Scope and arrangement
The papers of Gino Speranza span the years 1887 to 1935 and include correspondence, writings, legal papers, research materials, financial papers, diaries, scrapbooks and printed matter. Also included are papers relating to several organizations with which Speranza was involved and a small series of Florence Colgate Speranza's papers. The largest group of organizational papers are those relating to The Society for the Protection of Italian Immigrants. There are smaller files devoted to the Scuola d'Industrie Italiane and the Westchester County Committee for Belgian Relief.
The Gino Speranza papers are arranged in eleven series:
Series reflects Speranza's life-long personal and professional interest in immigration issues and especially his involvement with the Italian community in the United States. Speranza's work with the Investigation Bureau for Italian Immigrants, the National Italian Labor Exchange, the Labor Information Office for Italians, The Prison Association of New York, the Richmond Hill House and the Committee on Crime and Immigration of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology are all documented to varying degrees in this section. There is some overlap between the General Correspondence and the correspondence in other series.
As counsel to the Consul General of Italy, Speranza investigated claims of the families of Italian citizens who died in the United States. Many of these were laborers killed in job-related accidents and Speranza worked to procure some compensation, or at least, back wages for the families of these men. The Legal Files, which are arranged alphabetically, contain additional information on some of these cases. This correspondence documents the often harsh conditions of immigrant laborers in the early years of the century. A May 25, 1906 report by Speranza describing the conditions of workers for the Carolina Company is of particular interest. The Carolina Company brought many Italian immigrants to North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to clear land for the South & Western Railway Company. Among Speranza's correspondents in his work for the Consul were Raybaudi Massiglia and Adolfo Rossi.
In 1915 Speranza went to Italy as a feature correspondent for The New York Evening Post and the Outlook and in July of 1918 he was appointed assistant in the American Embassy in Rome. Most of the letters from this period are copies (the originals may be at Stanford with Speranza's diary from the war years). His correspondents while in Italy included Thomas Nelson Page and Norval Richardson of the American Embassy in Rome and B. Harvey Carroll, of the American Embassy in Venice. Speranza also corresponded with Ernest Hamlin Abbot and Lawrence F. Abbot of the Outlook.
The correspondence for the later years of the series includes letters regarding publications of Speranza's work. Speranza continued to publish in the Outlook and also in the Atlantic Monthly and the Yale Review. Speranza corresponded extensively with French Strother regarding a series of articles he published in World's Work. The articles, published in 1923, reflect Speranza's increasingly restrictionist views and his theories on the nature and influences of "foreign stock" on American society. Other correspondents on these matters include Talcott Miner Banks, Robert M. Yerkes and John Jay Chapman.
A small number of personal /family letters are included in the general correspondences, most notably, letters from Speranza's father, Carlo.
Contains material relating to includes the Society's constitution, correspondence, reports and printed matter. Correspondents include Eliot Norton, who served as president of the Society and William B. Howland who served as its treasurer. These papers also include a 1903 report by Speranza on conditions in labor camps in West Virginia.
Include by-laws, minutes, correspondence, financial papers, printed matter and two photographs. The school sought to teach and promote traditional Italian needlecrafts and to make the practice of these crafts a viable economic venture. Florence Colgate Speranza was active in the schools programs both before and after her marriage and she served for a time as the President of the Executive Board. Volume 17 is also made up of material related to the Scuola.
Make up the largest series in the collection. The files represent both Speranza's private cases and cases undertaken in his capacity as counsel to the Italian Consulate. The latter often involved investigating the cases of Italian citizens injured or killed while working in the United States.
Papers include correspondence and clippings. Gino Speranza served as secretary.
For the most part record Speranza's European travel including trips to Italy, Holland, Mexico, Czechoslovakia and England. Several trips within the United States are also documented. See Index 6 for a list of individual volumes.
- circa 1897-1927
Include account books, personal accounts and check books.
Contain material on education, immigration, Latin America, religion, the Ku Klux Klan and other topics. A file of published articles by Speranza is also included.
Papers include correspondence, a diary, a commonplace book and printed matter. Her correspondence as a trustee of Barnard College (1899-1912) is of particular interest.
Include scrapbooks and other notebooks compiled by Gino and Florence Speranza.