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.
As of May 1, 2004, the IHRC website has a new address: 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.
With the cooperation of OSIA, the oldest (begun in 1905) and largest Italian American fraternal organization, the IHRC is pleased to announce the publication of a second edition of its Guide to the Records of the Order Sons of Italy in America, a detailed inventory of the 1,000 linear feet of records on lodges, leaders, and activities available to researchers at the IHRC. As Director Vecoli wrote in an essay in the first edition, "The saving of the Sons of Italy Archives is an important event in the history of Italian Americans precisely because of what we can learn about the history from these records. The…documents will undoubtedly shed light on many aspects of the Italian American experience." Researchers of that experience now have an updated and improved guide to the wealth of information available in these collections.
The resource materials detailed in this book document the raising of funds for charitable and education-supporting contributions (millions of dollars over the years) in this country and in Italy, defense of Italian Americans when they have been discriminated against, social activities of many kinds, and much more that will be of value to researchers and a source of pride for members of the organization.
The original Sons of Italy Archives Project to gather an archive at the IHRC was funded by OSIA, the IHRC, and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and conducted 1985–1988. It resulted in the first edition of the Guide, published in 1989. Over the years since its publication, many researchers, including quite a few from Italy, have taken advantage of this extensive and important resource.
Since 1989, OSIA officers have continued to send records regularly, requiring a second effort to arrange and describe new materials. With funding from the Sons of Italy Foundation, the IHRC hired a graduate research assistant, Jennifer Guglielmo, a PhD candidate in history specializing in the Italian American experience, who worked part time over four years gathering additional material, integrating everything, and creating new and updated collection descriptions. During the last two years, editor Judy Rosenblatt coordinated the preparation for publication of the new updated and enlarged volume, including the writing of new introductory essays by OSIA leaders and IHRC staff and expanding the index.
A limited number of copies are available from the IHRC. (The Guide is also being distributed by the OSIA national office; see www.osia.org for more information about the organization.)
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
Cost: $19.95 + $1.40 sales tax (Minnesotans) + $2.00 postage+ $3.00 handling per total order
Total: $26.35 (MN), $24.95 (non-MN)
In the last issue, the IHRC announced a new grant of $3,000 from Finlandia Foundation National, which, together with funds received previously from FFN, other donations, and matching funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities, are allowing the IHRC to offer the Riippa Fund/Finlandia Foundation Internship in Finnish American Studies. Now the first recipient of the internship has been named. Congratulations to Johanna Leinonen, a PhD student from Finland, working at the U of MN on her dissertation, who will be an intern this summer. She has been a volunteer at the IHRC during spring semester.
The recurring award for a summer or semester appointment allows Finnish or Finnish American college students to receive invaluable practical experience and research knowledge by helping to analyze, arrange, describe, and preserve one of the world's foremost historical collections on Finnish American life. For more information about the internship, contact Curator Joel Wurl.
Salolampi Foundation, records supplement, 1987–2004, 6 linear feet.
Salolampi is a village of authentic Finnish architecture, a lodge, cabins, and sauna. It is a Finnish-language immersion program offered for young people 7–18 in the summer and for adults 19–90 in the spring and fall. In 2003, Salolampi celebrated its 25th anniversary. The Salolampi Foundation is composed of volunteers whose mission is to support the Finnish Language Village, one of 13 Concordia Language Villages affiliated with Concordia College of Moorhead, MN. The current emphasis of the Salolampi Foundation is to raise money in both the near term (through an annual phonathon) and long term (through a permanent endowment) to reduce the cost for students to attend Salolampi. The foundation is run by a national board of directors.
Records primarily cover 1993–2003 and include history, correspondence, newsletters (1987–2004), meeting agendas and minutes, manuals and promotional materials, camp and fundraising events, gift records, and building of the Salolampi Village (1993 to completion in 1998).
NOTE: The Andersen Library (all units, including the IHRC) will be closed to researchers at noon on Friday, June 18. A by-invitation reception for Elmer L. Andersen will be held in the building in the afternoon to honor the former governor on his 95th birthday.
