Tag Archives: Hoboken History

Celebrate Italian-American Heritage Month this October with titles from Overdrive/Libby, Hoopla, and Kanopy!

20 Oct

My husband’s maternal great grandparents emigrated from Italy so my household is proud to celebrate in October all the many accomplishments and rich cultural heritage Italians have brought to this country, so I couldn’t resist this month sharing some books and more you can check out about Italian-Americans.

Voices of Italian America: A History of Early Italian American Literature with a Critical Anthology
by Martino Marazzi
Voices of Italian America includes an authoritative study and collection of the Italian-language literature written and published in the United States from the Great Migration (1880–1920) to shortly after World War II.  This time reflects the rise of Little Italy’s in cities where Italian-Americans were in largely insular communities in which Italian continued to be the main language.

Italian Immigrants: In their Shoes
by Tyler Omoth
The Juvenile Nonfiction title, Italian Immigrants part of the Immigrants Experience series, provides children with information about the lives and challenges Italian-Americans including a timeline, quotes, and “fast facts.”

Cake Boss: The Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia
by Buddy Valastro
With his show Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro put Hoboken and Carlos’s Bakery on the map as the destination for Italian-American pastries and baked goods like Lobster Tails and cannoli.  Besides Cake Boss, also available by Valastro in print from BCCLS Libraries: Cooking Italian with the Cake Boss: Family Favorites as only Buddy can Serve Them Up and Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy’s Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets.

Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power
by Susan Page
Featuring interviews with Pelosi and those who know her best Madam Speaker takes a look at the life of the First Female Speaker of the House.  Want to learn more also available are Molly Ball’s Pelosi and Queens of the Resistance: Nancy Pelosi by Brenda Jones and Krishan Trotman.

Sinatra: The Chairman and Frank: The Voice
by James Kaplan
Check out James Kaplan’s biographies on Hoboken born classic Italian-American crooner Frank Sinatra!  Also available are Lady Blue Eyes: My Life with Frank by Barbara Sinatra and His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra by Kitty Kelley.

The Italian Americans
The 2015 PBS Documentary Series, The Italian Americans, explores the immigrant experience of Italian Americans and their impact on American history and Culture.  Also available from Kanopy: Da Feast! about the Italian American celebration of San Paulino di Nola in Brooklyn.

During the early parts of Hoboken’s history Italians specifically those from Southern Italy such as Molfetta have been one of the largest group that settled here in Hoboken.  Although some returned to Italy or their descendants moved elsewhere in America, there are still plenty of reminders of Hoboken’s proud Italian Heritage with businesses like Fiore’s (providing their delicious Mozzarella since 1913), Leo’s Grandevous (open since 1939 and just steps away from the Municipal Building where our Grand Street Branch is located), and Dom’s Bakery nearby our Main Branch since 1979.  Plus every summer residents of all backgrounds enjoy St. Ann’s Feast and the Hoboken Italian Festival celebrating the Feast of Madonna Dei Martiri.  Want to learn more about Hoboken History or get help with genealogical research; reach out to our history librarian (and proud Italian American) by emailing Stephanie.Diorio@hobken.bccls.org!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

Have Your Story Become Part of Our Hoboken History Collection

1 May

Hoboken Library Logo

These are, to say the least, very trying and unusual times we find ourselves in right now. These times will indeed be studied by our descendants in the future, looking back upon how we lived and coped with remaining inside and isolated from one another in order to protect each other, especially our most vulnerable neighbors, from disease.

We can make it a bit easier on future historians right now in a few ways.

Firstly, if you haven’t yet, please fill out the 2020 Census! That’ll make it a lot easier for your descendants to find you later when they’re looking for details about your life. It’ll also help Hoboken get the right amount of funding for the community in the present, so it’s definitely important.

And secondly, I implore you all to record your experiences right now. Write them down in a diary, film them, photograph them. Document what is happening in your home and your life and all around you. Record everything. The Hoboken Public Library would like to hear your COVID-19 stories: we’re building an archive of Hoboken’s response to the pandemic and stories from Hoboken residents are intended to be a big part of that collection! Send us your writing, your photos, your videos, and more, and we will consider them for preservation for historical posterity.

To submit your stories to us, please email them to reference@hoboken.bccls.org or stephanie.diorio@hoboken.bccls.org. In return, we’ll email you a Deed of Gift to fill out to commemorate your donation and make it official.

In the future, we also plan to begin an oral history project, and COVID-19 stories will likely be a big part of that, so stay tuned for details on that, as well! In the meantime, please send us anything you feel we should save for the collection – we’ll be ever thankful, and generations to come will have your story and develop a better understanding of the world we’re currently working together to survive in!

With all my thanks,
Steph Diorio
Archivist/Local History Librarian

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