MISSION HOUSES MUSEUM RENAMING TO HAWAIIAN MISSION HOUSES HISTORIC SITE AND ARCHIVES
News Release from www.MissionHouses.org
HONOLULU, HI – The Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society and Mission Houses Museum’s board of trustees recently approved a strategic plan and new name for this National Landmark. Starting February 1, 2012, the Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society Library and Mission Houses Museum will become Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives. The new name and strategic plan is meant to better reflect the nature of the facilities and to establish the organization as a collaborative part of the community.
“The vision is straight-forward: the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives enriches our community by fostering thoughtful dialogue and greater understanding of the missionary role in the history of Hawai‘i,” says Dr. Thomas Woods, executive director, “Our new focusing theme can be summarized in one word—collaboration.”
Collaboration between Native Hawaiians and the American Protestant missionaries resulted in, among other things, the introduction of Christianity, the creation of the Hawaiian written language, widespread literacy, the promulgation of the concept of constitutional government, making Western medicine more available, and the evolution of a new and distinctive musical tradition. Over the course of 2012, Hawaiian Mission Houses will be presenting a variety of special programs designed to encourage ‘emotional learning,’ so people get to know the historical missionary families on a more personal level. Special events during the year will feature performances by local actors and musicians, and our classic Holiday Craft Fair, among others.
According to Dr. Woods, “Missionaries were people with hopes, dreams, devotion, and inspirational success, but they also experienced disappointments, loneliness, sadness, misjudgments, and failures. These are the moments the Hawaiian Mission Houses want visitors to experience and the people we want visitors to come to know as we approach the bicentennial of the First Company’s arrival in 1820.”
Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives, located in Honolulu’s Historic Capitol District, is the authority of Hawaiian missionary history, and is known worldwide as the place where the Hawaiian written language was developed in collaboration with the ali‘i—the Hawaiian royalty—and the Hawaiian people. It preserves the two oldest documented houses in Hawai‘i, which were built and used by missionaries in the early 19th century, and the largest collection of Hawaiian language books in the world.