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Home West O‘ahu Happenings ‘Ulu‘ulu awarded $350,000 NEH grant for digitization project

‘Ulu‘ulu awarded $350,000 NEH grant for digitization project

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Videotapes of oral history recordings of 442nd Infantry veterans from the 442nd Legacy Center Collection. Image courtesy of ʻUluʻulu

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a $350,000 grant to ‘Ulu‘ulu: The Henry Ku‘ualoha Moving Image Archive of Hawai‘i at the University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu in support of its project titled, “20th Century Hawai‘i: Moving Images from Territory to Statehood.*”

NEH announced last month $33.17 million in grants for 245 humanities projects across the country. These grant awards include support for historic collections, exhibitions and documentaries, humanities infrastructure, scholarly research, and curriculum projects.

“NEH is proud to support these exemplary education, media, preservation, research, and infrastructure projects,” NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo) said in a statement. “These 245 projects will expand the horizons of our knowledge of culture and history, lift up humanities organizations working to preserve and tell the stories of local and global communities, and bring high-quality public programs and educational resources directly to the American public.”

ʻUluʻulu’s “20th Century Hawai’i: Moving Images from Territory to Statehood” is a three-year project set to begin in September 2022 and involves the digitization of 890 audiovisual assets spanning eight collections that document Hawaiian history and culture from the 1920s to 2000s.

ʻUluʻulu will digitize motion picture film reels and videotapes from its holdings to shed light on how the path to statehood took on varying degrees of reactions and repercussions for the Native Hawaiian and Japanese American populations in Hawaiʻi.

The project will preserve and make accessible the stories of the Nisei and Hawaiian struggles and achievements through the digitization of audiovisual recordings of oral histories, documentaries, festivals, conference, and live performances. The nominated collections for digitization align with NEH’s A More Perfect Union initiative, in highlighting the stories of Hawaiʻi’s citizens who witnessed and participated in the road to statehood and the consequences of admission into the union.

The materials to be digitized come from collections spanning the period of the 1920s to 2000s: Juniroa Productions, 442nd Legacy Center, Katsugo Miho, Samuel P. King, Making Waves Films, Hawaiʻi People’s Fund, and Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities.

“I am so honored that the NEH recognizes the historical significance of ‘Ulu‘ulu’s moving image collections,” said project director and ʻUluʻulu head archivist Janel Quirante. “Their support will make it possible for us to digitize and describe hundreds of hours of footage which hasn’t been viewed in decades.”

Quirante continued, “I‘m looking forward to sharing this newly digitized footage with our students and researchers, as well as with the filmmakers who recorded the original reels, and with the family members of the people whose images, voices, and stories are captured on these videotapes and films.”

* Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

National Endowment for the Humanities logo

A shelf of labeled videotapes.
Videotapes from the Juniroa Productions Collection related to the documentary “Daniel K. Inouye: An American Story.”

A shelf of labeled videotapes.
Videotapes from the Juniroa Productions Collection related to the documentary “Daniel K. Inouye: An American Story.”

Screengrab of a video with people holding a banner that says, "Patsy Mink."
Screengrab from the documentary “Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority” from the Making Waves Films Collection.

Images courtesy of National Endowment for the Humanities and ʻUluʻulu

Videotapes of oral history recordings of 442nd Infantry veterans from the 442nd Legacy Center Collection. Image courtesy of ʻUluʻulu