MicSem Library

Special Collections

Besides its print materials, the MicSem Library has large holdings of visual materials and audio recordings from the islands. The special collections include photos and slides, videos and other moving images, and recordings of music of all types.

Photo Collection

MicSem maintains a collection of 82,000 still photos, some of them dating back a century or more. The collection includes images from church archives, Catholic and Protestant, as well as photos copied from the major archives in Germany, Japan, Spain, Australia and the United States. Other photos were copied from the collections of private individuals, including former Peace Corps volunteers, statesmen, professional photographers and social scientists. The historical photos have been used in the production of the online photo albums, some of the videos MicSem produced, and in some of MicSem’s publications, especially the high school textbooks it has edited.

The MicSem photo collection can be searched online by subject, location, and year. A thumbnail is visible in the search results for all photos that have already been digitized.

Video Collection

MicSem’s collection of 800 videos includes historical footage from Japan and Germany, along with wartime and early post-war newsreel footage of the islands. Commercially produced television programs on the islands are also found in the collection.

Some of these focus on the war, while others highlight political developments in Micronesia or the natural features of the islands. In addition, the collection contains some are lightly edited videos on major events such as Yap Day, ordinations, inaugurations, athletic contests, and the like.

Like the other special collections, the videos can be searched online. Digital copies of these can be purchased, provided no restrictions have been imposed by donors.

Music Collection

Since 2007, MicSem has been actively gathering musical selections from throughout the Micronesian region, including Guam and the Northern Marianas. The 22,300 musical items collected include chants, dances, laments, songs of all types, and church hymns.

The collection ranges from a few very traditional chants through the introduction of stringed instruments right up to island reggae and hip-hop. Nearly all the music is in the local languages.

The music may be searched online by island, artist, title, or time period. To help visitors better identify music, they can hear a few chords of each musical selection by clicking on an icon.