Go to homepage

Queen's Literature

Letter dated August 24, 1902 from Liliʻuokalani to Hon. G.W. MacFarlane. Courtesy of the Hawaiʻi State Archives, Reference M93.01-6-65-545

In Her Own Words

In Her Own Words

Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen Liliuokalani

First published in 1898, the publication of the Queen’s autobiography was part of Liliʻuokalani’s efforts to stave off the U.S. annexation of Hawaiʻi. In her own words, she tells the remarkable story of her life, ascent to the throne, and personal account of her overthrow. This rich, highly readable narrative in the Queen’s elegant prose continues to be widely read and cited today. The hardcover edition was published by Hui Hānai, an auxiliary organization of Liliʻuokalani Trust, in 2013 with annotations by Historian and Bibliographer David W. Forbes. In 2014, the book received the 2014 "Excellence in Design" Award from the Hawai'i Book Publishers Association, as well as an Honorable Mention in the Nonfiction category.

It is available from Native Books and University of Hawaiʻi Press.

Note: Hawaiian diacritical marks were not used in the title when it was originally published by the Queen in 1898. This is why no ‘okina appear in the words “Hawaii” and “Liliuokalani.”

The Queen’s Songbook

Fifty-five compositions comprise this remarkable volume that highlights the Queen’s extraordinary gifts in music. Compiled by Dorothy Kahananui Gillet, alongside Barbara Smith, Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell, Agnes Conrad, and many others, the book is an exemplary contribution to the body of knowledge on the Queen's music.


“The Queen herself intended to do this, so we are carrying out her expressed desire and vision to make available her songs to every Hawaiian family,” said Dr. Blaisdell. The project spanned decades and involved hundreds of hours of work by volunteers who "painstakingly picked at each note, each work, each translation" to produce an authoritative source of the Queen's music.


The book is a project of Hui Hānai, an auxiliary organization of Liliʻuokalani Trust.


Available from Native Books and University of Hawaiʻi Press.

The Diaries of Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii, 1885-1890

The Queen’s diaries, which she penned between 1885 and 1900, reveal her experience as heir apparent and monarch of the Hawaiian Islands during one of the most intense, complicated, and politically charged eras in Hawaiian history.

The practice of keeping journals and diaries was well-established among the Hawaiian aliʻi when Lydia Kapaʻakea Paki, later known as Liliʻuokalani, was a child. In most cases, however, only fragments of aliʻi diaries have survived. Those of Queen Liliʻuokalani are the sole―and striking―exception.

The Liliʻuokalani diaries for 1887, 1888, 1889 (short version), 1893, and 1894 are a part of the group of documents known as the “seized papers” that are now held by the Hawaiʻi State Archives. These are among the records seized by order of Republic of Hawaiʻi officials in 1895 with the intent of obtaining evidence that she had prior knowledge of the 1895 counterrevolution. The government eventually turned these documents over to the territorial archives in 1921, four years after the death of the Queen. Four of the diaries transcribed here were not seized and remained in the Queen’s possession; today these are in the Bishop Museum. The important 1889 (long version) diary is now in the private collection of a member of her family and its contents appear here in publication for the first time

Collectively, the Queen’s diaries, introduced, edited, and annotated by David W. Forbes, provide the reader with invaluable insights into Liliʻuokalani’s private life, thoughts, and deeds during her rule as sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands; the overthrow of her government in 1893; her arrest, imprisonment, trial, and abdication in 1895; and her efforts in Washington, DC, to avert the 1898 annexation of her beloved islands to the United States.

Available from Native Books and University of Hawaiʻi Press.

The Liliʻuokalani Manuscript Collection

In addition to her formally published works, the Queen also gifted her entire collection of personal papers to the Hawaiʻi State Archives. Known as the Liliʻuokalani Manuscript Collection, these 24,000 documents completed its digitization process in 2021, with support from Liliʻuokalani Trust. They are now fully available and accessible to anyone in the world to read electronically.


Hawaiʻi Public Radio interviewed State Archivist Dr. Adam Jansen about this remarkable project. To hear this conversation, please click here.


To access this free electronic collection from the Hawaiʻi State Archives, please click here.