Photo of the week

The MicSem Online Photo Album Collection includes 30 albums on historical themes. Many of these are also available for online viewing as videos. Other albums center on a variety of themes, some related to nature. The albums are changed periodically and feature photos from the Micronesian Seminar library collection and the resources of other institutions in the area.

Each of the MicSem historical mini albums on the islands offers a look backward at Micronesia as it was yesterday. It is a walk through the past, as seen in images rather than written text. The other albums offer a fascinating glimpse of undersea life and other distinctively island features.

MicSem also maintains a collection of 58,000 photos, many of them of historical value, in its own resource center.


The Healing Arts

As long as there has been illness, the healing arts have been practiced. And there have always been sick people in the islands. Once these healers may have used chants and herbs. Today they make use of pills and lab equipment and scalpels in the operating room. The healing profession has come a long way in the islands. Follow the course of its development in this series of photos.

01 Jan 2009

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Island Hospitality

Caring for visitors is as Micronesian as taro and breadfruit and fish. People who had sailed in from another island could always expect a warm welcome from their hosts and a generous share of their food. Today, with the rise of the tourist industry, the care for visitors has developed into a business. These pictures offer a sweeping view of island hospitality, especially as it has developed in the years since the war.

01 Jul 2008

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People at Play

Modern sports serve many purposes: they provide an outlet for competition, they afford good bodily exercise, and they are a relaxing change of pace from our usual work. Besides all that, they're fun. Games and sports, like just about everything else, has evolved over the years in the islands. In this album we present a visual mini-history of sports in Micronesia.

01 Feb 2008

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The Catholic Church in Micronesia

Catholic missionaries were early visitors to Micronesia. In the late 17th century, they brought the faith to the Marianas, where the church became a strong feature of local culture for the next three centuries. Meanwhile, a few unsuccessful attempts were made to evangelize islands in the Carolines. It was not until the late 1800s, after Protestant missionaries had brought Christianity to eastern Micronesia, that the Catholics returned. Since then, however, the church has found a permanent place and changed the face of the islands forever.

01 Jul 2007

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Agana on the Rise

From the late 1600s, when Guam first became a Spanish colony, Agana (as it was then known) was the principal town and the administrative center. For 200 years, town life reflected the mix of cultural influences, Chamorro and Spanish, on the local population. With the establishment of US naval rule in 1900, the town itself, like the rest of the island, underwent changes. At first the changes were minor, but in time they escalated. A half century later, after the destruction of World War II, the town was redesigned even as it was rebuilt. Agana, like the rest of the island, would never be the same again.

01 Mar 2007

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Police on Parade

They direct traffic, patrol the roads of our towns, issue licenses and summonses. Every day we see the police at work. They are out in force on special occasions–-to greet dignitaries at the airports, to stand watch at state funerals, and to march in parades. The history of island police is a long one, beginning a century ago with the introduction of German rule. Uniforms alone have been through many transformations–-from muslin blouses to full white dress, to military khaki, to today’s blue This album offers a look at how the police force has evolved in Micronesia over the years.

01 Oct 2006

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Patterns in Undersea Nature

Treasures that are ours.

Treasures beneath the sea.

Take time to appreciate them.

01 May 2010

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Media & Messages

Once upon a time, it was just through word of mouth from person to person. Then messages could be transmitted at a distance, slowly at first and then with increasing speed and stronger effect. At first only letters in the form of dots and dashes were carried to distant places, and then sounds, and finally images. At one time distant messages only reached the district centers, but in time they were carried into our homes. Now the voices of our friends can find us wherever we are–in boats as we fish, in class, on the track. They, like so much else, are only a click of a button away. This album celebrates the stunning changes of media through the ages.

01 May 2009

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