The American Italian Research Library moved from its previous location at the America Italian Cultural Center in New Orleans to its current location at the East Bank Regional Library in 2012. The American Italian Research Library houses a large collection of oral histories, immigration records, notes, books, photographs and other artifacts chronicling the local Italian community. Listed below are some of our prized collections.
The Giovanni Schiavo Collection
The Giovanni Schiavo Collection, the world's most significant collection of American Italian history by Giovanni Schiavo, is the cornerstone of the American Italian Library. The Giovanni Schiavo Collection includes the complete works of Giovanni Schiavo, America's foremost authority on American Italian history, as well as his research material, hand written notes, and personal library. Through life-long dedication and tireless research, Dr. Giovanni Schiavo, authored ten of the most important books in the history of Italians in America, the most significant of which is 'The American Italians in America Before the Civil War." His other books include: "Philip Mazzei, One of America's Founding Fathers", "The Italians in America Before the Civil War","The Italian American History (2 volumes)", "Four Centuries of Italian American History", and "Antonio Meucci, Inventor of the Telephone."
Naturalization Records, 1800-1860
To become a citizen of New Orleans, immigrants had to go to City Hall in Orleans Parish to sign one of these documents. The Library is proud to have every naturalization record for an Italiam immigrant from 1800 to 1860.
Dr. John Adriani Collection
Another important collection is the Dr. John Adriani Collection which consists of medical records, personal journals, text books, and memorabilia. Dr. Adriani, a noted anesthesiologist, developed many new procedures in anesthesiology which are in use today and authored several important books on the subject.
The Library also has over 200 audio histories of Italian immigrants who came to New Orleans, Italian magazines, newspaper collections, a music library comprised of famous Italian jazz musicians, Italian magazines and past issues of the Italian American Digest. One of the Italian newspapers is La Voce Colonale, a newspaper completely in Italian printed here in America from 1917 to 1930 for the immigrants.
East Bank Regional Library
4747 W. Napoleon Avenue
The American Italian Research Library Grand Opening
To view footage of the grand opening that appeared on the Jefferson Parish Government Television Channe, click here.