Documenting anItalian-American Immigrant Success Story
Rosa, Giuseppe. Archive of manuscript and printed material, on paper, in Italian, English, and Spanish. New York City & elsewhere: 1902–18.
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Here in the business archive of Sig. Rosa is the story of one Italian immigrant to the U.S. at the beginning of the 20th century, helping other Italian transplants to learn a skill and secure a decent livelihood in their adopted land, and at the same time participating in Italian immigrant social and benevolent activities — and gaining an international reputation as a teacher and tailor.
Sig. Rosa (born 1873) was an émigré who operated a tailoring school and mail-order tailoring instruction company with the main operation on McDougal Street, NYC, and branches in Newark, NJ, and Chicago. In 1914, he published a bilingual pamphlet, L'arte del tagliatore; trattato italiano-inglese, tecnico, pratico, professionale, per disegnatori e tagliatori sarti / The Cutter's Art; an Italian-English, Technical, Practical and Professional Treatise for Designers and Cutters (New York [Nicoletti Bros. Press]), without a doubt to aid in establishing his credentials as a teacher of tailoring. Only two libraries worldwide (NYPL, UChicago) report owning a copy.
The present archive (0.4 linear feet) contains hundreds of letters addressed to Professor Rosa from students in the United States and Panama; other letters from professional tailoring associations and individual tailors in Italy, Panama, the U.S., and Argentina; manuscript tailoring diagrams; manuscripts of his instructional manuals; and printed advertising ephemera from his school. There are a small number of photographs, including one of Sig. Rosa and one that seems to be of a social club of which he was a member. In the non-business correspondence are letters of thanks to him fromthe White House, the mayor of New York, the Red Cross (for donations), etc.
While the correspondence is almost entirely in Italian, some pieces are in English or Spanish. The instructional material is all in Italian, as are the drawings' explanations. Curiously, the printed advertising items are in English.
For POST-1820 AMERICANA,
This archive seems destined to be used not only by historians of Italian-American history but by historians of immigration generally, émigré culture at the beginning of the 20th century, fashion, self-help, education, advertising, and entrepreneurship, to mention but a few obvious areas of social research.
A few items quite worn, but overall generally only minor wear. Some items are on poor-quality paper of the era and thus brittle. A gathering fully ready to be worked with, and by multiple sorts of scholars. (39404)
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