This is the Immigration History Research Center's monthly newsletter. If you would like to be notified by email when each issue has been published, please contact the IHRC to sign up.
The IHRC website has a new address: http://ihrc.umn.edu. Be sure to bookmark it!
This issue contains:
Note: Originally Headline News, IHRC News Online is the IHRC's primary communications vehicle. The News Online is posted once a month, generally at mid-month. Please send any comments or news relating to the IHRC to Editor Judy Rosenblatt.
On July 31, 2004, the IHRC completed another year of fund raising toward its endowment campaign goal of $4 million. The interim goal is $2.5 million, to be achieved through outside gifts of $2 million, matched (4:1) with $500,000 from a Challenge Grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The following graph shows where the fund stood at the end of July.
Note that if bequests, interest, and NEH matching funds received so far are counted, the total reaches $2 million (solid line), a considerable achievement for which the Center is justifiably proud and grateful to its many supporters. However, gifts eligible to be matched under the NEH grant rules do not include bequests or interest earned on gifts. When those sums and the grant funds received up to now are subtracted from the $2 million total (dotted line), it becomes apparent that to receive the full NEH match, the IHRC must still raise $1,200,000—with one year left in which to do it.
Major gifts (over $1,000) paid or pledged to the endowment fund during the NEH fiscal year August 1, 2003, to July 31, 2004 (the third phase of fund raising), were as follows. The links are to more information about the various funds listed. If there is no link, contact the IHRC office for more information.
On August 16, 2004, the Twin Cities Metro Chapter of UNICO National presented nine $1,000 college scholarship awards to Twin Cities Metro Area high school seniors of Italian heritage. The awards presentation dinner took place at DeGidio's Restaurant, St. Paul. Among the guest speakers was Scholarships Chair of the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Ralph Davini, son of William C Davini.
William Davini (photo at right) was the founder of the UNICO scholarship program both locally and nationally, the president of UNICO national in 1947, and an educator and coach. He rose to assistant superintendent of St. Paul Public Schools in 1946. Davini died in 1954. The first set of Davini papers, including several scrapbooks of his life and acccomplishments, were donated by his widow, Vera Tinucci (remarried name), a few years ago. His son, Ralph Davini, has recently donated several supplements to the original collection.
UNICO is a non-political, non-sectarian organization of men and women of Italian heritage and their spouses, established in 1922. The organization's name stands for Unity, Neighborliness, Integrity, Charity, and Opportunity. UNICO members strive to honor, perpetuate, and disseminate the culture and ethnic heritage of their Italian immigrant ancestors.
In keeping with that goal, UNICO National and the local chapter have donated $25,000 and $10,000, respectively, towards the establishment of the UNICO National Graduate Fellowship in Italian American Studies at the IHRC ($150,000 needed to fully endow this position). For more information about the fellowship, see the endowment section of this website. For more information about UNICO National, see its website at www.unico.org.
In June, Eugene Scartozzi of the local UNICO chapter did research in the IHRC's William Davini papers for information on the history of the organization's scholarship program, to use in a media presentation at the August 16 scholarship dinner. This is the 50th anniversary of William Davini's death.
Photo: Eugene Scartozzi, Twin Cities Metro Chapter of UNICO, looks at William Davini scrapbook in the Andersen Library's third-floor reading room.
Asst. Curator Daniel Ne…as is off on an 11-day trip to Connecticut and New York this month (returning August 20) to help pack up and arrange for shipping two large collections that are being donated to the Center. One, the papers of Prof. William Hoglund, scholar of Finnish American history at the U of CT, Storrs, comprises about 400 boxes. The other, a supplement to the records of the American Fund for Czechoslovak Refugees (AFCR), an organization begun in 1948, has about 100 boxes that cover years since 1968 (to add to 25 linear feet that cover the first 20 years). Earlier this year AFCR board member Prof. Mojmir Povolny visited the Center to see the facility and discuss with the curators the possibility of adding the supplementary material. More detailed descriptions will be published after the collections arrive and have been examined.
The IHRC is looking for a volunteer to assist with translating Finnish captions into English for a project to digitize visual materials that document the Finnish American community in the United States. The volunteer should have a strong command of written Finnish, including grammatical structure, as well as native fluency in English. In addition, the volunteer should be comfortable with data entry into either a Microsoft Access database or Microsoft Excel worksheet on a PC.
