The Background


Hawaiian Language Newspapers - A Timeline of Progress

Over a million text pages of invaluable knowledge are being unearthed--information that has lain dormant for 100 years and will now be available to the public. This body of data changes our understanding of history by quantifying how much has been left out of the picture, and by adding a wealth of cultural and historical information relevant to our society today. The work to recover this information is in motion and calls for community guidance and cooperation to decide the best use of this cache of knowledge.


  • 1834-1948, 125,000 pages are known to have been printed in 100 different papers.
    1. Equal to 1-1.5 million letter-size pages of typescript.
    2. 3/5 of all the newspapers, about 76,000 pages, have been found and microfilmed.
    3. Only 2% of the newspaper repository is included in modern research and publications so far, as measured by direct reference and use.
  • 2001, Optical Character Recognition [OCR] production was begun as test project under Alu Like, funded privately by Nakila Steele, and microfilm images are digitized.
  • 2002-2009, Hoʻolaupaʻi: Hawaiian Newspaper Resource established as a formal project, housed at U.H. Mānoa and Bishop Museum and operated through the museum.
    1. Hoʻolaupaʻi trained students as OCR operators to generate and edit pages.
    2. Outreach education included Haʻilono Exhibit, Pā Ka Leo, public presentations.
  • 2009-2011, Hoʻolaupaʻi moved to Awaiaulu, continuing production on a contract basis.
    1. Sporadic production funded by local grants and production contracts.
    2. 12-15,000 searchable pages available on Alu Like's Ulukau electronic library [] and Office of Hawaiian Affairs' (OHA) public-access database [].
    3. Public and institutional familiarity about the existence of the newspaper repository is increasing, but use of the source material in classes and in research is limited, and usually only includes the searchable part of the corpus. Education about the presence and import of the whole resource is an ongoing process.
  • 2011-2012, ʻIke Kūʻokoʻa Initiative replaced Hoʻolaupaʻi, engaging the extended Hawaiian community in a 1-year project with an 8-month volunteer window. One-year span maintained a manageable project range for funding and completion while the start/end dates introduced historical events to an unfamiliar audience.
    1. Publicity was spread through Associated Press International and online websites, reaching USA and international audiences. Extensive outreach has been ongoing.
    2. 6,700 volunteers registered and 2,700 of them finished one or more pages.
    3. Volunteers from all islands and in 12 countries learned about the legacy cache.
    4. 16,000 newspaper pages were typescripted by volunteers, called Kikohua.
    5. ʻIke Kūʻokoʻa generated more page production in 8 months than Hoʻolaupaʻi did in 10 years, but the educational impact of the ʻIke Kūʻokoʻa initiative may reach a hundred-fold of what Hoʻolaupaʻi accomplished during its decade of operation.
  • 2012 (Nov. 28), 60,000 searchable pages, equal to 600,000 pages of text, to be added to the online databases at, and other interested web-based sources.
    1. 16,000 are volunteer-typed pages, edited and formatted for placing on the web and 50,000 are computer-typescripted pages (OCR) done by external contract.
    2. Combined with what is already in place, 76,000 searchable pages will be online as of Nov. 28, 2012, comprising all of the known microfilmed and digitized copies. The 76,000 will be of varying quality, but can eventually be upgraded through an ongoing Wikipedia form of public input. 50,000 other pages are known to have been printed but remain to be found, digitized and made searchable.


ʻIke Kūʻokoʻa was successfully completed on Nov. 28 2012, and the files are being loaded up onto the web for free access through the following websites.  Awaiaulu and the ʻIke Kūʻokoʻa team extend a sincere mahalo! to all of those who made this possible through their participation and support.  


Aloha nō,

Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Alu Like Inc.
Hale Kuamo'o
Bishop Museum