HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After five decades on Capitol Hill, Senator Daniel Inouye leaves behind volumes of Congressional papers, his living legacy.
The University of Hawaii at Manoa has temporary racks set up at Hamilton Library ready to receive and archive the documents starting in November.
UH Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple explained, "It will probably take 2-3 years. There's about 10 thousand boxes so it's a big job, but it's going to be a great source of education and great source of research literally for decades to come."
UH also strives to uncover untold history not found on the pages. "Much information of the Senator we're not going to find in the papers" said Dr. Denise Konan, UH Manoa Dean of the College of Social Sciences. "He didn't keep a diary.
The Senator's widow Irene added, "Fortunately, he was a great story teller. It's really through those stories we're going to be able to connect what's in the material."
She had been encouraging him to write a second book. "That book a Journey to Washington stopped when he went to Washington. That was 1959. That was a long time ago. I was encouraging him to write a second book. He had an outline for the book and promised he was going to put down some things he hadn't shared in his other book but he didn't have a chance to finish it. Much of that is going to have to come through oral histories."
The UH Oral History Center will start with the Senator's staff, including his longtime Chief of Staff Jennifer Sabas. "I had the honor of working for him for 25 years and it was the most amazing living lesson on leadership" said Sabas. "When people ask me the most important lesson I learned, it was be nice to everybody."
Dean Konan added, "We really need to talk to people who were close to him to get the real story. World leaders. We need to talk to people like Bob Dole,
Vice President Biden had this to say about his longtime friend and colleague during one of his memorials. "No one.. No one in the 40 years I served with Danny, ever, ever, ever, ever once doubted he would do what he said."
"National leaders, international leaders, but even just his 442 buddies" said Sabas.
It will be Mrs. Inouye's mission to see that his whole life story gets told. "I think that will be the work of the next few years" says Inouye. "Get those recorded and put together in a way that will hopefully be his voice. Told through him even though he's not here. I think through his papers and stories he shared with us, that will be able to be a part of his legacy."