by Jeanette Viehman
We have something Italian for everyone on earth and in cyberspace at the Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia in Stone Park ! You can come to the library in person or you can see some of our over 6,000 items online at www.librarything.com. This includes autographed best sellers, periodicals, slides, CDs, DVDs, and cassette tapes of oral histories, music, dance and drama performances.
We regularly videotape our programs in their entirety and put them on YouTube, including a live Skype interview with Pierrino Mascarino, the actor who played the title role in the film “Uncle Nino.” On our Google website, www.tinyurl.com/8378h5q, you can browse through more of Chicago’s Italian American history. There are YouTube videos, archived Fra Noi columns, a 1933 telephone directory of Italians in Chicago, and many other items.
New to the Italians in Chicago exhibit is a donation of two antique steamer trunks containing biancheria (clothing and linens). We also have a shoemaker’s sewing machine. Sal Falco recently donated wooden models of Columbus’ three ships, which are currently displayed in the library.
This year we are publishing an anthology of writings by and about Italian American women. Library volunteers are contributing translations of letters reflecting the immigrant experience, as seen through the eyes of an Italian man in 1950s Chicago and his wife and his mother who were still in Italy. Also, we are translating the autobiography of Amabile Santacaterina, a prominent WWII Chicago Italian radio personality. Other authors are also contributing to the book.
Also, we are creating a scrapbook of all mentions of Italians in Chicago newspapers. If you’d like to offer materials, send copies of your items to the Casa Library or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free tours of our museums, library, and other facilities are offered to individual visitors and groups. We also provide assistance to walk-in visitors on many subjects such as finding old parish records, translations, cooking, travel, genealogy, etc. Contact Dominic Candeloro at 847-951-9109 or 708-354-0952. Our staff is available Monday afternoons. Come see us. We have espresso around 2:30 p.m.