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Smiling librarians holding books
Seated from left, Stu Dawrs, Lori Admiral, Monica Ghosh and Dore Minatodani. Standing from left, Kapena Shim, Pat Polansky, Jodie Mattos, Tokiko Bazzell, Eleanor Kleiber, and Malia Van Heukelem

A $1.125 million anonymous gift to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library will be used to fund eight initiatives that focus on some of the libraryʻs most celebrated collections. All that can be said about the anonymous donors is that they are avid library users who highly value the work of librarians and greatly appreciate the availability of the unique research collections, according to interim University Librarian Monica Ghosh.

“It is such a generous act and we cannot thank the donors enough,” said Ghosh. “This gift is one of the largest single donations to the library in many years and allows a tremendous amount of flexibility to support the important and varied work at the library where our special collections are a priority.”

The donation will create three endowments:

  • Janet Bell Endowment honors the work of the Hawaiian Collection curator who worked at the library from 1936–1970. She was instrumental in building the renowned collection and was a driving force in the establishment of the Pacific Collection, which is distinct from the Hawaiian Collection in 1968. The new endowment will support professional development for Pacific-region librarians and students to engage with the contents of the Hawaiian and Pacific collections, as well as to promote interest in the field of special collections librarianship.
  • The Japan Collection Endowment will support the acquisition of unique and rare materials, fund researchers to visit the library and use its materials, support digital projects to make unusual material easily accessible online and other projects to catalog materials that require special handling.
  • The Hawaiʻi Artists and Architects Collections endowment will provide support into perpetuity and provide funds for staff to assist in processing architectural plans and artist papers. The collection includes materials from artist Jean Charlot and architect Vladimir Ossipoff.

The donated funds will also be used to:

  • Add to the Russian émigré publications from China and other Asian countries in the Russian Collection, as well as to acquire specialized materials from antiquarian book dealers that complement materials about Siberia, the Russian Far East and Russia’s relations with Asian and Pacific countries.
  • Support the acquisition of materials for the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections, pay for temporary staff to assist with processing a backlog of one-of-a-kind archival collections so they can be made publicly accessible and digitize unique collections to make them freely accessible to users worldwide.
  • Extend the Library Treasures Colloquium Series for three academic years (fall 2018 to spring 2021). The series promotes unique content through public events at the library. Speakers will be brought in on a regular basis to talk about specialized topics, such as research within archival collections. As part of the series, a video competition with prizes will be funded.
  • Partner with the owners of an Early Japanese Phonograph Collection, who are preserving this extraordinary, privately-owned collection of 78 RPM records from the first half of the 20th century.
  • Fund technology initiatives, including the Hamilton Library group study rooms, and to jump-start or continue other technology programs.

The UH Mānoa Library provides a wide range of library services, collections and resources and is located in two buildings—Hamilton and Sinclair. Hamilton houses most of the 3.2 million volumes of print materials; world renowned collections related to Hawaiʻi, Oceania and the Pacific region and other rare and special items. Sinclair houses the Music and Audio-Visual collections, the Student Success Center and other student focused programs.

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