Digital archive of Hawaii literature goes online

More titles will come online as author permission is secured


Out-of-print and rare titles from Bamboo Ridge Press will now be available free online, thanks to a digitization project funded in part by the Hawaii Council for the Humanities.

Paper disintegrates and gets torn, ink fades, and book copies from the library are sometimes lost or stolen. To preserve Bamboo Ridge’s past as it continues to publish into the future, all out-of-print and nearly out-of-print issues have been made available in digitized form.

The collection will be housed at the Kapiolani Community College Repository, where issues will be downloadable and free to the public.

At present, only a few digitized books are available as Bamboo Ridge Press secures the required permissions from authors. More issues will be added as the publisher continues to obtain over forty years of reprint permissions from hundreds of writers in Hawaii and across the globe.

“The archive is an ongoing project and labor of love that will be a resource for generations of readers to come,” a Bamboo Ridge Press spokesperson said in a prepared release.

For example, students or researchers looking into the life of the issei (first-generation Japanese immigrants) on the Big Island can read what it was like during the 1960 tidal wave by reading Juliet Kono’s “Hilo Rains” here:

Bamboo Ridge Press is hosting a celebratory gathering at the Lama Library at Kapiolani Community College on Thursday, February 13, 2020 from 4:40-6:30 pm. Noted scholar Dr. Christine Yano will present, “Bamboo Ridge Goes Digital: Locating Genealogical Futures.” In addition, founding editors Darrell Lum and Eric Chock, along with noted writers such as Juliet Kono and Wing Tek Lum, will share their insights into the past, present, and future of Bamboo Ridge.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Additional funding is necessary for further digitization, and fans and supporters are encouraged to make a donation via the Bamboo Ridge website at

About Bamboo Ridge Press

Bamboo Ridge Press was founded in 1978 to foster the appreciation, understanding, and creation of literary, visual, or performing arts by, for, or about Hawaii’s people. It is the longest running independent small press in Hawaii and is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, 501 (c)(3) organization funded by book sales and individual donors and supplemented in part by grants. For more information, call (808) 626-1481, email, or visit

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