment in Hawaiian knowledge and Hawaii-centered kuleana in the product, supported by hands around the world.

Ike Kuokoa launches on November 28, 2011 (La Kuokoa since 1843) and will finish 60,000 pages on/before July 31, 2012 (La Hoihoi Ea).  Up and web-searchable by La Kuokoa 2012.

For pre-registration and more information go to:

My understanding of the volunteer effort is that a volunteer will “check-out” a newspaper page.  The volunteer will then typescript each article and return the page to the archive when pau.  The articles from the page will be reviewed for accuracy and, if necessary, returned to the volunteer to make corrections.  When completed the typescripted newspaper page will be credited to the volunteer as an acknowledgement of the volunteer’s participation and the volunteer may then “check-out” another page to be typescripted.

Puakea tells me that the Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Kamehameha Schools Alumni Classes, hula halau from around the world are among the groups challenging each other to amass volunteers for this effort.  He estimates that at least 3,000 volunteers are needed.

Most importantly, this cache of over 100 newspaper publications helps to reveal various viewpoints of Hawaiian life during a 100 year period.  Such insight has been invaluable.  For example, of particular interest to the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program (UH Sea Grant) are articles touching on marine ecosystem management in Hawai‘i, traditional and introduced fishing practices, climatic conditions, and storms and other significant weather events.  Read more about this particular project here.

I excitedly signed up, hope you will too.

5 Responses to 'Ike Kuokoa – Liberating Knowledge'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Ike Kuokoa – Liberating Knowledge'.

  1. Nani Higa said,


    My name is Beverly Nani Higa (Anake Nani) from Kaua’i. I am interested in working on your special Hawaiian newspaper project. I want volunteer to help do this important work. Reading your article in the Ka Wai Ola paper sounds like what I am doing right now. My husband and I do the the census for the LDS Church right from home. We work a few hours everyday, and enjoy doing the Hawaii 1920 census. We would like to have more information on how we can be part of this project. In the Ka Wai Ola monthly newspaper, does not have any information who and where to sign up or apply. During the day I work with genealogy and help put people as a guide them to the right website to find their ancestors. Working on this Hawaiian project is something we always wanted to do, to put things on paper and let others know that the Hawaiian culture is a Rich Culture, because our Kupuna lived that life, and bringing their moments of memories and love to life is an honor.

    Ke Akua Pu!
    Anake Nani

    Nani Higa
    P.O. Box 1653
    Koloa, Hi 96756
    Tel: 8087428306

    • Mina Morita said,

      Aloha Aneke Nani: Thanks so much for your comment. Go to this link for more information and to register your interest so you will be contacted when new information becomes available or the project is ready for volunteers. Mina

    • Mina Morita said,

      Sorry, I forgot to give you the link:

  2. Sonia Tapu said,

    Mahalo Mina

    I too want to help.

    Sonia Tapu
    91-1044 Alepa Street
    Kapolei, HI 96707


    • Mina Morita said,

      Aloha Sonia, thanks for contacting me. Go to the link to register. As soon as you register you can pick up a page to work on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: