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Senator Daniel K. Inouye Papers

Identifier: MANUSCRIPT-HCPC00011

Scope and Contents

The Senator Daniel K. Inouye Papers encompases records that document aspects of his personal life and political career. The political records in this collection follow Senator Inouye’s campaign for the House of Representatives through his tenure in the United States Senate.

The Senator’s personal life and military and political career before Congress are best documented in the Photograph and Personal Series. The Photograph (1923-2011) series contains black-and-white and color prints housed individually and in thematic albums. It contains photographs that document the Senator’s childhood and service in the United States Armed Forces highly decorated 442nd Regimental Infantry unit. The Personal series (1942-2013) contains personal correspondence as well as records relating to the Senator’s memorial services and burial.

Records that document the Senator’s campaigns for the United States House of Representatives and Senate can be primarily found in the Political Affairs (1964-1980) and Campaign Series (1954-2010). Records in these series document not only the Senator’s campaigns, but also campaigns of other members of the Democratic Party as well as the Democratic National Convention.

Files related to the legislative process can be located in a number of series in the collection. The House records series covers the extent of Senator Inouye’s term in the United States Representatives. Papers relating to the Senator’s services in the United States Senate can be found in the Legislative Files (1963-2012), Project and Event files, and Staff Files (1987-2012) series. Files relating to the activities of the Senator’s congressional offices on Hawaii and in Washington, D.C. are the Administrative Files (1963-2012), Staff Files, Subject Files (1963-2012), and Speeches (1963-2012). Much of the records in the Party Politics series were also created and maintained by Senator Inouye’s long time Administrative Assistant (chief of staff), Henry Giungi. While records relating to Senator Inouye’s committee work can be found in the papers, the official committee records remain with United States House of Representatives and Senate.

The Constituent Services series contains records relating to interactions between constituents and Senator Inouye’s congressional offices in Hawaii and Washington, D.C. The Case Files subseries contains correspondence between constituents and the congressional office where the constituent has asked to office to intervene with a government agency on their behalf. Constituent correspondence contains mail from constituents and from other parts of the United States typically related to specific issues or pieces of legislation. Also included are individualized or official form responses from Senator Inouye and his staff.

Series containing subjects of special interest include the Project and Event Files (1972-2012, bulk 1980-2012), Native Hawaiian Issues (1972-1985), Kaho’olawe (1971-2003), and Latin American Japanese Internment (1942-2010). The Investigative Committee records (1973-1987) series contains non-official records from the Watergate Committee, Iran-Contra Committee, and ABSCAM Scandal records

Series were created for specific formats held in the papers. The series related to special formats include Photographs (1923-2011), Microfilmed records (1961-2000, bulk 1980-1992), Books (1915-1960), and Born-Digital (1973-2012, bulk 1991-2012). Special formats such as photographs, artifacts, and oversized items separated from their original series can be also found in the Separations series (1963-2012).


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1959 - 2012

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Access restrictions apply to certain records in the papers that have been determined to contain sensitive personal or government information. Series assessed to contain sensitive information will remain closed until 2028 with the exception of Constituent Services Case Work, which contains high levels of personal identifiable information. Constituent Services Case Work will be available to requesting individuals upon review and approval of the archivist or librarian managing the Property. Individual files or records assessed to contain sensitive information may also carry restrictions. Series assessed with medium risk may be made available to the researcher after the files are reviewed for sensitive information or formats. Series assessed to be of low risk of disclosing sensitive information may be open and available to researchers.

Low risk: The following series pose little risk of revealing sensitive information and could be made available to the public with little harm: Administrative Files, Campaign Files, Constituent Services(Correspondence and Projects), House Records, Kaho’olawe, Native Hawaiian Issues, Japanese Latin American Internment, Personal, Political Affairs, Speeches, Scheduling Files, Medal of Honor, Legislative Files, Photographs, Public Relations, Books, and Subject Files.

Medium risk: ABSCAM, Staff Files, Born-Digital (format-based), Microfilm.

Series with sensitive information: Constituent Services (Case Work), Watergate, Iran-Contra, and subseries containing records related to military and defense appropriations.

The Hawaiʻi Congressional Papers Collection is accessible in the University Archives and Manuscripts Department's John Troup Moir, Jr., and Gertrude M.F. Moir Archives Reading Room. For more information, please contact the Congressional Papers Archivist by email:, or phone: 808-956-6047.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers,their descendants, or the repository if copyright has been signed over, as stipulated by United States copyright law. 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 and is not intended to include orimply permission of the copyright holder, which must be obtainedby the user.

Biographical Note

The son of Hyotaro and Kame Inouye, Daniel Ken Inouye was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on September 7, 1924. He was a graduate of McKinley High School in Honolulu with ambitions on becoming a physician. Due to his interest in medicine, Inouye served as a medical volunteer during the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. He joined the United States Army after the enlistment ban was lifted for Japanese Americans. He served in the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Italy and France. Inouye lost his right arm in combat and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart with Cluster for his heroism in combat.

With the loss of his right arm in combat, Inouye shifted his career interests from medicine to law. He graduated from the University of Hawaii with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1950 and continued his education at George Washington University where he received the degree of Juris Doctor in 1953. He practiced law in Hawaii before entering politics. Inouye was elected to the Hawaii Territorial House of Representatives in 1953 and became the majority leader.

Inouye was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and took office on August 21, 1959, the same day that Hawaii became a state. Inouye was be re elected and served in the U.S. House of Representatives until 1962. He ran for the U. S. Senate and was elected in 1962. Senator Inouye was successfully re elected to the Senate until his death in 2012. In the Senate, Inouye became nationally known from his keynote speech at the 1968 Democratic National Convention and his service on the Senate Watergate Committee. He also served as the chair for the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Senate Commerce Committee, and the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. Toward the end of his tenure in the Senate, Inouye served as the President Pro Tempore from 2010-2012.

Committee Work

  • Senate Watergate Committee, 1973-1974
  • Senate Intelligence Committee Chair, 1976-1979
  • Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan
  • Opposition Chair, 1987-1989
  • Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chair, 1987-1995 and 2001-2003
  • Senate Commerce Committee Chair, 2007-2009
  • Senate Appropriations Committee Chair, 2009-2012


1,237 Linear Feet


The Senator Daniel K. Inouye Papers encompasses records that document aspects of his personal life and political career. The political records in this collection follow Senator Inouye’s campaign for the House of Representatives through his tenure in the United States Senate.


The Senator Daniel K. Inouye papers are divided into 21 major series, which are further divided into several subseries. The series were determined both by the scope of their subject matter and by format.

    Series I, Books, 1915-1960
    Series II, Photographs, 1923-2011
    Series III, Campaign files, 1954-2010
    Series IV, House records, 1959-1962
    Series V, Legislative files, 1963-2012
    Series VI, Administrative files, 1963-2012
    Series VII, Subject files, 1963-2012
    Series VIII, Scheduling files, 1963-2012
    Series IX, Staff files, 1987-2012
    Series X, Speeches, 1961-2012
    Series XI, Native Hawaiian Issues, 1972-1985
    Series XII, Japanese Latin American Internment, 1942-2010, bulk 1970-2010
    Series XIII, Kahoʻolawe, 1971-2003
    Series XIV, Medal of Honor, 1997-2012, bulk 1970-2000
    Series XV, Project and Event files, 1972-2012
    Series XVI, Constituent Services, 1962-2012
    Series XVII, Investigative Committee records, 1973-1987
    Series XVIII, Political Affairs, 1964-1980
    Series XIX, Personal files, 1942-2013
    Series XX, Microfilmed records, 1961-2000, bulk 1980-1992
    Series XXI, Born-digital records, 1973-2012, bulk 1991-2012

Separated Materials

Audio-visual materials have been removed from the papers and are held by ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawaiʻi.

  • Approximately 32 cubic feet of documents, including photos, correspondence, reports, etc.
Senator Daniel K. Inouye papers
In Progress
Processed by Jack Kormos (Mar 2014-Mar 2017), Charise Michelsen (Mar 2014-Sep 2016), and Elizabeth Seaton (Dec 2016-Mar 2017) under the direction of the Congressional Papers Archivist, Rachael Bussert.
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Libraries Repository