Kaipuleohone Language Archive


Kaipuleohone is the digital language archive of the University of Hawaiʻi. Founded in 2008, the archive houses texts, images, audio, and video collected from around the world by linguists, anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, and more. Our collection includes a wealth of photographs, notes, dictionaries, transcriptions, and other materials related to small and endangered languages.

Our files are curated by the University of Hawaiʻi library system. Backed by these resources, Kaipuleohone provides a safe repository for priceless and unique materials to help ensure their accessibility for scientific and cultural purposes.

Kaipuleohone means “gourd of sweet words” in Hawaiian. We are very grateful to Dr. K. Laiana Wong of the Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge for suggesting and allowing us to use this name.



Kaipuleohone currently contains 1847 items in 32 collections containing 138 distinct languages spanning a geographic region that includes Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, southeast Asia, and China. Kaipuleohone’s catalog is fully searchable online through two avenues:

  1. Kaipuleohone Collection in ScholarSpace
  2. Open Language Archives Community

Please read our Conditions of Access before downloading available materials.



We accept materials from University of Hawai’i affiliates, and from anyone else with materials on languages from the Pacific or Asia. We accept born-digital items and can digitize analog materials like reel-to-reel and cassette recordings, images, and fieldnotes. Please read our Deposit Agreement Form and our Embargo Policy.

To inquire about depositing with us, including getting a Letter of Support for your NSF DEL proposal, please contact us.



Kaipu_EquipKaipuleohone is administered by the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. The archive is curated by the university library in an institutional DSpace repository, ScholarSpace.

As part of the worldwide digital archiving community, Kaipuleohone is a member of the Digital Endangered Languages and Musics Archives Network (DELAMAN). We are also a participating member of the Open Languages Archives Community (OLAC). As such, Kaipuleohone shares metadata publicly via the OLAC search engine.

We follow state-of-the-art best-practice recommendations for digital formats, storage, and metadata. For example, our audio files are stored at high resolution: WAV format at 96kHz and 24 bits. Our metadata conforms to OLAC, the Open Archives Initiative, and the Dublin Core.

Learn more about our protocols for digitizing analog materials like reel-to-reel tapes, cassettes, and fieldnotes.



  • Andrea L. Berez-Kroeker, Director, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Nick Thieberger, University of Melbourne
  • Beth Tillinghast, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • Daniel Ishimitsu, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa



Albarillo, Emily E. and Nick Thieberger. 2009. Kaipuleohone, the University of Hawai’i’s Ethnographic Archive. Language Documentation & Conservation 3(1):1-14.

Berez, Andrea L. 2013. The Digital Archiving of Endangered Language Oral Traditions: Kaipuleohone at the University of Hawai’i and C’ek’aedi Hwnax in Alaska. Oral Tradition 28(2):261-270.

Berez, Andrea. 2013. Kaipuleohone: The University of Hawai ‘i Digital Ethnographic Archive. Poster presented at the 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation. Honolulu, Hawaii.

Berez, Andrea. 2013. Integrating archiving into the Language Documentation curriculum at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Presentation at Research, Records and Responsibility: Ten Years of the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures. Sydney, Australia.

Henke, Ryan,  Andrea L. Berez, Gary Holton, Brad McDonnell, and Ruth Rouvier. 2015. The Use of Archives in Endangered Language Preservation: The State of the Art. Presentation as part of the Committee for Endangered Languages & Their Preservation panel Utilization of Archives in Endangered Language Research, Revitalization, & Documentation. Portland, Oregon.

Matson, Ivana and Andrea L. Berez. 2015. Language archives and the history of ethnoscience: The digitization and discovery of early ethnobiological research at the University of Hawai‘i. Poster presented at the 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation. Honolulu, Hawaii.



Kaipuleohone University of Hawai’i Digital Language Archive
Department of Linguistics
1890 East West Road
Honolulu HI 96822 USA