James J. Periconi Collection of Italian-Language American Imprints

Please join us for an evening to celebrate Queens College’s acquisition of the James J. Periconi Collection of Italian-language American Imprints. Present will be the inaugural fellows, Lindsey Kingston and Carmen Petruzzi; Annie Tummino, Head of Special Collections & Archives (Queens College); and James Periconi. Moderated by Anthony Julian Tamburri.

We can identity the origins of Italian American literature en masse dating back to 1885 with the publication of Luigi Ventura’s Peppino. There are one or two examples that precede Ventura’s novella, but this work of his truly begins the tradition per se. If one peruses any substantial bibliographic source of the genre (e.g., Rose Basile Green’s The Italian American Novel [1974] or Francesco Durante’s Italoamericana [2005]), one finds Italian as the lingua franca for all practical purposes.

The James J. Periconi Collection of Italian-language American Imprints offers a unique insight into what Italian immigrants to the United States were reading, writing, and thinking about at the end of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. The collection is housed at the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library, Special Collections and Archives, Queens College, The City University of New York, and can be accessed at the following link: https://italianamericanimprints.omeka.net/.

Within the catalog of the collection, an intended resource for scholars of Italian American history, you can browse the material, see how tags can help you zero in on your particular interests, read related essays, and learn about the 2012 Strangers in a Strange Land exhibition at New York City’s Grolier Club.