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"We believe that through education and awareness, no one should ever again die in Hawai`i due to a tsunami."
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In accordance with our mission statement, the main goal of the museum is to promote public tsunami awareness and education for the people of Hawai`i and the Pacific Region. The Pacific Tsunami Museum strives to preserve the social and cultural history of Hawai`i as it relates to tsunami devastation and to serve as a testament to the perseverance of the communities in rebuilding their lives. Thus, the Pacific Tsunami Museum Archives is a repository for materials that promote and understanding of and appreciation for tsunamis.

Yasuki Arakaki Collection; Cecilio Licos photographer
The Pacific Tsunami Museum Archives is a modest collection of tsunami photographs, maps, oral histories, scientific papers, documents, videos, and artifacts. Our archives once started as a small collection of stories and photographs. Over time, people have gathered to share their survival stories, their memories, and their keepsakes with us. The archives continues to grow; and as it does, we are able to fulfill part of our mission-- to preserve the social and cultural history of Hawaii and to serve as a living memorial to those who lost their lives in past tsunami events.

In addition to our collections, we have survivors of past tsunamis, our 'living archives', that volunteer their time at the Museum to share a piece of history with you. Come by and 'talk story' with them, read the students' essays, and browse through our Tsunami Stories.

Now accessible on this website is NOAA's Tsunami Map Viewer, a tool which allows the browser to see all the Tsunami Evacuation Zones in Hawai'i. The Interactive Hilo Bay Tsunami Map makes it possible to see photos of Hilo after the devastating 1946 tsunami by moving a mouse cursor across the map.

Archives Collections

The Pacific Tsunami Museum Archives is a storage, organization, and preservation site for documents, artifacts, photographs, and other primary and secondary source materials pertinent to tsunami education and the social and cultural history of Hawai`i, which is made available for research and educational purposes.

Our library holds several sources for research and education including maps, scientific papers and books, children's books and activities, newspaper articles, letters, and journals. We also have a large collection of Japanese language resources, in addition to publications in Russian and Spanish.

Photo Collection
We have an extensive collection of historic photographs. These include photos depicting the aftermath of tsunamis and a selection of photos of advancing tsunami waves. We also have some historic photos of Hawai`i, particularly of Hilo town.

Video Library
Our extensive video collection of over 100 titles includes documentaries on tsunamis, tsunami footage, historic footage of Hawai`i, survivor interviews, computer models, and vidoes in recorded in Japanese, German, Spanish, and French.

Oral History & Written Narrative Collection
Possibly one of the most important collections in the Archives is the first hand accounts from survivors and witnesses of tsunamis. We have over three hundred interviews and written accounts from people who either survived or witnessed a tsunami in the Pacific region or have a story to share.

Ordering Reproductions
If you are interested in ordering photographs, videos, or transcripts, click here for more information:

Ordering from the Archives

Would you like to make a contribution?
Do you have any old photographs, newspaper articles, books, letters, videos, etc. that portray the tsunamis in Hawai`i? Don't know what do do with them? Would you like them kept somewhere where they can be preserved and shared with others? If so, please contact our Archives. We always accept donations that are pertinent to the history, science, effects and remembrance of tsunamis in Hawai`i and the Pacific.
If you have a story to share with us, we would like to interview you. Please contact us at email: .
Please keep in mind that your donations help promote our understanding of and appreciation for tsunamis for research and educational purposes.

All materials © Copyright 1996-2008 Pacific Tsunami Museum Inc.
130 Kamehameha Ave Hilo, HI 96720 tel: 808-935-0926 FAX: 808-935-0842 email:
Last Revised November 2010