Hawaii War Records Depository Photos

About the Collection

World War II was a seminal event in 20th century American history, altering the social fabric of the nation and laying the foundation for political and economic development for decades to come. The impact of the war was especially significant in Hawaii. The bombing of Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 dramatically altered the fabric of life in Hawaii, which was placed under martial law and served as a hub for the war in the Pacific.

Showing great foresight, the Hawaii Territorial Legislature passed a resolution in 1943 establishing the Hawaii War Records Depository (HWRD) at the University of Hawaii Library to document life in Hawaii during World War II. Over a five year period, individuals, organizations and agencies throughout the state either donated or loaned for microfilming correspondence, personal accounts, reports, photographs, scrapbooks, phonograph discs, maps, posters, artwork, pamphlets, newspapers, clippings, memorabilia, and other materials. These materials are available for research at the Archives & Manuscripts Department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library.

The HWRD contains a wealth of photographs that document the impact of World War II in Hawaii, including 880 wartime photos taken by the U.S. Army Signal Corps and the U.S. Navy. Taken between 1941 and 1946, these photographs are an important resource depicting the military activities in Hawaii, as well as the military's relationship with Hawaii's civilian population during the war.

Topics of the Army and Navy photographs include, but are not limited to: military training, personnel, facilities; leisure and recreation activities; civilian defense efforts; air raid drills; defense workers; women's participation in wartime activities; Japanese American soldiers; military and civilian parades, ceremonies, and memorials; returning American prisoners of war; and the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Digitization Procedures

U.S. Army Signal Corps and U.S. Navy photographs in the Hawaii War Records Depository were digitized by staff in the Archives & Manuscripts Department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library. Technical support was provided by the Library's Desktop Network Services Department.

All digitization standards used in this project are based upon nationally accepted guidelines. The images, which are all black and white prints, were digitized using a flatbed scanner.

Various flatbed scanners have been used to digitize cover images, including Agfa DuoScan, Microtek Scanmaker 9800XL, Epson GT1500 and Canon DR-1210-C. Some of the digital images contain flaws or defects that are apparent in the originals, and many appear distorted or unaligned due to the original printing being the same. Additionally, handwritten notes, tears, or other markings or damages may appear on the images. Care has been taken to duplicate the originals as closely as possible, including mistakes or damages.

An uncompressed TIFF file was created for each image to serve as the digital preservation master file, with a resolution of 600 dpi and a bit depth of 8 bits. A JPEG access image was derived from each master image and optimized for screen display at 75 dpi and 600 pixels in length on the longest side. A thumbnail was then created at 75 dpi and 200 pixels in length on the longest side.

A metadata record based on the Dublin Core metadata standard was created for each image and entered into the Streetprint database. Descriptive information for each image was derived from the image's caption. The names of people, military units and locations were standardized to facilitate searching.