The translation and data entry are expected to take approximately 20–30 hours, to be completed by this fall. On-site assistance is preferred; off-site work will be considered. Benefits include the opportunity to help preserve historical documents, work in a university research and archival environment with friendly professionals, and receive weekday parking fee reimbursement.
For more information, or to submit a brief written description of qualifications, please contact Erik Moore, COLLAGE Coordinator, at email@example.com or 612-624-8353.
Fred Gardaphé, program director for Italian American Studies at SUNY-Stony Brook, will speak to a Twin Cities area audience interested in Italian American language, history, and culture on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2004, 7:30 p.m,. at. the International Institute in St. Paul. The presentation, titled "Leaving Little Italy: Legacies Real and Imagined," will be free and open; anyone interested is invited to attend. Refreshments will be served after the talk.
The event is hosted by the new local organization Italcultura. Gardaphé is expected to visit the IHRC, which is a cosponsor of the talk.
Gardaphé is associate editor of Fra Noi, an Italian American monthly newspaper, editor of the Series in Italian American Studies at SUNY Press, and co-founding co-editor of VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, a literary journal and cultural review. He is also immediate past president of the American Italian Historical Association.
He received a grant-in-aid to do research at the IHRC almost two decades ago. He has been a leader in Italian American studies for many years. He spoke at the April 29–May 1, 2004, conference, Crossing the Waters: Italian American Connections, that was part of the months' long Italian American Festival held in Duluth, MN, and Palermo, Italy, earlier this year. In his conference talk he discussed some of the issues arising from the assimilation of Italian immigrants and ways to preserve Italian American culture. He is likely to address the same concerns in this talk.
Gardaphé will meet with faculty and students of Italian programs at the U of MN, the primary reason for his visit. For further information, click on "Events" in the Announcements, Friends section.
The IHRC will make its first award this fall of the Michael G. Karni Scholarship, established to help defray expenses of a visiting professor, lecturer, or graduate student who will use IHRC collections for at least two week's research. Preference will be given to those using the Finnish American collection, with next preference to those using the Baltic American collections (i.e., Estonian, Latvian, or Lithuanian). The deadline for applications is September 15.
The award, a memorial to Mike Karni, pioneering historian, early developer of the IHRC's Finnish American collection, and publisher of Finnish American scholarship and literature who passed away in March 2002, will help researchers with up to $750 for travel and research-related expenses. Gifts from Mike's friends and family, along with other supporters of Finnish American scholarly activity, have made this fund possible.
See complete information on applying for the scholarship.
For information on a book sale to benefit the Karni Scholarship Fund, see the Friends section below.
The IHRC's new revised and enlarged guide to the lodges, leaders, and activities of the Order Sons of Italy in Americais available from the Center. OSIA is the oldest and largest Italian American fraternal organization. See the May-June issue of this newsletter for a more detailed feature story about the book.
See www.osia.org for more information about OSIA.
Guide to the Records of the Order Sons of Italy In America Second Edition
Compiled by Jennifer M. Guglielmo; first edition compiled by John Andreozzi
267 pages + unpaged middle section with 53 black and white photographs
ISBN: 0-932833-16-0 Cost per book: $19.95 + $1.40 sales tax (Minnesotans) + $2.00 postage+ $3.00 handling per total order Total: $26.35 (MN) $24.95 (non-MN)Please make check payable to Univ. of MN
The Immigration and Ethnic History Society website was recently updated regarding, among other things, awards for dissertation research, best book of the year pertaining to immigration and ethnicity, and a new travel grant award for graduate students, named for the late Prof. John Higham. For application information and announcements of recent recipients, see www.iehs.org and click on "awards." The IHRC is the fiscal agent for the Pozzetta and Saloutos awards of the IEHS.
Last month the News showed the old Art Building, across the street to the north from Andersen Library, being demolished. In this update, you can see that all the rubble has been removed and dirt is being used to fill in the large hole.
(Photo taken 8/4/04 from the third floor in Andersen Library—a few doors down the hall to the west from the IHRC suite.)
Events and announcements between issues of this newsletter and items of general interest are publicized in the "Community Events & Announcements" section of the Friends of IHRC section. Changes are made frequently, so check it often. Both Twin Cities area and national items are listed. Categories and section headings have been added, to make it easier to navigate through the list. You may submit news of ethnic events to the editor for posting.