Ilon Wikland, an artist-illustrator born in Estonia who immigrated to Sweden as a 14-year-old refugee in 1944, will speak in Room 120 of Andersen Library, 222-21st Ave. S, Minneapolis, U of MN West Bank, on Thurs., June 17, 2004, at 7 p.m. The talk is free and open; refreshments will be served. See driving and parking directions.
Sponsored by the U of MN's Children's Literature Research Collections and cosponsored by the IHRC, Friends of the IHRC, the American Swedish Institute, the Kerlan Friends, and the Estonian Association of Minnesota (member organization of the Friends), the award-winning children's book illustrator will discuss "Estonian Influence on My Writing and Illustrating Children's Books, including Astrid Lindgren." Wikland illustrated the majority of Lindgren's many children's books as well as several of her own and others'. She evokes scenes from her childhood in Estonia in her work, which combines imagination and reality. See and download a flyer with complete information about the event and a photo of one of her drawings at Wiklandflyer.pdf
A related exhibit, "Small Heroes, Great Journeys: The Art of Ilon Wikland," will be at the American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis, June 16–October 3, 2004. For more information about the exhibit, see the ASI website or contact Jan McElfish, 612-871-4907 or email@example.com.
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 the Finnish American collection for at least a week's research. 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 $500 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.
For complete information on applying for the scholarship, see the the flyer announcing it (available by mid June).
To raise funds for the Karni Scholarship Fund, the Friends of the IHRC has been authorized to sell items remaining in the inventory of Michael Karni's company, Sampo Publishing, Inc. The books (and one music videotape), all with Finnish American themes, will be sold at HALF PRICE, and all the proceeds will be contributed to the fund. As a gift from the Friends to the Karni Fund, this money qualifies for matching funds (1:4) from the National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant.
Finn Forum VII, an Interdisciplinary Conference in Finnish and Finnish-North American Studies, "Cultural Encounters: Migration, Ethnicity, and Identities," will be held October 28–30, 2004, at the U of MN Twin Cities. The IHRC is represented on the planning committee, and tours of the Center will be included in the schedule. A gala musical evening, open to all and benefitting the IHRC's endowment, will be held to close the conference Saturday evening, October 30. See the preliminary program and other information at http://esc.cla.umn.edu/FinnForum.htm.
An international academic conference in Duluth, MN, April 29–May 1, 2004, was one of the culminating events of a months-long celebration of Italian and Italian American culture. Sponsored by the U of MN Duluth and U degli Studi di Palermo, Italy, the Italian American Festival 2004 was an extravaganza of theatrical and cultural events held in Duluth and Palermo. For a brief recap of the festival in Duluth (including an art exhibit that continues until June 15), see www.italiafest.us.
At the conference, "Crossing the Waters: Italian American Connections," IHRC Director Rudolph Vecoli was featured as the kickoff speaker; he had also worked on the planning committee. His topic was Roots & Wings: The Italian American Experience in Minnesota. He reported, among other things, that the largest numbers of immigrants to Minnesota were drawn to the cities and mining locations of the Iron Range. As miners, railroad workers, artisans in plaster and terrazzo, fruit merchants, and in other occupations, Italians made important contributions to Minnesota's economy and enriched the state's culture as musicians, sculptors, and artists. Vecoli illustrated his talk with excerpts from oral histories collected around the state by Mary Ellen Mancina-Batinich, which she donated to the IHRC.
Photograph above: Italian miners outside the Lincoln Mine, east of Virginia, MN, 1912 (Stella del Nord collection).
Keynoter was Emilio Franzina, professor of history at the U of Verona, and the leading historian of Italian emigration in Italy. He is also a professional performer of Italian folk songs, who sang and accompanied himself on the guitar during his presentation.
Franzina visited the IHRC on the Wednesday before the conference and the Monday after it to do some research on Italian immigration in the early 1900s. He was impressed with the materials and service available at the IHRC, including the microfilm reader/printer with its new zoom lens. He will be on sabbatical during the next academic year and intends to return for a long visit to do more research.
Members of the local Italian American community, invited by Director Vecoli, joined him and Franzina at a restaurant in St. Paul on Sunday, May 2, for a festive dinner, conversation, and songs led by Professor Franzina.
