Sheet Music Collection

This collection of Hawaiian and hapa-haole sheet music dates from 1867 to the 1960s. There are 131 pieces in the collection, which is growing through donations. There is a printed finding aid in the HHS library reading room. The library also has songbooks of Hawaiian music which are cataloged in the library OPAC. Search on Songs – Hawaiian.

Among the rare items in the collection is “He Mele Lahui Hawaii” (Hawaiian National Anthem), composed by Lilia K. Dominis and published in 1867. This is the future Queen Lili’uokalani’s first published composition, and possibly the first sheet music printed in Honolulu. The cover was drawn by missionary son Robert W. Andrews and lithographed by Robert Newcomb at his shop on Merchant street. [Treasures of Hawaiian History From the Collection of the Hawaiian Historical Society, by David W. Forbes, p. 77]