The Immigration History Research Center holds the richest and most extensive collection of materials for Italian American history in the world. The Collection includes over 500 files of Italian American newspapers (such as Il Progresso Italo-Americano), periodicals (Il Carroccio), and 2,000 books written by, for, and about Italian Americans.
Some 1,500 linear feet of manuscripts include letters, diaries, and organizational records, among them papers of journalists (James Donnaruma), political leaders (Judge George Qulici), labor activists (Anthony Capraro), and clergy (Father Nicola Carlo Odone). The collection also includes the historical archives of the Order Sons of Italy in America, the oldest and largest Italian American fraternal organization. Gathered from all parts of the United States, these documents embody the historical memories of Italian Americans.
Because of its unique value and richness, the collection is used by researchers from around the world (particularly from Italy) for theses, books, and articles. Family and community historians also exploit these materials, as do film makers, exhibit curators, and journalists. Through this collection, the experiences and thoughts of the immigrants and their descendants are becoming part of both American and Italian history.
(Photo: Orphans Asylum Band, Sons of Italy in America, Nutley NJ)
The first priority of the Italian American Studies Fund is to provide additional staff for the Italian American collection. Equipped with Italian language skills, cultural knowledge, and archival experience, staff will not only process materials and provide reference service to researchers, but also actively work with Italian American institutions, organizations, and individuals to preserve precious records that still languish in offices, basements, and attics.
As a major national initiative, the creation of the Fund will raise public consciousness of Italian American history, foster wider appreciation of the contributions of Italian immigrants and their descendants to American life, and make significant investment in future scholars of the Italian experience in the United States.
Follow the University of Minnesota Foundation link to make an online gift through the University of Minnesota Foundation's secure site. Type in the designation "IHRC: Italian American Collection (Fund 6513)" in order to have your gift directed to this particular fund. You may also submit a pledge through the same Web page.