University of Minnesota

Di Donato, Pietro, Papers

Finding Aid


IHRC


Immigration History Research Center, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Creator: Di Donato, Pietro, 1911-1992
Dates: 1930-1987
Abstract: Papers of Italian American author Pietro Di Donato consist of a photocopy of the manuscript for his play "Moro" and interview drafts, correspondence, audio cassettes.
Quantity: 2 linear in.
Language: In English.
Collection ID: IHRC541

PROVENANCE

Collection donated to the IHRC by Pietro Di Donato (1984) and by Dorothee von Huene-Greenberg (1990). Collection processed and finding aid included in IHRC VITRAGE in 2005.

HISTORICAL SKETCH

Born in West Hoboken, New Jersey, USA. Di Donato (1911-1992), was twelve years old when his Italian immigrant father was killed in a construction accident on Good Friday, 1923. As the oldest boy, Di Donato took up his father’s trade to support his large family. Unemployed and on relief in the 1930s, he found time to study, read, and write about his experiences. The resulting “Christ in Concrete”(1939), was an instant success. The former bricklayer's first novel is an autobiographical work documenting the life of Italian laborers in New York City. Surprisingly, he put down his pen until the 1960s, when he wrote “The Circle of Light” (an introduction to his earlier work), “Immigrant Saint” (a biography of Mother Cabrini), and “The Penitent” (a biography of the man who killed Saint Maria Goreti), in rapid succession.


DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION

A photocopy of the manuscript for Di Donato's play "Moro". Oral history collection consists of various drafts of typewritten transcripts of interviews conducted with Di Donato by Dorothee von Huene-Greenberg on Jan. 12, Feb. 12, and June 8, 1985, at his home in Strong’s Neck, Long Island. Di Donato speaks extensively on “Christ in Concrete.” A condensed version of the interviews was published in MELUS, Vol. 14, Nos. 3-4 (Fall-Winter 1987), pp. 33-52. A photocopy of this published version, related correspondence of von Huene-Greenberg with the editorial staff of MELUS, and tape recordings of the actual interviews are included in the collection.


ACCESS RESTRICTIONS

The Di Donato, Pietro collection is available for public research.

OWNERSHIP & LITERARY RIGHTS

The Di Donato, Pietro collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Reseach Center, University of Minnesota.

For further information regrading the copyright, please contact the IHRC.


CITE AS

The Di Donato, Pietro Papers, Italian American Collection, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota

Index Terms

Italian American theater.
Ethnic theater.
Italian American authors.
Italian Americans.

Detailed Description of the Collection

BOX 1. Pietro Di Donato Papers

FOLDER 1. "Moro"
A photocopy of the manuscript for his play "Moro" (115 pp.)
FOLDER 2. Interview (1985) with Di Donato - original transcript
Typewritten transcript of interview conducted with Di Donato by Dorothee von Huene-Greenberg on Jan. 12, Feb. 12, and June 8, 1985, at his home in Strong’s Neck, Long Island.
FOLDER 3. Interview (1985) with Di Donato - for MELUS (version A)
Condensed version for the MELUS journal, with changes noted
FOLDER 4. Interview with Di Donato - for MELUS (version B)
FOLDER 5. Interview with Di Donato - MELUS 1987 reprint
A photocopy of the condensed version of the interview published in MELUS, Vol. 14, Nos. 3-4 (Fall-Winter 1987), pp. 33-52.
FOLDER 6. Audio tapes
3 audio tapes containing the recordings of interviews conducted with Di Donato by Dorothee von Huene-Greenberg on Jan. 12, Feb. 12, and June 8, 1985, at his home in Strong’s Neck, Long Island.



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