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Document (photocopy), 1932

2 sheets

Steamship ticket used by Maria Aiello when she immigrated to New York from Naples on the ship Roma of the steamship line Navigazione Generale Italiana.

In Italian.


Papers, 1910-1975

0.5 feet

Brothers Pietro and Antonio Allegrini, born in 1888 and 1894 respectively, emigrated from San Quirico, Italy, to Pennsylvania in 1910.  They had both been trained in statuary making in Europe, and, by 1919, had helped establish the Pennsylvania Statuary Company in Philadelphia.  In 1914, Pietro married Maria Bonugli, also from Italy, and they had five children: Natalie, Angelo, Aldo, Romano (Ray) and Martha.  Antonio, married to Maria Suffredini in 1915, had four children: Amos, Josephine, Rachel and Philomena.  Antonio Allegrini died in 1960 and Pietro in 1968.

The Pennsylvania Statuary Company, which moved from its earlier locations to North Second Street in 1939, specialized in the manufacture of religious statues.  Managed for many years by Dominic Colubiale, the company was one of several such statuary manufactories founded and run by Italian immigrants from the Lucca area of Tuscany, which had long been the center of the Italian plaster trade.  Some of these companies, like the Pennsylvania Statuary Company, had actually begun business before the First World War by manufacturing the "Little Nipper" plaster dog which was the old RCA logo.  After the war, the Lucchese plaster makers throve in Philadelphia until the late 1950s when the market for religious statuary in general began to decline steadily.  The Pennsylvania Statuary Company, run by Ray Allegrini, finally closed its doors in 1977.

Angelo Allegrini, one of Pietro's sons, was born in 1920 in Philadelphia.  He began his studies for the Augustinian priesthood in 1934 in Staten Island and was ordained in Milwaukee in 1947.  His first assignment was at St. Mary's Church in East Vineland, New Jersey, where he stayed for eleven years.  In 1958 he became Commissary Provincial for the Vice Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel in Philadelphia, and in that capacity he ordered the construction of a new school building for the recently established St. Augustine Preparatory School in Richland, New Jersey.  From 1961 to 1971 he was the pastor of St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church on Ninth and Watkins Streets in Philadelphia.  Twice during this decade he was again appointed Commissary Provincial of the Vice Province.  Father Allegrini died in 1972 in Florida of a heart attack.

Natalie Allegrini, who worked at the Pennsylvania Statuary Company in the 1940s, married Pietro Carolfi in July, 1947.  Carolfi established a sculpture molding and casting firm in Collingswood, New Jersey, which he still operates with his son, Angelo Carolfi.

This small collection consists primarily of printed and Xeroxed material about Pietro Allegrini, the Pennsylvania Statuary Company and Angelo Allegrini.  It includes copies of some of Pietro's personal documents, like his passport, marriage and naturalization certificates, and a little early material about the statuary firm.  Probably the most interesting document among these is the 1939 title for the property on North Second Street.

The material on Angelo Allegrini is somewhat more informative and more cohesive.  It consists mostly of printed and Xeroxed materials, highlighting key moments in his career.

This collection has been divided into two series.  The first concerns Pietro Allegrini and the Pennsylvania Statuary Company, and the second includes other materials on the Allegrini family, especially the papers relating to Angelo Allegrini.  Both series are organized chronologically.


These folders include copies of Allegrini's passport and a 1918 notice from the War Department; a certificate of his marriage to Maria Bonugli; both their naturalization certificates; Allegrini's first stock certificates; a letter concerning Natalie Carolfi; biographies, and, most importantly, the original title to the North Second Street property.


These papers mostly concern highlights of Angelo Allegrini's career: the dedication ceremony of the new building at the St. Augustine Preparatory School, the celebration of his silver jubilee, and the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the St. Mary's Church building.  Other materials are two prayer cards and a Xerox of the photograph of Aldo and Julia Allegrini's wedding.

