• Identification00066140
  • TitleDescriptive inventory for the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans records, 1948-1989
  • PublisherChicago Historical Society
  • Language
    • English.
    • English
    • Italian
  • RepositoryChicago History Museum Research Center 1601 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614-6038
  • OriginationJoint Civic Committee of Italian Americans
  • Date1948-1989
  • Physical Description13.5 linear ft. (32 boxes)
  • LocationMSS Lot J

Research use of this collection is governed by the standard rules and regulations of the Chicago History Museum Research Center.

Copyright may be retained by the creators of items, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law, unless otherwise noted.

Gift of Anthony Sorrentino in 1973 and later (M1973.0065, M1974.0020, and 2010.0046).

Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans records (Chicago History Museum) plus a detailed description, date, and box/folder number of a specific item.

Meeting minutes, correspondence, press releases, newspaper clippings, publications, event programs, financial documents, and other administrative records of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans (JCCIA). The majority of materials relate to the regular operations of the organization, efforts to fight defamation of Italian Americans in the media and society, relations with other Italian American organizations, and annual events sponsored by the JCCIA, especially Columbus Day celebrations. Included are article drafts for Fra Noi, a newspaper published in the Chicago area for Italian Americans, copies of various Italian American newsletters and magazines, and the monthly JCCIA bulletin. Also present are papers of Anthony Sorrentino, executive director of the JCCIA and a sociologist who worked with the Chicago Area Project and other programs to prevent juvenile delinquency. His papers include correspondence, scholarly papers, book drafts, and publications.

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans (JCCIA) was founded in 1952 as a non-profit organization to preserve and celebrate Italian American heritage and promote a positive portrayal of Italian Americans in the media and society in general. JCCIA sponsors and participates in several civic and cultural events, the most notable being its annual sponsorship of the Chicago Columbus Day Parade since 1952 and social service activities, such as a scholarship program. JCCIA includes three sub-divisions; the Women's Division, the West Suburban Women's Division, and the Young Professionals Division.

Related materials at Chicago History Museum, Research Center, include the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans visual materials (1974.0020); the Peter R. Scalise papers; the Anthony Sorrentino papers, including a box of photographs that relates partly to the JCCIA; and issues of Fra Noi, cataloged separately. Related materials at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Special Collections and University Archives, include the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans of Chicago collection and the Anthony Sorrentino papers.

Processed with funding provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

  • Names
    • Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans--Archives
    • Sorrentino, Anthony--Archives
    • Annunzio, Frank
    • Chicago Area Project
    • Italian Welfare Council (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Subject
    • Catholics--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
    • Columbus Day
    • Immigrants--Illinois--Chicago--History
    • Italian Americans--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area--History
    • Italian Americans--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area--Societies, etc.--20th century
    • Italian Americans in mass media
    • Italian Americans--United States--20th century
    • Italians--United States--History
    • Newspaper publishing--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area
    • Sociologists--Illinois--Chicago--20th century
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Chicago, (Ill.)--Social conditions--20th century
    • Chicago, (Ill.)--Social life and customs--20th century
    • Italy--Emigration and immigration
    • Near West Side (Chicago, Ill.)

The collection is arranged in ten series.

Series 1. Meeting minutes, 1965-1970 (box 1)

Series 1 consists of meeting minutes from JCCIA committees. Committees include the human relations committee, the cultural affairs committee, Sojourn in Italy committee, as well as the main administrative body of JCCIA.

Series 2. Anthony Sorrentino papers, 1956-1984 (box 1-2)

Series 2 contains correspondence, printed book reviews, press releases, scholarly papers and articles, newspaper clippings, book drafts, lecture notes, and publications concerning the written works of Anthony Sorrentino, sociologist and executive director of the JCCIA. Many of the materials relate to his book Organizing Against Crime: Redeveloping the Neighborhood. Also present is a typed draft of his manuscript: Ethnicity: The Italian American Experience in Chicago.

Series 3. Anti-defamation/portrayal of Italians materials, 1954-1984 (box 2-4)

Series 3 consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, meeting minutes, press releases, and administrative materials concerning the portrayal of Italians in the media and society in general. The bulk of the series is made up of newspaper clippings, articles, and advertisements considered defamatory to Italians and Italian Americans, many with attached letters of complaint to newspapers and other media outlets. Also included are complaint letters to companies and media outlets regarding movies or television shows with perceived negative portrayals of Italians and Italian Americans, such as the film: The Brotherhood (1968) and NBC's "The Gangster Chronicles" (1981).

Series 4. Columbus Day materials, 1958-1988 (box 4-10)

Series 4 contains newspaper clippings, correspondence, press releases, programs, parade line-up lists and commentaries, financial materials, television sponsor lists, and other administrative materials concerning the annual Columbus Day festivities sponsored by the JCCIA. A majority of the files are related to the planning and execution of the annual Columbus Day Parade in Chicago (1969, 1976-1986, 1988). Also included are materials relating to Columbus Day Queen contests, essay contests, and the JCCIA costume committee.

Series 5. Dinner event files, 1956-1989 (box 11-13)

Series 5 contains correspondence, written speeches, financial materials, invitations, programs, and other materials regarding dinner events held by the JCCIA or related organizations. Included are materials related to the planning and execution of the annual Man of the Year Dinner held by the JCCIA (1979-1987) and programs for the Italian Heritage Ball and Cotillion sponsored by the Women's Division of the JCCIA (1973-1985). Also present are programs from a variety of dinner events sponsored by various Italian American organizations.

Series 6. Other Italian American organization records, 1948-1987 (box 13-15)

Series 6 consists of directories, newspaper clippings, correspondence, informational material, brochures, press releases, publications, scholarly papers, event programs, and other materials regarding organizations that share similar interests and goals with the JCCIA. Amongst the included organizations are Americans of Italian Descent, National Italian American League to Combat Defamation, Inc., The Gregorians, American Italian Historical Association, the Italian Welfare Council, and the National Italian American Foundation.

Series 7. Notable individuals files, 1955-1984 (box 15-17)

Series 7 contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, press releases, publications, and other materials concerning individuals of interest to the JCCIA. Of note are materials, predominantly correspondence, from U.S. Representative Frank Annunzio. Also present are materials relating to the Enrico Fermi Memorial Fund.

Series 8. Publications, 1955-1988 (box 17-22)

Series 8 contains newspaper article and column drafts, press releases, correspondence, foreign language newspapers and magazines, English language newspapers, organization newsletters, and informational booklets published or compiled by JCCIA. Included are drafts for Fra Noi, a Chicagoland newspaper for Italian Americans. Also present are issues of the Washington Newsletter of The National Italian American Foundation, Inc. (1978-1986), the Italian language magazine La Parola del Popolo (1972-1982), and the monthly bulletin of the JCCIA (1955-1963).

Series 9. Newspaper clippings, 1963-1987 (box 22-24)

Series 9 contains newspaper clippings regarding Italian American issues, portrayal and image of Italian Americans in society, and events involving the Italian American community and the JCIAA.

Series 10. Administrative/general records, 1952-1988 (box 24-32)

Series 10 contains correspondence, press releases, administrative documents, financial reports, event programs, recipe booklets, newspaper clippings, meeting announcements, and other materials regarding the JCCIA. Included are documents on the general operation of the JCCIA, the Sojourn in Italy language program, immigration reform, scholarship awards, disaster relief (Sicilian Earthquake, Italian Flood, Vaiont Dam Flood), Dante Ceremonies for a commemorative stamp, and Venetian Night. Also present is an Illinois Youth Services Directory.