Over 125,000 pages of Hawaiian-language newspapers were printed in more than a hundred different papers from 1834 to 1948. They equal a million or more typescript pages of text—apparently the largest native-language cache in the western world. The newspapers became an intentional repository of knowledge, opinion and historical progress as Hawaiʻi moved through kingdom, constitutional monarchy, republic and territory, yet only 2% of that repository has been integrated into our English-speaking world today. ‘Ike Kū’oko’a is a dynamic move to change that percentage and to open up this resource for general access.
‘Ike Kū‘oko‘a — Liberating Knowledge is a Hawaiian-newspaper initiative where an army of volunteers is taking 60,000 digital scans of Hawaiian-language newspapers and transcribing them into searchable typescript. Of the 125,000 pages originally published, 75,000 have been found and made into digital images, and 15,000 of those images have been typescripted by OCR or manually. 60,000 pages remain in hand, yet unsearchable. Our goal is to make the whole available collection word searchable, and to do it by July 31, 2012. It will open up hundreds of thousands of pages worth of data on history, culture, politics, sciences, world view, and more.
No Hawaiian language skill is necessary to participate. You type what you see. Volunteers log in and reserve a page for typescripting. An image file (tif) and a text file (rtf) are downloaded and then saved on the volunteer’s computer. The tiff image file is easily enlarged for viewing, and on the text file one types all the text that is seen on the page. Though the newspaper is printed in columns, the typescript spans the page like a letter. No formatting needed. Guidelines are on the website.
Once a page is completed and checked, it is submitted through the volunteer’s homepage. Upon submitting a file, the typescripter’s name is imbedded, the page can be dedicated to a special someone, and a group can be credited with the work. The typescripter and the dedication will appear in the searchable text on the web, “This page made possible by XX, dedicated to YY”. The pages credited to a group (hālau, school, etc.) are for comparison now, while the project is in progress.
ʻIke Kūʻokoʻa was initiated on November 28, 2011, to be completed by July 31, 2012, commemorating Lā Kūʻokoʻa (Independence Day) and Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea (Restoration Day), the main historical holidays of the Hawaiian kingdom era. Centered in Hawaiʻi, this initiative engages and connects people from all over the world in a united, collaborative endeavor – three months after launching we already have over 3,000 volunteers from 8 countries, across the U.S., and throughout the island chain. But we’ll need thousands more to assure success.
Consider being a part of this historical effort, and please help by telling others about it. Join the Hawaiian community that spans the globe, investing in something unique and historical that will make a legacy of Hawaiian knowledge accessible again, benefitting everyone for generations to come.