Volcano House Register

One of my projects with the Hawaiʻi Natural History Association was to transcribe the entire handwritten Volcano House Register into computer format.

From 1865 - 1955, the Volcano House kept a Register for guests to sign their names and write comments in. Of course, guests naturally wrote about their journey and accommodations, but they also described volcanic activity they witnessed. This record is extremely useful to scientists today, because until Thomas Jaggar arrived in 1912, scientific expeditions were few and far between. By looking over the Volcano House Register transcript, modern volcanologists can gather clues about the eruption in those early decades.

The images below show typical handwriting and drawings found in the Register.

A page from the Volcano House Register

Halemaumau drawing

The original computer disks that the Register was transcribed on (in the 1980's) were unreadable by computers in the new millenium. But Lopaka Lee (IT Specialist at HVO) and Dave Whilldin came up with a system of deciphering the data, and converting it to modern format. This partial version of the Volcano House Register is available, in pdf format. Please pardon the errors--there are several nests of hieroglyphics that cropped up during the computer disk translation.