Some of the current listings:
See the feature story, above, for an update on fund raising during the last year.
Fellowships. Following are links to information on the fellowship funds that have been established within the IHRC endowment. Information has just been posted for the new American Latvian Association Fellowship. The only fellowship that has been fully funded ($150,000) is the Must Fellowship in Estonian American Studies. Your contributions to the other fellowship funds (as well as to funds for general priorities or those for particular ethnic group studies) would be very welcome.
If you or your organization would like to endow a named fund, fellowship, scholarship, or internship, please contact the IHRC for information.
If you appreciate the IHRC's work, make a contribution to the Annual Appeal (to help fund general day-to-day expenses) and/or to the endowment (for investment in the long-term future of the Center). Your help is urgently needed and greatly appreciated. For more information on the endowment, link here.
Make a pledge or one-time contribution for the endowment (you have until July 2005 to complete payment of a pledge). Follow the directions in ways you can help the campaign.Thank you for supporting the documentation, preservation, and promotion of the history of our nation's immigrant experience.
Anita Ko…nar, a graduate student at the U of Ljubljana, Slovenia, spent almost a month at the IHRC researching Slovene immigrant literature, particularly the work of Andrew Kobal, for her Master's thesis. Kobal came to this country in 1921, after World War I. He was a prolific writer of books, plays, articles, short stories, and poems. He wrote short stories and articles for the Slovene National Benefit Society's daily newspaper, Prosveta, and edited a monthly children's magazine, among other jobs.
Almost no previous research has been done on Kobal ("I found about 20 pages on him in Slovenia"). For some reason he was not famous, unlike Louis Adamic, who was a political figure as well as a writer. Twelve of the 20 pages on Kobal were written by Ko…nar's adviser, Prof. Jerneja Petri…, who suggested that she investigate Kobal's work. Petri… has also done research at the IHRC, so she steered her student to the Center. Ko…nar discovered that "some things are only available at the IHRC, so I was glad to be able to visit." She found information in general books about Slovenes in America, as well as Kobal's work in many issues of Prosveta and other papers and magazines. This was Ko…nar's first visit to the United States, so "I spent some time sightseeing as well as doing research."
Photo: Ko…nar uses the microfilm reader / printer to find writings by Andrew Kobal in Slovenian American newspapers.
Dan and Fanny D'Amelio from Yucaipa, CA, visited the IHRC this spring. Dan is the author of many poems, including the following one from his book Say Hello to America (Poems of the Great Migration, 1880–1924), reprinted with permission. Photo: Dir. Rudolph Vecoli (left) poses with the D'Amelios outside Andersen Library.
Let Me Stay
Head resting on my life jacket, I dream
Of America, eyes open in the dark
The man below me already snoring, the children
Still crying—frightened by the engine forever pounding.
What will La Merica be like? Will it have
Cities with broad avenues—like Naples?
Monuments, statues, fountains—lovers
Holding hands, children laughing, mothers to themselves smiling?
I should sleep, but how can I?
Since coming aboard, my heart has misbehaved.
…Be still my heart. La Merica will be like
My lover—a beautiful woman, waiting for me.
…But what if—what if she is not like that—
Not at all? Then what? Would I
Go back to San Mirano, pick up my hammer,
Fit cobblestones again, stomach churning?
Why do the children still bawl? Blast them—
The mothers, children—the man still snoring!
…Up the narrow stairs—leaving the never-ending
Noise, the variegated, nauseous smell of vomit.
On deck, gently swaying, above,
A star-entranced sky, pristine air blesses me…
In this wondrous night, a silent plea pulses,
No further, no further—let me stay.
Thomas Mackaman, PhD student at U of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, returned to the IHRC in June to work on his dissertation, a comparison of strike activity, radicalism, and worker consciousness of several different new immigrant groups, 1916–1924. He was a student at U of MN and a part-time curatorial assistant at the IHRC in 1998–1999.
Cristoph Schiessl, a PhD student at Wayne State U, spent a week in June researching the search for Eastern European Nazi collaborators in the United States, an attempt to limit total war and genocide.
Kristina Gray, Ph.D. candidate at U of North Dakota, did research for her dissertation on the Holodomor, forced terror / famine in Ukraine in 1932–1933.
James Goode, a faculty member in history at Grand Valley State U (Michigan), researched Lebanese immigration, 1890–1940, for a conference presentation.
