New index offers historical look at Lahaina’s newspapers

Lahaina News
Dec. 17, 2021

LAHAINA — A new index of Lahaina newspapers has been released that covers the period between the 1970s and the early 2000s.

"Newspaper indexing is one way to empower researchers to study their own communities," said University of Hawaii at Manoa Librarian Brian Richardson, who compiled the index with a grant from the HK West Maui Community Fund.

"Indexes are important, especially for newspapers, because they provide access points to documents that would not be easily accessible," said Richardson. "The structure created by an index helps to organize the overall content of what would otherwise be an unmanageable and overwhelming collection of text."

The recently released index covers the Lahaina News from 1979-2003, the Lahaina Sun from 1970-73 and the Lahaina Times from 1980-83. It is available now on Amazon.

Through the index, one can trace the social, political and landscape changes of Lahaina over recent decades. Newspapers prominently featured hotels, tourism and real estate, while sporadically mentioning land rights, Hawaiian sovereignty, poverty and social issues.

"The index thus provides a snapshot of West Maui through the editorial and corporate lens of the local newspaper," he wrote. "Of course, a more critical use of the index would also consider what was not included in the newspaper, or what was treated with cursory attention."

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