Preservation and Access: Preservation Assistance Grants

Period of Performance

1/1/2015 - 6/30/2016

Funding Totals

$6,000.00 (approved)
$6,000.00 (awarded)

Hawaiian Mission Houses Object Collection Preservation Assessment

FAIN: PG-52563-15

Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives (Honolulu, HI 96813-3002)
Thomas A. Woods (Project Director: May 2014 to September 2016)

An overall assessment of objects held in the collections storage areas and exhibition spaces of the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives, including those exhibited in Hawaii’s two oldest houses.  The 5,000-artifact collection, which documents the impact of Protestant missionaries on Hawaii, includes 252 pieces of furniture, 112 quilts, 79 pieces of bark cloth, 62 paintings, 504 ceramics, clothing and cloth, 82 jewelry items, and 52 objects and sets of type.  Notable items include six paintings produced from 1871 to 1899 by missionary Edward Bailey; an inscribed hunting case pocket watch sent by President Lincoln to Reverend James Kekela; a circa 1835 Holoku Kapa (a western-style garment fashioned from bark cloth); a mahogany medicine chest owned by Dr. Gerritt P. Judd, including medicine and tools; and quilts given to missionaries upon their return to the United States.  The object collection is used to illustrate the conflict of cultures in exhibitions, scholarly research, and in reproductions used in educational programs and interpretation.

Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives (HMH) requests support for an overall assessment of the object collections housed within the HMH's collections storage areas as well as those on exhibit in the 1821 Mission House and the 1831 Chamberlain House, the two oldest extant houses in Hawaii. This project is limited to the objects collections, at this site and archives, one of the foremost repositories for nineteenth century Hawaiian history. One cannot understand the changes taking place in Hawaii during this period without considering the collaboration of the missionaries and the Hawaiian chiefs which is documented here. The consultant will assess the overall physical condition of the objects and their current housing and environmental conditions, making recommendations for improving preservation, housing, and environmental conditions. Staff will use the completed assessment to write a preservation plan and begin to address the issues identified.