Collection MS 1173 - Yap State Constitutional Convention papers

PMB MS 1173 Finding Aid

Identity area

Reference code

AU PMB MS 1173


Yap State Constitutional Convention papers


  • 1982 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

6 reels; 35mm microfilm

Context area

Name of creator

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

In 1947 the United Nations established the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI), vesting administration with the USA. The districts within the TTPI included Ponape (then including Kusaie), Truk, Yap, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Northern Marianna Islands. In 1960s and 1970s the US and local representatives from these districts met to discuss various options for self-determination. This resulted in the eventual partition of the TTPI. The Northern Marianas became a self governing commonwealth within the US, while the rest of the TTPI was divided between the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), all gradually achieving independence in free association with the USA from the early 1980s through to 1990 when the TTPI was finally dissolved by the UN.

In 1978 the peoples of Truk (now Chuuk), Ponape (Pohnpei), Kusaie (Kosrae) and Yap voted to form the FSM. In the early 1980s these states drafted and implemented their own constitutions, ready for the FSM's 1986 ratification of the Compact of Free Association with the USA. On 16 March 1982 the first Yap State Convention met to draft a constitution that was ratified by plebiscite in November of that year. The constitution enshrined a four branch system of government comprising the executive, legislative, judicial and traditional. Yap became the only state in the FSM where traditional leaders were fully incorporated into a constitution; through the Council of Pilung and the Council of Tamol, representing traditional leaders from Yap's main island and the state's outer islands respectively. These councils were granted authority over matters concerning tradition and custom. The constitution is also unique in Micronesia in mandating a balanced state budget. These papers cover the debates, discussions and meetings that resulted in this constitution.

Registered files of the Yap State Constitutional Convention, including: resolutions and reports of Convention Committees; agenda, journals and verbatim transcripts (in Yapese, Ulithian and English) of the proceedings of the Committee of the Whole and Plenary Sessions; Proposals; Resolutions; drafts of the Constitution; correspondence and related administrative documents.
See reel list for further details.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Available for reference

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Yap State Archives, P O Box 1070, Colonia, Yap, Federated States of Micronesia, Federated States of Micronesia FM 96943

Existence and location of copies

Access this title at PMB Member Libraries or by purchasing it directly from the Bureau:

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places