Pacific Studies Initiative Syllabi & Bibliographies



Syllabi & Bibliographies

Internet Resources

Pacific Islands Information Resources

Library Science 688
June 1997

Karen Peacock, PhD
Pacific Curator, UH LIBRARY
Hamilton Library
University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
Honolulu, HI 96822
Telephone: 956-2851


Pacific bibliography is both an old and a new endeavor. There are classic examples of bibliographic art in the Pacific region, e.g., Patrick O'Reilly's exemplary work on Tahiti and French Polynesia, and at the same time contemporary work in online catalogs and networking that is revolutionizing the sharing of information across the Pacific. This course examines the nature of the effort to compile knowledge about the Pacific Islands in subject and area focus bibliographies and the new data bases.

Those engaged in this study should emerge with a good grasp of the basic reference sources: bibliographies, handbooks, directories, periodicals, indexes, statistical sources, and an overall survey knowledge of the major reference titles for a number of specific island countries (this year we will be covering Micronesia, Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti, and Papua New Guinea). Graduate students in library and information science will gain depth in a highly specialized field of study, one that is most desirable for librarians who will be working in Hawai'i and the Pacific region. Students from other disciplines, such as those from history, geography, anthropology, and most pertinently, Pacific Studies, will find a means of broadening their knowledge of resources available for their research, and should emerge with a much clearer understanding of the vast nature of publications on the Pacific Islands and how these are accessed.

Students are fortunate in that UH possesses the world's finest comprehensive collection of Pacific holdings, and these can be utilized for study and for bibliographic compilation. In addition to having a marvelous library and uniquely knowledgeable staff, the University of Hawai'i has the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, a national resource center, with faculty who cover a wide range of disciplines and whose combined expertise is extraordinary. This offers students the chance to call upon special resources not available at any other location in the United States.

This course will provide the student with an exposure to bibliography of the Pacific, with experience in the use of UHCARL (online catalog system) and other library catalogs, such as that of the Bishop Museum, hands-on practice with Pacific reference questions, and the opportunity to write reviews of reference works and assess an indexing or abstracting resource. In a series of lectures the instructor will consider bibliography, past and present, for the three major culture areas of the region -Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia (excluding Hawai'i and general New Zealand, but including Maori studies). In addition, lectures will be given on bibliography of current topics of interest in the Pacific, such as indigenous literature, biography of islanders, current children's literature for the region, and Pacific films. Lectures will be accompanied in some cases by exercises to familiarize students with the nature of reference works for the Pacific.

Guest lecturers will cover a wide range of topics, and this year's offerings tentatively include: Russia in the Pacific, representations of Islanders in art, a reading from a new Pacific play, current issues in the Pacific Islands, and survey of issues in Pacific history.


Each student will be required to attend class daily, cover all reading assignments, participate in exercises and discussion groups, and complete the following assignments:

1. Week One - You will be asked to write a book review of a major Pacific reference work. A list of titles available for this assignment will be circulated on the first day of class. The assignment is due on Monday, June 16, and we will discuss your findings in class on that day. The instructor will hand out some samples of reference work reviews and will discuss the style to be used. Reviews should be no more than three pages (double-spaced) in length. Assignment due: Monday, June 16

2. Week Two - Prepare an evaluation (no more than three pages double-spaced) of an indexing or abstracting service, print, CD-ROM, database or online. You may be assigned a work that is hard copy only, or the index in question may be available through CARL or on CD-ROM at the first floor Humanities and Social Science Reference desk. A list of suggested titles will be provided. You will be asked to analyze the work in question for general accessibility as well as for its usefulness (or lack of usefulness) for Pacific research. Assignment due: Monday, June 23.

3. Week Three - Please choose a Pacific related film (videotape) from the list provided; view at Wong AVC in Sinclair or at home. If you are at all in doubt as to what to select, please consult with me. Write a three-five page (double-spaced) review. Give a brief summary of the film. When discussing the work, pay particular attention to the way in which islanders are portrayed or how they present themselves. Does the film contain or imply themes of fatal impact or 'noble savage'? is there a social or political message that the film attempts to convey? What audience does the film seek to address? Are Island voices (re)presented in this film? Would you use this film if you were teaching a class on the Pacific (explain)? Would you add this film to your library's collection (explain) . The film review is due on the last day of class, Friday, June 27.