These papers were donated to the Balch Institute by Natalie Allegrini Carolfi, daughter of Pietro and Maria Allegrini, in November 1990.  She was also the donor of the Carolfi Papers and of Photo Group 292 (Allegrini Family), q.v.  This collection was processed by Sandra Shaffer VanDoren.  For related materials, see the Carolfi Papers and Photo Group 292 (Allegrini Family).

The box list of the register of the papers of the Allegrini Family is two pages long and available upon request.  The charge is $0.25 per page, in addition to $2.50 for shipping and handling.


Papers, 1914-1929

1 folder

The collection consists of several family papers collected by Samuel A. Belsito, a Philadelphia Italian-American who sold real estate and insurance, served as a notary public and an Italian interpreter, and was also Commissioner of Deeds for New Jersey and New York.

The material includes the will of Philadelphian Mary Conte Giamello, wife of John Giamello (witnessed by S.A. Belsito), and several financial statements for S.A. Belsito from the period 1919 to 1929.

The collection was donated by Carmen D. Valentino in 1990.


Records, 1921-1927

9 folders

The folder listing of the records of the Foresters of America, Corte Stella d'Italia No. 364 is as follows:

1.  Constitutions, 1921, n.d.

2.  Minutes, 1924-1927

3.  Correspondence, 1921-1922

4.  Correspondence, 1923-1927

5.  Receipts, 1925-1927

6.  Membership Lists, n.d.

7.  Medical reports, 1926-1927

8.  Membership forms and stationary, ca. 1920

9.  Miscellaneous, 1927, n.d.


Papers, 1879-1942

1 folder

This collection contains an 1879 certificate of citizenship for Frank Iula, travel documents for Francesco Saverio Iula, a document certifying Francesco Saverio Iula medically unfit for Italian military service, a mortgage for Teresa and Ruffino Iula, and letters to Frank Iula and Teresa Iula.  Also included is a clipping regarding Robert Iula.  The relationships between the individuals represented here are unclear.  The travel documents for Francesco Saverio Iula are in Italian.

This collection was donated by Thomas Lombardo in 1990.


Papers, 1946-1954

2 folders

The Marinelli Papers document divorce proceedings between Rosaria Marinelli and her husband, Armando Marinelli.

Folder 1 contains the correspondence of Mrs. Marinelli to her lawyer in Harrisburg.  Mrs. Marinelli, an Italian citizen, was attempting to divorce her husband, who had emigrated to the United States in 1937.  Her letters (1946) describe her efforts to save their marriage and receive financial restitution.

Folder 2 contains her lawyer's correspondence.  George Keitel and Joseph Loughran attempted to adjudicate her case in 1946 but were unsuccessful.  Mrs. Marinelli dropped the case in 1954 after Armando Marinelli's death.  The final outcome of the case in not covered in these letters.

The majority of the papers are dated 1946 and address the background of the case.  The papers of most interest are Mrs. Marinelli's letters.

The papers were donated in 1986 by Kathleen Moretto Spencer of the Shadek

Fackenthal Library, Franklin and Marshall College.

The box list of the register of the papers of Rosaria Marinelli is one page long and available upon request.  The charge is $0.25 per page, in addition to $2.50 for shipping and handling.


Correspondence, 1936

2 pages

The collection consists of two letters.  One is from the Special Investigating Committee of the Socialist Party in Reading, Pennsylvania, and recommends that Pacchina be expelled for contributing to the Republican Party campaign fund in 1935.  In the other letter Pacchina defends himself, explaining that he had to register as a Republican in order to keep his job and detailing his intimidation by local members of the Republican Party.

In English.


Passports, 1907

1 folder

The passports originate from Antonio Puntillo's and Caterina D'Amico Puntillo's home town of Madia, Catanzaro province, Italy.  The documents are both dated February 7, 1907, one month after their marriage.  The couple immigrated to the United States several months later.

Unrestricted.  Donated by Josephine Isabelli, 1986.


Poems, 1958 and n.d.

The collection consists of five poems by Dante Raso (b. 1877), an Italian-American of Brooklyn, New York.  The poems are philosophical meditations on life, happiness, good and evil, and the influence of fate on our lives.