Photo above: Professor Franzina (center, with guitar) and talian American community friends at May 2 Dinner. (Photograph courtesy of Rudolph Vecoli)
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:
- Italian art exhibits in Duluthuntil June 15, part of cultural festival.
- Outdoor poster art on "coexistence" in Twin Cities May–July.
On May 8 the Kalevala Theater Society presented "Not Red — Just a Little Pink," a one-act play written and directed by Daniel Reed, as a benefit for the Immigration History Research Center's endowment fund. A reception with Finnish refreshments and music by Finn Hall Band followed the performance.
The event, at the Coffman Memorial Union Theater, Minneapolis Campus, was sponsored by the student group Suomalaiset (Finlanders) at the U of MN, Heather Michalke, president, and facilitated by the Finnish Connection interest group of the U of MN Alumni Association, headed by Friends board member Emma Jean Kydd. The IHRC is grateful to the theater company, these groups, and many other cooperating organizations, businesses, and individuals who helped to make this fund raiser a reality—and, of course, to those who attended.
The proceeds support the goals of the IHRC's Timo Riippa Fund for Finnish American Studies. To contribute to this fund, make a check or money order payable to U of MN Foundation (write IHRC-Riippa Fund on the memo line) and send it to the IHRC, 311 Andersen Library, 222-21st Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55455, or follow the directions to contribute online.
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.
This is a good time to make a pledge. You have until July 2005 to complete payment. 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.
Italian American author Helen Barolini spoke at the U of MN Thursday and Friday, May 6–7, and also visited the IHRC. She has contributed manuscripts of some of her writings to the IHRC, where they are available to researchers.
Prof. Suzanna Ferlito, Program in Italian and Italian American Studies, invited her to speak to Ferlito's classes and opened them to the public. On Thursday, Barolini read from her essay "A Circular Journey" and discussed her novel Umbertina (1979; manuscript is in the collection at the IHRC). On Friday she read a paper entitled "Italy in the American Imagination." She also spoke about her work-in-progress, "Arcadia: Six American Women and the Lure of Italy," to be published in the future.
Barolini is the author of seven books and numerous articles, essays, and short stories and has won several literary prizes. Her best known works include The Dream Book: An Anthology of Writings by Italian American Women (American Book Award, 1985, for her editing) and Umbertina. Barolini's fiction and non-fiction reflect her dual background, giving voice to Italian American consciousness, especially in Italian American women. Fred Misurella (Christian Science Monitor) calls her "the dean of Italian American writers," saying that her novel Umbertina, her book of essays Chiaroscuro, and her recent story collection More Italian Hours and Other Stories "form a triptych of Italian American culture evolving through the 20th century."
Photo: Helen Barolini in Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis, during her visit.
Emilio Franzina: see item above on the Italian Festival conference.
Prof. Mojmir Povolny (emeritus, Lawrence U, Appleton, WI) visited the IHRC on Friday, May 21, and met with Director Vecoli, Asst. Director Wurl, and Asst. Curator Necas. He is on the Board of Directors of the American Fund for Czechoslovak Relief (AFCR), New York, an organization that assisted in resettlement of exiles from Czechoslovakia (1948–1989) and refugees from Southeast Asia (1970s and 1980s). Since 1990, it has provided support to students coming to the United States from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He came to visit the facility, look at the AFCR collection housed at the IHRC, and discuss further collaboration.
Richard Hudelson, a faculty member at UW-Superior, did research in mid-May for a book on the history of Duluth. Hudelson has been researching Duluth history for many years. In October 1998 he spoke about the International Institute of Duluth at an IHRC Research in Progress colloquium.
Stephanie Nordstrom, a senior at the U of St. Thomas, investigated the Serbian Orthodox Church, specifically the schism of 1963, for her senior thesis.
Minnesota residents Dennis Halme, Minneapolis, and Mary Oberg Hanf, Bayport, searched for Finnish music for a musical performance.
Maria Haigh, faculty member at UW-Milwaukee, researched Soviet and Ukrainian diaspora newspaper accounts of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. She is studying information access and distribution in 1986–1988 for a conference paper and a journal article.
