Many visitors to the USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor National Memorial ask what types of material our museum collects. Also, many ask if we are interested in obtaining specific items that they own or are willing to purchase on our behalf. Below is a short list of items themes and background for artifacts the National Park Service desires. If you are interested in donating such items below, please contact the Museum Curator Scott Pawlowski at 808-422-3333. and read the Donor Information Packet (coming soon). We're interested in other materials but below are items of special interest to us. Please read our Scope of Collections Statement (coming soon) to get a complete understanding of our museum.
1. WAVE, WAAC or WAC, SPAR, ROTC and Marine Corps Women Reserve oral or written histories as well as period photographs, diaries, accounts, letters and collectibles that reflect on the individual experience.
2. Varsity Victory Volunteers, Red Cross, USO, HI Chamber of Commerce, YWCA and other civic or fraternal organizations active from 1940-1945 preparing or provisioning Hawaii for war. We are interested in these organizations and how they prepared, functioned and survived in the Pacific War. Archival materials, documents, photographs, diaries, speeches and ephemera would add substantially to our collection.
3. Plantation Civil Defense, Plantation Police or Plantation Medical Unit information, photographs, oral histories, publications and accounts created from 1940-1946.
4. Witness Art is very interesting to us. We seek pieces created from 1941-1952 in the Pacific Theater and Japanese Occupation executed by witnesses. Pen or pencil sketches, paintings and crafts will all be considered.
5. Volunteer Defense Force or Civilian Voluntary Militia Unit participants located on all Hawaiian Islands. We would like to expand our oral history collections and artifacts in these areas.
6. Unit, Base, Air wing, Battalion and Ship newsletters from the Pacific Theater provide great insight into daily life experienced during the war. Please see our online examples and list of known unit newsletters here.
7. Atka, Attu, Canton, Kiska, Johnston, Midway and Wake islands period photographs, diaries, accounts, letters and collectibles created from 194-1945. Oral and written histories are highly important.
8. Army Air force oral histories, written experiences, period photographs, diaries, accounts, letters and collectables from Alaska or Eastern Pacific areas that tell about the Pacific War experience.
9. Military personnel and civilians in the Aleutians period photographs, diaries, accounts, letters and collectables created from 1941-1945.
10. Library books published about the Pacific War that we do not currently own would be greatly appreciated. There are a number of firsthand accounts and histories written between 1942 and 1980 that we’d like to collect on the Pacific War. Cruise books for ships serving in the Pacific War would also be useful. We do not need an additional copy of At Dawn We Slept though it’s a great book. Four copies are enough. Please contact the museum curators office about our current holdings.
We are selective in accepting donated materials when representative examples exist in the collection. Items that fall outside our Scope of Collections statement will also be turned away. The National Park Service has limited funds and must stay focused on keeping a high standard of care for very special artifacts. We care for our objects forever which can be difficult enough. To help guide you in our collection acquisition thinking consider the following illustrations; Uniforms, guns and ammunition are only interesting to us when associated with an important figure, event or story. For instance, we would really be interested to collect General MacArthur’s uniform but not a hypothetical Private Jones. That is unless Private Jones received a silver star for gallantry in action at Midway island dressed in that exact uniform. Similarly, we would be very interested in a SPAR uniform as we do not currently have one. SPARS are an interesting story and the uniforms rare. For items that do not fit our collections, we will always recommend alternative places to donate your materials to. There are many museums, archives and libraries that might have an interest in artifacts we do not need. Please take a look at our online museum collection, WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument’s Significance Statement, Scope of Collections Statement, and Library Catalog (all of these coming soon) to get a more rounded perspective of our collections.