About Hawaiian Mission Houses
Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives (HMH), an active site for Hawaii’s history since 1820, is a National Historic Landmark (listed in 1965) and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (last re-accredited in 2010). HMH graces a one-acre site in the Historic Capital district in downtown Honolulu. HMH preserves Hawai‘i’s oldest Western-style house, the 1821 Mission House, as well as the 1831 Chamberlain House, the 1841 Bedroom Annex, a cemetery, a collections storage vault, a gift shop, and multi-purpose space. The library, which holds both English and Hawaiian archival material, welcomes researchers on site as well as from around the globe through the digital collection. A coral-and-grass performance arena was added in 2011, hosting theater and mele (music) performances throughout the year, and a reconstructed hale pili, built using cultural practitioner leadership and designed with sources from journals in the HMH archives, was added in 2021. HMH offers school field trips, tours, historical theater performances and has been awarded over 15 Po‘okela Awards for Excellence in theatrical performance, writing, and direction. The HMH historical archive holds over 80,000 digital pieces and is home to one of the largest collections of Hawaiian language books in the world.
Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives enriches our community by fostering thoughtful dialogue and greater understanding of the missionary role and impact on the history of Hawai`i.
Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives preserves the heritage and interprets the stories of the American Protestant Missionaries, their descendants, and their relationships with the people and cultures of Hawai`i, connecting with contemporary life, and encouraging a deeper understanding and appreciation of the complex history of Hawaiʻi.
Collaboration between Native Hawaiians and the American Protestant missionaries resulted in, among other things, the introduction of Christianity, the development of a written Hawaiian language and establishment of schools that resulted in widespread literacy, the promulgation of the concept of constitutional government, the combination of Hawaiian with Western medicine, and the evolution of a new and distinctive musical tradition with harmony and choral singing.