The King very graciously conducted a party through the spacious halls and handsome rooms thus affording them a view of some very rich and valuable pieces of furniture and paintings."
- Pacific Commercial Advertiser, June 19, 1884 2:3

What Is A Docent?

King Kalakaua delighted in showing guests his beautiful modern palace; our docents share his story with modern day visitors . If you like to talk story, have an interest in Hawaiian history and enjoy interacting with visitors of all ages and from all nations, please consider becoming a docent. Prior knowledge of Hawaiian history is not required.

Docent Training

Docent training is a three-part procedure.

  1. Forty hours of Guardian Service (providing aid to docents)
  2. Completion of the Royal History Course
  3. Completion of the Docent Training Course, including weekly reading assignments from the course reading list (see below)

After successful completion of all three parts, you will be a certified Iolani Palace Docent. Some docents have spread their training over several years.

Reading List

Some books are available for purchase at The Palace Shop.


  • Hawaii's Story - Liliuokalani, Queen of Hawaii
  • Kalakaua, Rennaisance King - Helena G. Allen
  • Rise and Fall of the Hawaiian Kingdom, a Pictoral History - Richard A. Wisniewski
  • Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands - Gavan Daws


  • Around the World with a King - William N. Armstrong
  • Hawaiian Dictionary - Mary Kawena Pukui & Samuel H. Elbert
  • Place Names of Hawaii - Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel H. Elbert, Esther Mookini
  • The Hawaiian Kingdom Volume III - Ralph S. Kuykendall
  • By Royal Command - Curtis Pi'ehu 'Iaukea
  • Queen Kapiolani - Maile Yardley & Miriam Rogers
  • The Betrayal of Liliuokalani, Last Queen of Hawaii, 1838-1917 - Helena G. Allen