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Hawaiian Language Imprints

By Bernice Judd

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Book Id: WPLBN0002096811
Format Type: Default
File Size: 2 MB
Reproduction Date: 4/19/2011

Title: Hawaiian Language Imprints  
Author: Bernice Judd
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Bibliography, Hawaiian Bibliographies
Collections: Education, Bibliography, Authors Community, Language, Sociolinguistics, Music, Fine Arts, Literature, Sociology, Favorites in India, Most Popular Books in China, Government, Social Sciences, Political Science, History
Publication Date:
Publisher: University of Hawai'I Press
Member Page: Hale Kuamoʻo Hawaiian Language Center


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Judd, B. (1978). Hawaiian Language Imprints. Retrieved from

This bibliography includes all known titles published in the Hawaiian language anywhere in the world between 1822 and the end of the century. The only items not listed are one-page broadsides, government documents, serials, sheet music, and programs for events such as concerts, royal functions, and the like. The work was begun in 1938 by Bernice Judd of the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society Library at the suggestion of Dr. Clarence Brigham, director of the American Antiquarian Society. The original plan was simply to prepare a revision of Howard Ballou's 1908 bibliography. As the work progressed, however, it became evident that a mere revision was not practical, and a completely new bibliography was begun. Holdings recorded at that time were limited to those in libraries in Hawaii. When I undertook completion of the project in 1963, I decided to include additional information on each item and to recheck the local holdings, because most collections had grown considerably since 1938. Subsequently, I was able to add information on holdings of Hawaiian-language titles in libraries all over the world. In 1971 Clare Murdoch joined me in the project. Together, we finished the work on the Bishop Museum holdings. Then came the tedious task of editing and double-checking.

The first chapter in the history of Hawaiian printing becomes primarily a resumé of the linguistic efforts of the early missionaries to the Sandwich Islands. To a researcher perhaps the most remarkable feature of the story is that the missionaries began their printing activities even before they had settled on a standard alphabet and orthography for the hitherto unwritten Hawaiian language. The members of the Sandwich Islands Mission sent from Boston by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions had arrived at Kawaihae armed with zeal, press, and printer, on March 30, 1820, and in Honolulu the following April 19. To their collective mind it was absolutely essential to have printed material available as soon as possible to reinforce their efforts in disseminating the gospel among the widely scattered communities of the island group. Consequently, as the oral language had to be converted to writing before any printing could be done, intolerable delay would be inevitable if the men of God were to wait until their studies became definitive. So they set to work almost immediately and in only two years completed the complicated task of developing a preliminary written language. However, the final decisions in choice between t and k, band p, r and l, v and w were made later, only after prolonged discussion among the members of the group and their native informants. Agreement was reached in 1826, when the Hawaiian alphabet was established with twelve letters: a, e, i, o, u, h, k, l, m, n, p, w.


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