University of Minnesota

Vecoli, Rudolph J., Papers

Finding Aid


IHRC Archives

Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Creator: Vecoli, Rudolph J.
Dates: 1946-2008
Abstract: Personal and professional papers of Rudolph J. Vecoli document his career as an historian of American immigration. Included are files on ethnic organizations, institutions and academic conferences related to immigration and ethnic history. Collection also contains files pertaining to Vecoli's involvement in the American Italian Historical Association (AIHA) and the AIHA Stella Del Nord Chapter, and projects such as the preparation of the Harvard Encyclopaedia of American Ethnic Groups or the restoration of Ellis Island.
Quantity: 128 linear ft.
Language: English
Collection ID: IHRC2777


Collection acquired from Rudolph J. Vecoli during 1980-2008.


Rudolph J. Vecoli (b. 1927- d. June 17, 2008) was born and raised in Wallingford, Connecticut, the son of Italian immigrants. He received his PhD in history from the University of Wisconsin in 1963, studying under Merle Curti and producing a dissertation on Chicago’s Italians. This work led him to his influential critique of Oscar Handlin’s The Uprooted in 1964, often cited as a propelling force in the expansion of the immigration studies field. In 1967, Vecoli joined the University of Minnesota History Department and became director of the Immigration History Research Center, a post he held through July, 2005. His scholarship has concentrated most heavily on Italian American history, culture, and identity, emphasizing labor activism and the political left. He has also written extensively on ethnicity, the history of immigration law, and migration to the Midwest and has been regarded as one of the field’s pre-eminent historiographers. He has also been a consultant and adviser to many heritage-related projects on a national level, including serving as co-chair of the History Committee for the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island Foundation. In addition, he has been actively engaged in ethnic community life, particularly in Italian American cultural programs.


The Vecoli collection (128 linear ft.) consists of correspondence, drafts and manuscripts of scholarly texts, research notes and resource files pertaining largely, but not exclusively, to the Italian Americans and their communities throughout the U.S. A segment of the materials documents his deep involvement in the activities of the American Italian Historical Association as well as his participation in and presidency of the Immigration (and Ethnic) History Society. Vecoli’s correspondence reflects his role in helping to solidify a collaborative network among the scholarly community in migration and ethnic studies nationally and internationally; the emergence of interest in this field by scholars in sending countries is uniquely evident in the collection. The papers also contain extensive documentation on post-1965 immigration and its impact on American society, including the evolution of social dialogue surrounding issues such as multiculturalism, racism, citizenship, immigration policy reform, and more.


The Vecoli, Rudolph J. collection is available for public research except for materials containing student grades and personal information - these records are restricted (Series 2 - History Department)..


The Vecoli, Rudolph J. collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRC Archives.


The Vecoli, Rudolph J. Papers, Italian American Collection, IHRC Archives, University of Minnesota

Index Terms

History--Societies, etc.
Italian Americans--History.
College teachers.
Ethnology--United States.




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