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Earle Ernst papers

Identifier: A1997-002
The records in this collection span the years of 1938 -1994, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1950’s - 1990’s. The subjects are correspondences between colleagues, manuscripts, books, personal notes, staff records, and personal belongings. The collection is divided into five series: Academic, Personal, Notebooks, Audio and Letters and Correspondence.


  • 1950 - 1994



Some files restricted by donor, written request specifying purpose of research required for access to restricted files

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the University of Hawaii. It is the responsibility of the user to determine any copyright restrictions, obtain written permission, and pay any fees necessary for the reproduction or proposed use of the materials.
Literary Rights Notice All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Hawaii Library as the owner of the physical items.


4 Linear Feet : Among the items that would be deemed personal are material items: passport, pictures, address pads, an award, videotapes, and a book.

4 Cassettes (2 video home system (VHS) cassette tapes of personal recordings 2 audio cassette tapes of recordings)


Earle Ernst (1911 - 1994) was a renowned theatre professor who taught at the University of Hawaii at Manoa for over 30 years. He was a scholar of Asian theatre and is known as one of the founding members of the Theatre Department of University of Hawaii at Manoa. The Earle Ernst Papers is composed of writings, letters, and personal effects from his time at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. There are five series within the collection: Academic, Personal, Notebooks, Audio, and Letters and Correspondence. The materials shed a very personal side of Ernst and the relationships he had with friends and family in both a professional and personal setting.

Biographical Note

Earle Ernst (1911-1994) was a professor and historian at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who wrote extensively on Japanese theatre. He was the first to stage English translations of Asian plays in “authentic” performing style. As with many people of his generation, it was Ernst’s experiences in the Army during World War II that brought him into contact with theater in Asia, especially Japan. He graduated from Gettysburg College in 1933 then received his MA and PhD from Cornell University and became a founding member of the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Theatre Department. He wrote and translated hundreds of plays and which have been performed at the theatre lab that soon became his namesake. Besides writing and translating Japanese theatre, he explored Japanese history as well as writing about Asia and Southeast Asia’s performing arts. He is known as a prolific scholar of Kabuki which is a Japanese dace-drama, known for its stylization in drama and elaborate make-up.


Note: Renee Ernst (niece of Earle Ernst) might have been the donor of the Papers after the the passing of Earle. Another person who might have donated the Papers would have been Takeo Miji. Both Renee and Takeo have been primary benefactors in Ernst’s will.


Earle Ernst Papers
Kelly Ann Campbell Julia N. Jennings-Jarrell
Aug 2014
Description rules
Language of description
Dainan Skeem

Repository Details

Part of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Libraries Repository