One poem is about Sputnik.  Also included is a poem in honor of G. Rizzo, editor of Lu Mundu Liberu, a monthly review.

The poems are in Italian.


Papers, 1926-1945

6 folders

Restricted Access

Francesco Saracco immigrated to the United States in 1899 at the age of twenty-two from Cortale, Catanzaro province, Italy.  Prior to immigrating he had studied to become a Roman Catholic priest but left the seminary over a theological dispute.  Saracco was well educated.  He could write and speak Italian, English, French, Spanish, Latin, and German, but found it difficult to get a job in Philadelphia equal to his education.

He worked in a number of odd jobs, including as a clerk at Dr. Fabiani's First Italian Hospital in South Philadelphia, an apprentice mechanic, pressman, and chandelier maker.  Saracco became quite skilled at chandelier making, holding this position for many years.  In Philadelphia's Italian community, he aided many illiterate immigrants by serving as a correspondent.  According to the donor of these papers, Saracco would not accept money for these services. 

The Francesco Saracco Papers, a total of six folders, date from 1926 to 1945 and are primarily in Italian.  They contain birth and marriage certificates for Saracco and his wife, Chiara Nolari Saracco, Saracco's naturalization and public health certificates, two journals, a play, and some poetry.  His journals contain several short essays in English and Italian such as a rebuttal to a Columbus Day speech in Philadelphia that contained defamatory remarks about Italians.  The journals also contain day-to-day notes concerning jobs, expenses, names and addresses of friends, relatives and contacts.  The manuscript of a play he wrote in 1937, "San Francesco di Paola," was commissioned and produced by the San Francesco da Paola di Madia Mutual Benefit Society, Philadelphia, in 1938.  The correspondence in the collection, which consists of letters from Saracco to his son, concern routine family matters.

The Francesco Saracco Papers were donated by Alice Del Vecchio Cowan in 1983.  Permission from the Library Director is required to copy or quote any portion of these papers.

The box list of the register of the papers of Francesco Saracco is one page long and available upon request.  The charge is $0.25 per page, in addition to $2.50 for shipping and handling.


Records, 1907-1909

1 volume

The Societa Italiana Colombo was an Italian mutual aid society located in Reading, Pennsylvania.  The collection consists of one minute book which covers 1907-1909.  It includes information on the officers, expenditures, and activities of the society.  The volume is written in Italian.

The collection is on permanent loan from Frank Caruso; it was received in 1985.


Records, 1954-1974

2 folders

Societa San Cataldo was an Italian mutual aid society located in Dunmore, Pennsylvania.  Included in this collection are a set of bylaws from 1936, in Italian, and a ledger book containing records of dues paid by members of the society from 1954-1974.

See Photo Group 185 for a group picture and their meeting hall.

These records were acquired as part of the Anthracite Region Ethnic Archives Project, donated by Dr. Joseph Bentivgena in 1985.


Records, 1935, 1937, 1951

1 folder

The fraternal Order of the Sons of Italy, Grand Lodge of Ohio was founded on May 16, 1915.  The Italian American organization engaged in a variety of benevolent activities, including life insurance for its members.

This collection contains three items: a souvenir album commemorating the attendance of Italian ambassador Augusto Russo at the dedication of the organization's new building and gymnasium in Cleveland on June 2, 1935, a 1937 poem by A. Mariani dedicated to Pasquale Di Fino, "Grand Secretary and Archivist", on the occasion of a banquet in his honor, and a program from the Grand Lodge Twentieth Biennial convention, held July 14-17, 1951.

The album and program contain messages of greeting and congratulation from individuals and businesses, and names and locations of lodges throughout the state.  The program contains a brief and sketchy history of the organization which is markedly critical of the organization's officers during the 1930s and in particular of the construction of the new building in 1935.

The collection was donated by Mrs. Adelaide Bolletino in 1988.


Correspondence, 1927-1930

2 items

Veneroso writes from Yonkers, New York to his parents in Salerno, Italy.

In Italian. Gift of Ascanio Greco.