4. Final exam in two sections: a set of terms, titles, and/or names to identify in two to three sentences; an essay on a topic related to the material covered by this course.


Students will be required to read Contemporary Pacific Societies (ed. by Victoria Lockwood, et al.). Copies are available in the UH bookstore. In addition, there will be a handout of an essay on collection development related to the Pacific. Students will be asked to read selected essays from Pacific Islands Studies (edited by Miles Jackson). Additional readings may be provided by the instructor. Recommended as a major reference source and desirable for your own personal library: Pacific Islands Yearbook

(A number of resource lists and bibliographies prepared for the course are indexed under the Bibliographies section of this web site. They are: Pacific Resources: A Selected List; Papua New Guinea: Selected Reference Sources; Micronesia: Selected Reference Sources; Micronesia: A Selective Bibliography; Fiji: Selected Reference Sources; Tahiti: A Selective Bibliography; Samoa: A Selected Bibliography; Samoa: Selected Reference Sources; Pacific Islands Literature: A Selective Reading Guide; Island Lives: A Selected Bibliography of Biographies; Pacific Periodicals: A Selected List.)


Your grade for the course will be based on the three assignments and a final examination to be given on the last day of class. Each of these counts for 25% of the grade. Daily attendance is required!



Week One

Mon. June 9 Opening remarks, introductions, the UH Pacific Collection: its history, development and content.
Film: Visions of the Pacific.
Guest speaker: Dr Robert Kiste, Director of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, UHM, "Current Issues in the Pacific Islands
Tu. June 10 Introduction to UHCARL: lecture/demo/hands-on exercises related to our catalog/Bishop Museum/Melyvl and associated databases.
Introduction to Pacific Reference Sources
Wed. June 11 HOLIDAY!!! (Kamehameha Day) No class.
Th. June 12 Pacific Reference Sources, con't.
Pacific Periodicals - a survey of news magazines and scholarly journals.
Hawaii Pacific Journal Index, UnCover, EAI lecture/demonstration and hands-on exercises
Fri. June 13 Pacific Newspapers - lecture and in-class exercise.
Guest speaker: Dr David Hanlon, History Dept., UHM: Survey of Issues in Pacific Historiography. Dr Hanlon is the author of Upon a Stone Altar, a frequent contributor to scholarly journals, and editor of The Contemporary Pacific.

Week Two

Mon. June 16 First Assignment Due: Review of Pacific bibliography/reference work.
Introduction to reference works for Micronesia.
Films: Chamoru Dreams, and Beldeklel a Ngloik/Palauan Dance: The Process
Tu. June 17 Continuation of Sources for Guam and Micronesia.
Collection Development - Vendors and other sources for the acquisition of Pacific Islands publication.
Wed. June 18 Island Lives - Biography.
Guest speaker: Dr Nancy Morris: Representations of Pacific peoples in art.
Th. June 19 Fiji Sources
Film: I am Fijian
Fr. June 20 Samoa Sources
Film: Chief in Two Worlds
Tahiti Sources

Week Three

Mon. June 23 Second Assignment Due: Index/Abstract Analysis
Island(er) Images - Pacific Films: from Hollywood to Homegrown, with stops in between
Guest speaker: Linda Engelberg, Librarian, Wong AV Center, UH Library
Tu. June 24 Guest speaker: Pat Polansky, Russian Bibliographer, UH Library: Russia in the Pacific
Paradise on the Web? Examining internet resources for the Pacific Islands
Wed June 25 Voices from the Printed Page: Indigenous Pacific Literature
Guest Speaker: Dr Vilsoni Hereniko, Center for Pacific Islands Studies, author of Woven Gods
Th. June 26 Papua New Guinea Sources
Film: Advertising Missionaries
Fr. June 27 Pacific Islands Children's Literature
Third Assignment Due: Film Review
Review of Pacific Resources and wrap-up

[Subject: Research Approaches; Pacific/Comparative]

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