By: Heidi Kulicke
Hawaiian nonprofit organization Awaiaulu, Inc. is in the midst of a massive translation project fueled by history, newspapers, and volunteers, that aims to bridge the gap between Hawaii’s past and present.
About 100 Hawaiian-language newspapers published from 1834 to 1948 are being translated by roughly 3,000 volunteers. The newspapers are currently housed in Hawaiian archival collections as originals and microfilmed images, but when the project is finished, more than 60,000 pages of daily life in the Hawaiian Kingdom will be available for viewing on the Internet.
The ambitious project is titled ‘Ike Ku‘oko‘a, or Liberating Knowledge. The entire volunteer effort will be managed online using a Web-based program, allowing interested individuals to download the files and participate from remote locations. Volunteers are not required to know the Hawaiian language to participate.
Many organizations have joined the effort to preserve Hawaii’s legacy through finances and resources. Organizations include The Pu‘a Foundation, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Kamehameha Schools, Hawai‘inuiakea: Center for Hawaiian Knowledge, U.H. Sea Grants Hawai‘i, and numerous civic clubs and halau in Hawai‘i and abroad.
Visit www.awaiaulu.org for more information and to register as a volunteer. General registration will continue until the project’s scheduled completion date of July 31, or La Ho‘iho‘i Ea (Restoration Day in the Hawaiian Kingdom) or until all the work is completed. All typed pages will be reviewed for accuracy. The completed project is scheduled to be available for online viewing beginning Nov. 28, 2012, to coincide with La Ku‘oko‘a, the Hawaiian Kingdom’s Independence Day.