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Preserving the work of Kaua‘i archaeologist Dr. William Kikuchi

Since September 2022, Kaua‘i Community College archivist Jason Ford has been archiving and preserving the work of archaeologist Dr. William Kikuchi (1935-2003).

Dr. Kikuchi did important archaeological field work in Samoa and Hawai‘i, and Kaua‘i Community College students fondly remember him as a popular professor of anthropology.

Jason Ford’s background uniquely qualifies him for his position as the Kikuchi Archivist.

It comprises a combination of interdisciplinary experience in Native Hawaiian language, culture, archaeology, the sciences and humanities, along with a degree and background in library and information science.

Available to him are Dr. Kikuchi’s source materials, which include archaeology field notes and field note journals, other notes, correspondences, draft papers, articles, archaeology project materials and other secondary sources he collected.

There are also about 120 boxes of excavated materials from archaeology sites.

These materials are ecofacts, a small amount of artifacts, and other sand and soil samples.

There is also a map collection, a few semi-rare books, and some audio visual material.

They were officially given to the college by his wife Dolly Kikuchi through a deed of gift, but Kaua‘i Community College already had most of the items in its possession.

Ford says, “Dr Kikuchi documented many archaeology sites. Unfortunately, both due to natural and industrial causes, some of these sites no longer exist and his notes and materials provide some of the only evidence of them, especially evidence of their existence at the time he experienced them. This is of great benefit to the community and scholars because it provides information that would otherwise be lost to time.”

Ford also collaborates with faculty to integrate archival materials into classroom curriculum and provide information literacy instruction to teach students research skills.

When Ford’s work is complete, the materials will be permanently housed at the Kikuchi Center at Kaua‘i Community College, where they will be preserved in perpetuity, while selected priority materials will be digitized and will be accessible in an online repository.

Kaua‘i Community College will also provide other forms of outreach to the public to inform the community about the Kikuchi Center’s materials.
Source: The Garden Island

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