The Wayback Machine -
Each of the following mini-albums on the islands offer a look backward at Micronesia as it was yesterday.  It is a walk through the past, as seen in images rather than written text.  The albums are changed periodically and feature photos from the Micronesian Seminar library collection and the resources of other institutions in the area.
Please take a moment to complete our survey on the photo albums.
The 60s: Goodbye to the Jeep The 60s: Goodbye to the Jeep
With the passing of the 1950s, the era of the jeep was all but over. The road would belong to pickups and later sedans, while motorcycles became the vehicle of choice among the young. There was new money in Micronesia, as the US racheted up its annual subsidy during this decade. New schools were built and American teachers hired. The Trust Territory government was expanding for the first time since the war. Thousands of Micronesians were added to the payroll, new businesses sprang up everywhere, and development was in the air. For the first time ever Micronesia had its own congress. By the end of the decade, Peace Corps had arrived in the islands. So had Air Micronesia.  (December, 2004)  | View Album | Thumbnails |

When Spirits Roamed When Spirits Roamed
Long before Christianity religion played a large part in island life. Spirits of many kinds roamed the land and sea in those days. Some were friendly and could be invoked for assistance. Others were hostile and had to be guarded against. Besides the higher gods, there were nature spirits, the spirits of ancestors, and dozens of spirits who were called on to help in daily activities. The last group included the spirits who granted the breadfruit harvest or who guided the hand of master carvers or boatbuilders. This album offers a look at pre-Christian religion in the islands.  (October, 2004)  | View Album | Thumbnails |

Life 100 Years Ago Life 100 Years Ago
After the Marianas, Palau was the most modernized and prosperous island group in Micronesia during Japanese rule. But life had changed for everyone during the early years of the war. As Allied bombing raids intensified, Koror was evacuated and most of its people sent to Babeldaob. Japanese defense forces dug in, as US troops swept westward during 1944, taking the Gilberts and then the Marshalls. By the end of the summer, Saipan and Tinian and Guam had also fallen to the Allies. Palau, with its airbases on Angaur and Peleliu, would be the next target for invasion. War was inevitable.  (August, 2004)  | View Album | Thumbnails |

Life 100 Years Ago Life 100 Years Ago
What was life like around 1900? It certainly was not the same in each island group, as this album shows. The pace of change during the 1800s varied island by island, and sometimes within the same community. In general, the eastern Carolines and the Marshalls showed more of the effects of change than Palau and Yap. While this album may offer a keyhole peek into pre-contact culture, it is simply intended as a glimpse of what Micronesia looked like at the beginning of the 20th century.  (June, 2004)  | View Album | Thumbnails |

The Tranquil 50s The Tranquil 50s
The war was a fading memory as the US Navy turned over administration of the islands to Interior Department in 1951. Still, military uniforms and jeeps were everywhere to be seen. The people had returned to their land, rebuilt their homes, and resumed ordinary life in the years immediately following the war. The 1950s was a time for quiet rebuilding on a broader level–schools, hospitals, constabularies, businesses, and political systems. Routine was interrupted by an occasional visit by a US official. Nothing flashy was achieved, but a solid foundation was built for the rapid development of the 60s and 70s.  (April, 2004)  | View Album | Thumbnails |

The Rise of Towns The Rise of Towns
Micronesians have always lived in villages, communities of a few hundred people or less. It was only in the Japanese era, from the 1920s on, that the first real towns developed. By 1935 there were several towns; one or two of them could have even been called small cities. Garapan and Chalan Kanoa on Saipan; Tinian Town; Songsong on Rota; Koror and Angaur in Palau; Enin,Toloas in Chuuk; Kolonia and Sapwalapw in Pohnpei; and Jabor, Jaluit. Each of these towns had a population of at least a thousand, most of whom were Japanese. But towns meant more than just numbers. They meant water, sewerage, power, places to shop, new forms of recreation–conveniences that would have been unimaginable in smaller communities. This album illustrates the rise of towns in Micronesia.  (February, 2004)  | View Album | Thumbnails |

The Era of Big Business The Era of Big Business
It may be hard to believe, but there was a time when the islands had a favorable trade balance and turned a sizeable profit. In the 1930s, under Japanese administration, Micronesia was doing a booming business. There was the giant sugar industry and phosphate mines, but its exports also included katusobushi, starch, pineapples, and marine products like shell and pearls. This was a period when island exports paid the cost of running the colonial government. Thousands of Japanese immigrants provided the bulk of the labor, while islanders watched the marvels worked on their islands.   (December, 2003)  | View Album | Thumbnails |

