Tag Archives: news

Thank you and farewell to Sidney!

Sidney hard at work even on her last day.

ʻUluʻulu is saying goodbye to our project assistant, Sidney Louie. After three years and graduating from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with her masters degree in Library and Information Science she will be moving to the Honolulu Museum of Art as their archivist. We asked Sidney to do a quick interview with us before she headed out on her last day.


How did you learn about ‘Ulu‘ulu and why did you decide to work here?

When I left my longtime job in media, I thought about my next career steps. I listed the things that made me happy, and on top of that list were film and libraries.  I heard about ‘Ulu‘ulu Moving Image Archive among my peers in the media industry, but I did not fathom the scope and depth of the collections. My first visit to the archive was in Spring 2018, where I met up with Heather, Janel, Robbie, and Koa. Heather showed me the collection vault, which pretty much won me over. Janel told me that she was teaching a moving image archive course at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) that fall semester. Soon afterwards, I enrolled in the Library and Information Science program at UHM, jumped on the archives track, and took Janel’s excellent class. A year later, the OHA project assistant job opened, and I bolted on the opportunity to work here. 

Could you share a little about the work you did at ‘Ulu’ulu?

I worked on a digitization project supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) in partnership with OHA’s Papakilo Database. The digital content consists of television programs that focus on Hawaiian history, arts, and culture: “The Best of Treasures,” “Holo Mai Pele,” “Legacy of Light,” “Merrie Monarch Festival,” and “Pau Hana Years.” We accessioned, digitized, described, and made accessible 521 video tapes containing 224 hours of audiovisual recordings. I also worked on a few other side projects: helped Hōkū process incoming collections, wrote grants with Janel, and formatted transcripts for closed captioning. 

Was there anything about the videos you worked with that was surprising or unexpected?

I appreciate seeing the raw footage of two or more cameras on a particular scene. You can view quite a few of them in “Holo Mai Pele” from the Pacific Islanders in Communications collection. I enjoy seeing different angles and vantage points of the same scene. It helps me think about looking at an object with a different perspective.

You’ve recently graduated from the Library and Information Sciences program at UH Mānoa, where are you headed now and what will you be doing there?

I will be working as the archivist at the Honolulu Museum of Art, processing and preserving HoMAʻs institutional memory that includes not only the historic building on Beretania Street, but also the Spalding House (formerly The Contemporary Museum) and the Linekona Arts Center. I will also be involved with records management and reference and research services.

Now that you have worked as a Moving Image Archivist, what is your favorite archival media format and why?

Before, now, and forever is film. I was fascinated with 8mm and Super 8 film when I was young. I would watch the 8mm film reels in one of those small projectors in a carrel at the public library. I remember the 16mm films that we watched in elementary school. I also loved 35mm back when I worked at the Hawaiʻi International Film Festival when we hauled those heavy film cans. 

Tell us a little about what it was like for the last couple of years working for an AV archive through the pandemic?

I worked from home for about 14 months. Although I prefer working at the archive, I do like watching hours of video footage from home on my comfy reading chair or couch. I also tend do my best writing from home. However, I like to think about different ways of approaching a topic, and I enjoy listening to various points of view from my co-workers, especially when I hit an obstacle. I definitely will miss the camaraderie I have developed with my ʻUluʻulu colleagues. 

Do you have any recommendations for movies or TV shows that feature libraries, archives, or archival footage?

I was fascinated by Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old,” seeing how much his technical team worked on not only restoring the archival film footage, but also transforming it through adjustments of speed and light. It’s interesting to see an auteur’s handling of archival footage, which is vastly different from documentary filmmakers who use archival footage to present, argue, or support their own thesis or perspective. Most recently, I am enamored with Questlove’s “Summer of Soul” about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The music and performances in the archival concert footage, shot by TV producer Hal Tulchin, are uplifting, toe-tapping, and delightful. It is a treasure trove of talent.


Thank you, Sidney, for your wonderful work and friendship. We wish you the best in your next chapter!

‘Ulu‘ulu 2020 Annual Newsletter

Aloha from all of us at ‘Ulu‘ulu!

As this challenging year comes to a close, I think we can all empathize with the readers of the Washington Post who were asked to describe 2020 in one word or phrase and they responded with “exhausting,” “lost,” “chaotic,” and “dumpster fire.” But in the midst of this exhausting and chaotic year, there were also many uplifting and positive moments that we experienced at ‘Ulu‘ulu which fit other descriptive phrases from the Post readers.

“Transformative.” Our UH West O‘ahu campus closed to the public on March 20, 2020 and ‘Ulu‘ulu, like all other departments across the UH System, very quickly transformed our in-person operations into a robust telework environment. We successfully pivoted to working from home, relying on remote communication with our researchers and students, as well as with each other. Zoom meetings, our online catalog and streaming server, and the Ask an Archivist reference portal became even more crucial tools and transformed the way we deliver our services. 

“Perseverance.” I applaud our ‘Ulu‘ulu team for its perseverance in 2020. Despite our limited on-site presence at the archive, we were able to provide preservation, cataloging, collection care, research assistance and access to the footage in our collections. We completed digitization projects supported by grants from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, and Frank Moy and Marcia Mau. We continued our work with the Bishop Museum nitrate film collection, supported by the Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities. And we implemented our closed captioning program, transcribing and captioning over 600 video clips now streaming on our website.

“Six feet apart, yet closer than ever.” We were able to remain close with our researchers through our digital collections, which reached numerous audiences this year. We were thrilled to partner with the Polynesian Voyaging Society to screen four films and a live panel as part of the “Made in Hawai‘i: Visions of Hōkūleʻa” program during the HIFF 2020 online film festival. And we launched the web series “‘Ulu‘ulu Zoom Time” featuring interviews with some of the people who have contributed to our archival film and video collections. These conversations shed a light on the importance of archives, especially while we are apart.

We’d like to share more highlights from 2020 and wish you all the best for 2021!

Click here to view the ‘Ulu‘ulu 2020 Annual Newsletter report on our new collections, digital preservation projects, television and film premieres and more!

Mahalo nui loa for your support!

A Special Message from the Archive

Aloha everyone,

As we all face the unique challenges that the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought to us in recent months ‘Ulu’ulu is doing what we can to adjust so that we can to maintain service and ensure the well-being of our staff, researchers and colleagues. We are monitoring the situation as it swiftly evolves. Please be aware, that as a result, services and response times may be delayed.

To reduce the risk of exposure and transmission, ‘Ulu’ulu has also canceled any existing reservations and visits for the rest of the academic semester, and will not be making any new reservations for the time being.

Mahalo nui for your patience and understanding in this difficult time. Please stay safe, healthy and take care of each other!

Sincerely,

The ‘Ulu’ulu Staff