Punahou School's digital collections platform is now live, allowing users to explore the school's rich history and browse cultural heritage material.

Located in the centre of the Punahou School Campus lies its namesake: a freshwater spring named Ka Punahou, the New Spring. The Punahou School website highlights the spring’s symbolism of the spirit of renewal, not only reminding the school community of their past but encouraging them to strive for personal growth and discovery into the future.

Founded in 1841, Punahou School is a premiere college-preparatory located in Honolulu, Hawai’i. With nearly 3,800 students and approximately 36,000 alumni around the world (earning it the title of largest independent school on a single campus in the United States) it’s hardly suprising the school invested in making their historical archives open and available for safe, easy access to the public through digitisation and our digital collections management platform, Recollect.

Covering 180 years of history and with thousands of alumni, Punahou School has acquired a large amount of historically significant cultural heritage material. Recognising the importance of digitising this content, the school decided to avoid continuous degradation, outdated archival management systems and the various disadvantages of managing archives in a purely physical manner and pursue digitisation.

With access to the archives previously only available onsite and upon request, the Punahou Digital Archives collection now allows students, faculty and staff, alumni, and those interested in the school’s history to either search for specific items, browse independently for serendipitous discovery or explore the curated collections defined by the schools archivist.

Working with the NZMS implementation team, Punahou archives staff were able to configure the site to not only provide digital archive collection management, but ensure the site is tailored to their audiences’ needs. As stated in the Punahou School Bulletin article “Digital Archives Go Live!”:

“The point is not merely to archive information, but to support curriculum, storytelling about the history of Punahou, and research interests of students, faculty, staff and others of our School community”

–  Punahou School Bulletin, Digital Archives Go Live!

This approach to using archives is a core focus of the Recollect platform. Not only should archives be used to store information, but they should also bring old knowledge and experience to the forefront of new discovery and understanding.

If you’d like to explore the Punahou School Digital Archives for yourself, please click here.

To learn more about the Recollect platform, visit our website here.