Myrna Kostash, a Ukrainian Canadian writer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, visited the IHRC and viewed its Ukrainian American collection on July 26. She was most impressed with the Andersen Library and also the IHRC's rich sources on Ukrainians in America. Kostash was in Minneapolis participating in the U of MN's Split Rock Arts Program summer writing workshops. Among her books, All of Baba's Children (1977), her story of the Ukrainian immigrant experience in western Canada, was a Canadian best-seller.
Congratulations to Susan E. Smith, a volunteer at the IHRC during 2003–2004, who received her Master's Degree in Liberal Studies from the U of MN this summer. For her thesis, "Raiders of the Secret Archives: Genealogists, Electronic Records and the Twenty-first Century—Digitizing the Interface," Smith looked at IHRC resources that would be useful to genealogists and that can be made accessible via the Internet in the future, using digital and electronic technologies. As a volunteer at the IHRC, she identified many such resources in various ethnic collections. Susan teaches American history, world history, and political science at Maple Grove High School. She has researched her own family history for 30 years.
Photo: Susan Smith presents a copy of her Master's thesis to Dir. Rudolph Vecoli to add to IHRC resources as he congratulates her.
Center researcher and Friends of IHRC member Barbara Kesser has just published her first historical novel, Diary of a Colonial Rebel (Lady) 1775, Jan 1 to Apr 15. Much of the research of colonial life for the 279-page story was done at Wilson Library near the IHRC on the West Bank Campus. It has been called "a good read." Another reviewer said the story "…succeeds where many a history book has faltered—it enlivens the Revolutionary War period and engages its reader." We follow the protagonist's secret diary as she writes about her own increasing independence and the events that threaten to lead to war between the American colonists and the British.
The book is available from bookstores and Xlibris, the publisher, at its toll-free number, 1-888-795-4274, X276, or online: Email, Orders@Xlibris.com; website, www.Xlibris.com/Bookstore. Customers who buy directly through Xlibris will receive a discount from the book's retail price—15% off for paperbacks and 10% for hardbacks. Discount prices: paperback, $18.69, and hardback, $28.79.
Kesser was a student of Director Vecoli's at the U of MN when she wrote her Major Paper about Ellis Island. She has spent "hours and hours" doing research at the IHRC for a forthcoming novel ("To Be Forever Home") still in "an extremely early draft stage."
Sr. Asst. Curator Halyna Myroniuk will represent the IHRC at the Multicultural Kickoff of the U of MN Library Fair, to be held Friday, Sept. 3, 2004. From 3:30 to 5 p.m., she will staff a table along with two other Andersen special collection representatives. The event is to welcome incoming U freshmen and acquaint them with the library's (and IHRC's) resources. It will be held in the Great Hall, Coffman Memorial Union, on the East Bank Campus.
Myroniuk was invited by the Ukrainian National Museum in Chicago to consult on collection policy for its archives. She will spend August 18–22, 2004, there.
Link here to the Friends section of the website for more information about the organization, including how to join this nonprofit support group for the IHRC (or use the drop-down navigation box at the top of this newsletter).
The Friends Annual Meeting is being planned for Saturday, November 13, 2004 . Mark your calendar now; details will follow.
To raise funds for the Michael Karni Scholarship Fund, the Friends of the IHRC is selling items remaining in the inventory of Michael Karni's company, Sampo Publishing, Inc. They include memoirs, scholarship, poetry (and one music videotape of the Amerikan Poijat brass band), all with Finnish American themes. They are being sold at HALF PRICE, and all the proceeds will be contributed to the scholarship fund. As a gift from the Friends to the Karni Fund, this money qualifies for matching (1:4) from the National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant.
Find out more about or contribute to the Karni Scholarship Fund.
Click on Friends in the navigation box at the top of the page and then click on "Community Events & Announcements." This list is changed frequently, so check it often.
Board Meeting: The Board of Directors meets next in September 2004, in Room 308 Andersen Library. Board committees will meet over the summer. Friends members are welcome to attend board meetings. email Judy Rosenblatt (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information or phone 612-624-5774.
Find out more about the IHRC from the About section. Click on "Visiting the IHRC" and then "virtual tour," an excellent, detailed introduction to the building, the IHRC offices and collections, and how to conduct research at the Center.
The IHRC welcomes volunteers to help with both curatorial and administrative tasks.