Italian American Histories of Montclair

March 26, 2003
Montclair Public Library, Montclair, NJ

Italians and Italian Americans whose families live and work or have lived and worked in Montclair are invited to bring photographs and documents to the library for an evening, as part of a local history project. On Wednesday, March 26th from 6-9:00 p.m., Prof. Marisa Trubiano of Montclair State University, her students, William Fischer, the local history librarian, Donato Di Geronimo and Ruth Kunstadter, prominent community point persons and project co-collaborators, will be present to scan and preserve personal photographs, written documents, and personal artifacts. (They will all be returned to their owners, that same evening.) These can all become integral parts of the Italian American oral history project underway through the Community Heritage Documentation Project, under the auspices of the Community Outreach Partnership Center funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Montclair State University, a Cali 2003 Research Grant, and the MSU Spanish and Italian Department's Italian Cooperative Education course. The goal is to collect and preserve the precious traces of the Italian American experience in Montclair throughout the community's history from the late 19th century to today. Some of the anticipated outcomes of this project will be published articles and academic and community presentations, and, ultimately, a traveling exhibit and a permanent visual display in a suitable location that highlights key aspects of Montclair's local histories.

Area residents have already furnished us with valuable information. If you, your family members, or friends would like to share your experiences of being Italian and Italian American in Montclair, you can get involved in two ways. You can volunteer to be interviewed by a student researcher as part of the oral history project, and/or you can come on March 26th to the Montclair Public Library, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. to share your photographs and documents for the evening. (Select and bring about 10 pieces. They will be returned to you that evening.) Please indicate your interest in the project by contacting Prof. Marisa Trubiano at or by calling (973) 655-7950. We look forward to working with you to write this important chapter of Montclair's rich history.