The Japanese Flag Unfurled The Japanese Flag Unfurled
For Micronesians during the last century, a major war meant a change in colonial administration. Germany had acquired the islands from Spain after the US defeat of Spain in 1899. Now, just fifteen years later, at the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Japan swept through the islands seizing Germany's former possessions. As the Rising Sun was unfurled, Japan's thirty-year rule over island Micronesia began. This album offers a glimpse of the first few years of Japanese naval occupation in the islands–what Japanese found and how they touched the lives of the people there.   (October, 2003)  | View Album | Thumbnails |

Transition to Peace Transition to Peace
World War II was over sooner in some places than in others. US troops took some of the islands in the Marshalls, in Palau, and in the Marianas. Ulithi Atoll, occupied early, was used as a fleet anchorage in the last year of the war. Other islands had to wait until August 1945, after peace was made, to begin their return to normal life. But for all, the end of hostilities marked the start of a transition to a way of life that islanders could not have imagined. American military men were at hand to guide them during these early post-war days.  (August, 2003)  | View Album | Thumbnails |

What the First Europeans Saw What the First Europeans Saw
By the early 1800s, when French and Russian naval ships came to explore the Pacific, East and West had not yet come to know one another.  Islanders and Europeans were both surprised at what they saw.  While Micronesians told amusing stories of their encounters, officers on the naval ships took up pens to sketch what they found.  Their drawings often depicted what they expected to find as much as what they actually saw.  Later versions usually departed even further from reality.  These are representations of some of the first encounters between islanders and Westerners.  (June, 2003)  | View Album | Thumbnails |

The Sokehs Rebellion The Sokehs Rebellion
It wasn't the first time people on Pohnpei took up arms against foreign rulers.  Three times under Spanish rule violence had broken out on the island.  But the Sokehs Rebellion against the Germans in 1910 was the last and best known of the outbursts against foreign rule.  This uprising was not island-wide, but limited to the Sokehs people.  Other sections of Pohnpei may have had their issues, but their quarrels with Sokehs overrode any resentment toward the Germans.  Even today Sokehs people sing the elegy of the doomed band of warriors that faced down the Germans.  (April, 2003)  | View Album | Thumbnails |

War Comes to the Marianas War Comes to the Marianas
The Marianas, with its booming sugar industry, reached the height of its prosperity in the late 1930s under Japanese administration.  Just a few years later the islands were engulfed in war. Two years after Pearl Harbor, Allied forces were sweeping westward across the Pacific in their assault on the Japanese island empire.  By June 1944 they were poised to attack Saipan.  This was to be the start of the final phase of the war. For the two opposing armies, and for the civilians caught between them, the battle for the Marianas was the most painful of times.  (February, 2003)  | View Album | Thumbnails |

When Copra Was King When Copra Was King
Copra: the fruit of the coconut palm, found everywhere in the Pacific.  For over a century, copra was the backbone of the island economy–the main source of cash and trade goods in Micronesia.  As coconut oil became a hot commodity for Europeans and Americans in the late 1800s, trading companies began to cultivate this resource in the islands.  In this album we present the origins and early growth of this important industry in Micronesia.  (December, 2002)  | View Album |

The German Era The German Era
Even before the start of German rule, Germans and Micronesians became acquainted with one another.  From 1870 on, German companies set up trading stations on the islands and German vessels visited periodically to pick up the copra.  Although German rule was only 15 years–twice that long in the Marshalls–its impact was lasting.  Not just in the names like Olaf and Fritz that islanders inherited, or the families that German officials and traders left behind, but in other ways as well.  Here we offer a visual tour of the German years in Micronesia.  (October, 2002)  | View Album |

Where Were the Women? Where Were the Women?
While the men were taking charge of the new island governments, where were the women? Men were filling the top posts in the government.  They were the district administrators and legislators, later the governors and the new heads of state.  Meanwhile, off to the side of the stage, women started taking new roles.  In this photo-essay we present some of the real, if undramatic, changes in what women did.   (August, 2002)  | View Album |

Leaders at the Brink of Nationhood Leaders at the Brink of Nationhood
For nearly a century, and much longer in the Marianas, Micronesians lived by the laws of other nations.  It was only at the end of the war that they slowly began to assume political authority. Over the next thirty years, as they gradually started choosing their own leaders, there emerged a generation or two of prominent Micronesian leaders.  This album offers a brief glimpse of the rise of these early leaders.  (June, 2002)  | View Album |

A Brief History of Education in Micronesia A Brief History of Education in Micronesia
Schools go back a long way in island history.  All the way back to some of the earliest foreigners to settle on the islands.  Perhaps even further, if you count local educational structures.  First missionaries, and then foreign governments, and finally Micronesian societies themselves started using schools to pass on what they valued.  Today schools continue to shape the minds and hearts of the young. In this album we offer a visual tour of education through the years.  (April, 2002)  | View Album |