Collection: Italian Literature

These books once belonged to Professor Alberto Pecorini, b. ca. 1881 at Venice, Italy. He emigrated to the United States in 1900 and was Professor of Italian Language and Literature at the American International College, Springfield, Massachusetts, from about that time until 1910. The Federal Census of that year has him living in Manhattan; he founded the short-lived Italian-American Civic League and directed the New York paper Il Citadino. He defended Italian immigrants both in public lectures and in print, authoring several works on the subject.  He lamented that so many of his fellow countrymen were illiterate, but that it did not therefore speak ill of their character.  He was in contact with the Italian immigrants in Argentina and we find him on a passenger list returning to New York from La Plata in 1916.  He was back living in Rome, Italy as of 1921.

Sometime during the rise of Fascism in that country he moved to Argentina and continued to write on behalf of his native land. One reference we find of his work at that time is that he published Il novo Risgorgimento e l'altro in the periodical Italia Libre (Buenos Aires), a reference to which reads, "Alberto Pecorini, a liberal professor of advanced age, was a founder of the anti-Fascist association 'Italia Libre' in the Argentine. He was its chairman from June 1940 to January 1942...Pecorini, who did not mince his words as to US responsibility for the rise of Fascism, took a hopeful view of Britain's prospective role in ensuring a just peace..."

The collection represents the interests of an intellectual during the first third of the 20th century.  Its strengths are philosophy, Italian literature, history of art, religion, and politics.  All but a few volumes were specially bound as most Italian books of the period were still issued in wrappers.  The dates range from the early 1800's to about 1930.

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