Digital Document Collections

The Council has made it a priority to locate and digitize important collections of historical documents to promote the study of the history and cultures of the Northern Mariana Islands.  This work is being done under its ongoing "Digital Archives Initiative."  The following collections are now available.  To access PDF files of the documents, please click on the appropriate link.

Spanish Government Records relating to the Mariana Islands. Compiled by Dr. Augusto De Viana and Dr. Carlos Madrid. This collection of Spanish colonial government documents (primarily 19th century) was obtained from the Philippine National Archives in two phases.  The first phase collected roughly 40,000 pages of materials. Documents collected during this phase were photocopied and then arranged into a multi-volume bound set.  No digital version of this material has been produced.  The bound volumes are now housed at the NMI Museum of History and Culture. The second phase collected an additional 30,000 pages. The materials collected during the second phase of work are available in three formats: paper (loose bundles), microfilm and digital (PDF). The paper and microfilm formats have been turned over to the NMI Archives at the Northern Marianas College.  The digital version (contained on multiple DVDs) is held by the Council pending replication.  Project funded by the Council as a part of its Digital Archives Initiative. The Council does not have permission to offer this collection online.  Digital files of phase II documents may be viewed at the Council office and at the Northern Marianas Archives.

Compendium of German Colonial Literature in the Marianas.  Compiled by Dr. Dirk Spennemann. This collection totals roughly 17,000 pages and consists of German language reports relating to the Mariana Islands, most produced between 1899 and 1914.  Paper copies of these documents, arranged in 28 bound volumes, are held by the CNMI Museum.  Digital copies of this collection are available online at: http://marshall.csu.edu.au/CNMI/CNMIBIB/CNMIBIB2.html.  This collection is made more usable by an annotated bibliography produced by Dr. Dirk Spennemann that organizes the materials under a series of topical headings and provides an English language summary for each item. Project funded by the Council as a part of its Digital Archives Initiative.

U.S. Navy Civil Affairs Files (1944-1962).  Compiled by Council staff. This collection includes letters, memos, telegrams and reports associated with the U.S. Navy's administration of the Northern Mariana Islands beginning with the capture of the islands during World War II and concluding with the transfer of administration to Interior in 1962.

The Northern Mariana Islands Original Historical Documents on Development of a U.S. Commonwealth, 1960-1977.  Compiled by Howard Willens and Deanne Siemer. This collection totals roughly 55,000 pages of U.S. government documents that relate to U.S. policy regarding the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and the subsequent negotiations between the U.S. and the Northern Mariana Islands governments that led to the creation of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.  This collection is in PDF format (on a single DVD) and is accompanied by an introductory booklet. Project funded by the Council as a part of its Digital Archives Initiative.

From the White House. Documents on the Northern Mariana Islands and Micronesia (1945-1995) collected from the Presidential Libraries. Compiled by Howard Willens and Deanne Siemer. This collection totals roughly 10,900 pages of U.S. government documents relating to the U.S. administration of the Northern Mariana Islands acquired from the libraries of eight U.S. presidents (Truman through Bush 1). This collection is in PDF format (on a single DVD) and is accompanied by an introductory booklet.  Project funded by the Council as a part of its Digital Archives Initiative.

Oral History of the Mariana Islands. Political Life and Development (1945-1995). Compiled by Howard Willens and Deanne Siemer. This collection contains transcripts of 136 individuals (in CNMI and U.S. mainland) who were interviewed by Howard Willens and Deanne Siemer (interviewed between 1993 and 1997) about the political developments in the Northern Mariana Islands after World War II.  This collection comes in two formats:  An eight-volume set published under the CNMI Division of Historic Preservation’s Occasional Historical Papers series and in PDF format (on a single DVD).  Digital version of this material replicated at Council expense as a part of its Digital Archives Initiative.

The Making of a Constitution.  Documents from NMI Constitutional Conventions.  Compiled by Howard Willens and Deanne Siemer.  This collection consists of approximately 31,000 pages of documents from the three CNMI Constitution Conventions (1976, 1985, and 1995).  This collection is in PDF format (on a single DVD) and is accompanied by an introductory booklet. Project funded by the Council as a part of its Digital Archives Initiative.

Marianas Variety.  This collection contains issues of the Marianas Variety News and Views newspaper from 1974 to 2000.  The collection was digitized from microfilm held by the University of Hawaii Hamilton Library.  This collection is in PDF format (on multiple DVDs). Project funded by the Council as a part of its Digital Archives Initiative.

Guam News/Guam Daily News.  This collection contains issues of the Guam News (which later became the Guam Daily News, and finally the Pacific Daily News) from 1947 to 1963.  This collection was digitized from microfilm held by the NMI Archives at the Northern Marianas College.  This collection is in PDF format (on multiple DVDs). Project funded by the Council as a part of its Digital Archives Initiative.

Carolinian Oral Histories. Transcribed by Mike and Angelina McCoy. This collection contains approximately 24 hours of taped stories, chants, and songs collected on the island of Satawal in 1982.  This information, recounted in several dialects of the Carolinian language, relates to oral history dealing with voyages to and settlement in the Northern Mariana Islands.  Digital files include audio recordings and verbatim transcriptions.  View an English language index of the tapes here.

On My Mind.  An opinion column written by the late Ruth Tighe over a 25-year period covering a variety of issues affecting the community.

Records of the Spanish Government in the Mariana Islands.  This collection is made up of 18th and 19th century Spanish government documents that were captured by U.S. naval forces on Guam during the Spanish-American War in 1898.  The Navy Department subsequently donated this collection to the U.S. Library of Congress in 1903.  The collection has an English language index that provides information about individual documents.