Located next to the Hawaii State Library on the grounds of Iolani Palace, the Hawaii State Archives houses a vast collection of important Hawaiian history including personal papers, collections, government documents, speeches, press releases, and documents from all governmental branches including the Judiciary, Legislature, and Executive. More than 100,000 photographs are preserved within the Archives along with more than 9,000 books and 1,800 maps. The public is allowed to access Archive materials for free and make copies or take photos of these documents. Users of the Archives are able to locate photos and documents by looking through well-organized catalogs and indexes that are available for perusal in the Reference Room. When the desired item is found then the user fills out a form and gives it to a clerk who retrieves the materials.
The governmental papers in the Archives include materials from the early days of the Hawaiian monarchy before the overthrow in 1893 as well as papers from the Republic of Hawaii (1893-1900) and the Territorial Government (1900-1959) as well as the State of Hawaii (1959-present). Formerly these important archival materials were kept in The Territorial Archives Building still standing just in front of the Hawaii State Archives. Opening in 1906, the structure was designed in the Renaissance Revival style with a domed, stained-glass skylight in the foyer and a terrazzo floor.
At the time the Territorial Archives was the United States’ first building constructed for the sole purpose of preserving public archive materials. The new building for the Hawaii State Archives was constructed in 1953. Friends of ‘Iolani Palace restored the Old Archives Building in 1987.
The Hawaii State Archives is located in the Kekauluohi Building on the Iolani Palace Grounds just behind the Kanaina Building (Old Archives Building). Phone: 808-586-0329.