University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota LibrariesOnline Finding Aids
space Home | About Us | Search Tips | Finding Aids FAQ | View Basket |
Inventory of the Order Sons of Italy in America, New York Grand Lodge Records, 1955-1987.

Summary Information
Title: Order Sons of Italy in America, New York Grand Lodge Records,
Dates: 1955-1987
Creator: Order Sons of Italy in America. New York Grand Lodge.
Extent: 11.75 linear ft.
Language: Mainly in English; some Italian.
Collection Number: ITA
Repository: University of Minnesota Libraries. Immigration History Research Center

Access and Use


Organized in seven series: I. National. II. State. III. District. IV. Local. V. Non-OSIA groups and activities. VI. Photographs. VII. Artifacts.

Biographical/Historical Note

A fraternal and mutual benefit organization, OSIA was founded in New York City in 1905 by Dr. Vincenzo Sellaro. The New York Grand Lodge was chartered in 1911, the first of twenty-two grand lodges. During the early years, it was the largest of the grand lodges. The New York Grand Lodge reached its zenith in 1925, when membership was about 30,000. A death insurance fund was established in 1915, and a "Welfare Department" in the early 1920s. The grand lodge also maintained a representative at Ellis Island to assist immigrants, granted scholarships to high school students, and contributed to relief efforts for Italy during and after World War I.

During the 1930s, the Grand Lodge made a concerted effort to attract the younger generation into its ranks; it organized over 100 junior lodges. In its early years, it had used newspapers such as Nuovo Vessillo as its official organ, but in 1933 it began to publish its own paper, The Lion. The Lion was succeeded in 1941 by Ordine Nuovo, from 1942-1951 by Il Bollettino, and from 1964 to 1987 by The Golden Lion. During the 1960s, the New York Grand Lodge began a period of rapid growth, becoming one of the largest grand lodges. Its Committee Against Bias, Bigotry and Prejudice, and the State Chapter of the Commission of Social Justice have been in the forefront of OSIA's efforts to uphold the image of Italian

Americans. The Grand Lodge has established a foundation, built a senior citizen housing complex, and set up headquarteers in Great Neck, on Long Island.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The OSIA New York Grand Lodge collection comprises materials of national, state, and local groups, and non-OSIA groups and activities, as well as photographs and artifacts. National records (1959-1987) include material on the Supreme (National) conventions, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and materials relating to the Cassino Memorial Orphanage and the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum. Correspondence and clippings relate to the nationwide OSIA campaign to obtain Anthony Casamento's Medal of Honor for his World War II service. State materials comprise the bulk of the New York collection, although records dating from the founding in 1911 to 1957 are virtually absent. Beginning in 1957, the records include correspondence of officers, lists of delegates to and minutes, brochures, and reports of conventions; minutes of the Grand Council, lists of officers, and records of committee activities.

The District series records include lists of deputies acting as representatives of the Grand Venerable, and minutes of district meetings attended by the Venerables (presidents) of local lodges. The Districts are geographical divisions of areas such as New York which have a large number of local lodges. Local records (1957-1987) comprise lists of officers, correspondence, certificates concerning new Lodge installation, and local newsletters. Records of non-OSIA groups and activities contain a report on Italian Cultural Organizations in North America (1977).

Related Material

Inventory available.

Subject Terms
Index Terms
  • This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
  • Sellaro, Vincenzo.
  • Cotillo, Salvatore A. (Salvatore Albert), 1886-1939,
  • La Guardia, Fiorello H. (Fiorello Henry), 1882-1947,
  • Casamento, Anthony.
  • Order Sons of Italy in America. New York Grand Lodge.
  • Cassino Memorial Orphanage (Cassino, Italy)
  • Garibaldi-Meucci Museum.
  • Order Sons of Italy in America.
  • Independent Order Sons of Italy in America.
  • Photographs.
  • Italian Americans--New York (State)--New York--Societies, etc.
  • Friendly societies--New York (State)--New York.