In just over a century, from 1834 to 1948, Hawaiian writers filled 125,000 pages in nearly 100 different newspapers with their writings. The contents of those papers span a period when noted historians, expert genealogists, skilled storytellers, and cultural specialists were numerous, and their knowledge was intentionally recorded in writing for their contemporaries and for generations of the future.
However from these papers, only a tiny fraction – less than one percent of the whole – has been translated and published. The rest - equal to well over a million letter-sized pages of text - remains untranslated, difficult to access in the original form, unused, and largely unknown.
Mai Pa‘a I Ka Leo examines the formation of the canon of Hawaiian source texts commonly referred to in Hawaiian history and cultural studies and their relationship to the larger body of Hawaiian primary materials recorded in the Hawaiian language newspapers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Nogelmeier also explores current efforts to mine this largely unexamined archive of newspaper texts and increase accessibility to their wealth of cultural knowledge.