Hawaiʻi’s librarians, archivists, and some early filmmakers always understood the importance of saving Hawaiʻi’s moving image history for future generations.
In 1989 KHET-PBS Hawaiʻi hired a local archivist named Ruth Tamura to undertake a legacy project cataloging Hawaiʻi’s existing films. She found an urgent need, but no funding, facilities, or even the technical know-how to save our film history.
In 2000, filmmaker Esther Figueroa, Ph.D., created the Legacy Foundation dedicated to the preservation of Pacific media and the perpetuation of Pacific cultures and knowledge. Again, without funding the effort came to a halt.
In 2006, to address this urgent crisis of preserving our collective memory of culture and community on celluloid and videotape, Senator Daniel K. Inouye secured a Congressionally-directed grant through the U.S. Department of Education to create the first moving image archive in Hawaiʻi. Named for his longtime friend, aide, and the first Native Hawaiian to hold the office of the United States Senate Sergeant-At-Arms, this archive honors not just Henry Giugni (pronounced Ju-nee) but the memory of kūpuna who have passed and left behind a rich reminder of who we are and where we come from.
Phase I (2008-2010)
Phase I of the project resulted in the hiring of a Project Consultant who wrote a 100-page Report on the state of moving image preservation in Hawaiʻi and created an implementation plan for establishing an archival facility.
Phase II (2009 - 2011)
Phase II was the Beta Pilot Program, a collaborative effort between the Archives and local institutions, filmmakers and educators that built upon the consultant’s report to create a representative digital collection of Hawaiian film and video, and implemented standard processes for digitization, preservation, and access.
Phase III (2010 - 2012)
Phase III laid the foundations for a long-term and fully operational Archive through the establishment of a permanent physical location on the new UH West Oʻahu campus, our re-naming as ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi, and our designation as the official state archive for moving images.