Lubomyr Wynar, emeritus professor at Kent State U and editor of the journal of the Ukrainian Historical Association, did research at the end of May on Prof. Alexander Granovsky, "father of the Ukrainian collection at the IHRC," for a journal article. Wynar was researching the role of Granovsky, Oleh Olzhych and other Ukrainian American scholars in the promotion of Ukrainian scholarship in the United States. Granovsky was the founder, in 1941, of the Ukrainian Scientific Institute, which had a short life but was one of the forerunners of other efforts that followed World War II.
Accompanying Wynar was Alla Atamanenko, director of the Institute for Ukrainian Diaspora Studies and professor of history at the National University of "Ostroh Academy," Ukraine. She is in the United States on a grant for three months to visit scholarly institutions, learn about their Ukrainian American archives, and develop relationships with their staff members. She hopes to be able to direct young Ukrainian scholars to useful collections for study in this country.
Both visitors exressed their interest in cooperating with the IHRC and "hope to help it with its fund raising efforts as much as possible."
Photo: Dr. Wynar, Sr. Asst. Curator Halyna Myroniuk, and Dr. Atamanenko in the third-floor reading room, examining materials in the Granovsky collection.
Minneapolis area members of the Greek American fraternal organization AHEPA (Demosthenes, Chapter 66) and its female counterpart, Daughters of Penelope (Antigone, Chapter 35), met at the Andersen Library on April 24. Curator Joel Wurl spoke to the visitors about the IHRC and took them into the underground storage cave.
The TPT broadcast Town Hall Forum featuring new immigrants to Minnesota, sponsored by the station recently in conjunction with the League of Women Voters of Minnesota and Neighborhood House, can now be seen online at the TPT website. IHRC Curator and Asst. Dir. Joel Wurl presents a brief history of immigration to Minnesota at the beginning of the show.
The nationally broadcast "New Americans," a "superb" resource for learning about contemporary immigration issues, according to Wurl, who reviewed the three-part, seven-hour series for the Public Historian, is also viewable online, at http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/newamericans/.
Following the conference in Turin on "Trans-nationalism and Diasporas" at the end of March (see April News Online), IHRC Dir. Rudolph Vecoli visited the hill town of Barga in Tuscany.
In this photograph, Vecoli (center) is being presented with a memento by Mayor Umberto Sereni, who is also a historian of Italian labor movements. To Vecoli's right is Dr. Gloria Nardini, anthropologist and author of Bella Figura! The Power of Performance in an Italian Ladies Club in Chicago (1999). Next to her is Luigi Salvi, the mayor's assistant. To the mayor's left is Dr. Nardini's husband, Francesco, who is a native of Barga. Barga was one of the principal towns in Tuscany from which figurinai (figurine makers) went forth to peddle plaster statuettes throughout the world.
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).
As reported in the April News Online, the Friends purchased a table at the U of MN Alumni Association's 100th Anniversary Gala Finale on May 6, featuring performer and composer Yanni. Some 2,000 people attended, and the dinner was held in a giant-sized tent on the Northrop Auditorium Mall. Shown enjoying their dinners are (left to right) Friends board members John Lambros and Tessie Bourdamis;John's wife, Nancy Lambros; IHRC Director Rudolph Vecoli; and his daughter, Lisa Vecoli.
(Photo courtesy of Tessie Bourdamis)
The U of Washington Press's revised and expanded edition of the Historical Atlas of Central Europe by Prof. Paul Magocsi, in full-color, 9" x 12" paperback format is available from the Friends organization. This highly regarded atlas has added maps and 11 new chapters that focus on the newly independent countries.
The book retails at $45.00. By ordering through the Friends, you can get it for $40.50 (plus shipping and handling), a 10% discount. Click here for complete information and order form (pdf format, requires Adobe Acrobat© to download and print).
Announcements of ethnic events. 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 on June 19, 2004, in Room 308 Andersen Library. Friends members are welcome to attend board meetings. Email Judy Rosenblatt for more information (or phone 612-624-5774).
State History Day awards. The next issue of this newsletter will have a report on the winners of the Friends awards for best junior and senior projects relating to immigration.
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.