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Researching Genealogy & Local History in the Bronx's "Little Italy": A Guide

Books on Bronx History

History in Asphalt: The Origin of Bronx Street and Place Names by John McNamara

Call Number: 974.727 M169 ISBN: 0941980162 Publication Date: 1993

Belmont-Arthur Avenue: 'Little Italy of the Bronx'

ISBN: 0965722139 Publication Date: 1993 Of the fifty distinct neighborhoods of The Bronx, the most populated and close family-knit enclave was the 10-square-block area called Belmont & Arthur Avenue, The Little Italy of The Bronx.

Books on Italian-Americans

The Italian American Table by Simone Cinotto

ISBN: 9780252095016 Publication Date: 2013 Looking at the historic Italian American community of East Harlem in the 1920s and 30s, Simone Cinotto recreates the bustling world of Italian life in New York City and demonstrates how food was at the center of the lives of immigrants and their children.

The Italian American Experience by Louis J. Gesualdi

ISBN: 9780761858607 Publication Date: 2012 "The Italian/American Experience: A Collection of Writings" represents a meaningful attempt to inform Italian Americans about their group's varied experiences in America.

New Italian Migrations to the United States by Laura E. Ruberto (Editor); Joseph Sciorra (Editor)

ISBN: 0252082451 Publication Date: 2017 Italian immigration from 1945 to the present. This collection focuses on leading edge topics that range from politics of the McCarren-Walter Act and its effects on women to the ways Italian Americans mobilized against immigration restrictions.

Emigrant Nation by Mark I. Choate

ISBN: 9780674027848 Publication Date: 2008 Between 1880 and 1915, thirteen million Italians left their homeland, launching the largest emigration from any country in recorded world history. As the young Italian state struggled to adapt to the exodus, it pioneered the establishment of a "global nation," an Italy abroad cemented by ties of culture, religion, ethnicity, and economics.


These databases are available through Pratt Institute

New York Times with Index (Historical Newspapers)

This historical newspaper provides genealogists, researchers and scholars with online, easily-searchable first-hand accounts and unparalleled coverage of the politics, society and events of the time. The Historical New York Times with Index (1851-1993) provides search capability using subject terms and topics for focused and targeted results in combination with searchable full text, full page, and article-level images from the Historical New York Times.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers

These historical newspapers provide genealogists, researchers and scholars with online, easily-searchable first-hand accounts and unparalleled coverage of the politics, society and events of the time.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

This free database contains 70 publications that covered the Bronx. Click on the "US Newspaper Directory, 1690 - Present" tab on the right. Select "New York" in the state field and "Bronx" in the county field.

New York City Guidebooks

New York City Guide (Federal Writers' Project, 1939)

Available through Hathitrust, this book sponsored by the Guilds' Committee for Federal Writers' Publications, Inc., is 680 pages long and features information on different neighborhoods within the boroughs.

The Italians of New York

"The Italians of New York" is a survey prepared by workers of the Federal Writers' Project, Works Progress Administration in the city of New York. (1938) Fully searchable on Hathitrust.

Books on New York City History

"Gotham" by Edwin G. Burrows; Mike Wallace

ISBN: 0195116348 Publication Date: 1998 Call Number:974.71 B972 c.2 In Gotham, Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace have produced a monumental work of history, one that ranges from the Indian tribes that settled in and around the island of Manna-hata, to the consolidation of the five boroughs into Greater New York in 1898. It is an epic narrative, a story as vast and as varied as the city it chronicles, and it underscores that the history of New York is the story of our nation. Readers will relive the tumultuous early years of New Amsterdam under the Dutch West India Company, Peter Stuyvesant's despotic regime, Indian wars, slave resistance and revolt, the Revolutionary War and the defeat of Washington's army on Brooklyn Heights, the destructive seven years of British occupation, New York as the nation's first capital, the duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, the Erie Canal and the coming of the railroads, the growth of the city as a port and financial center, the infamous draft riots of the Civil War, the great flood of immigrants, the rise of mass entertainment such as vaudeville and Coney Island, the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the birth of the skyscraper.

"New York" by Paul Aresu (Photographer); Naomi Fertitta; NYC and Company Foundation Staff

ISBN: 0789318989 Publication Date: 2009 Both an official NYC guide and a celebration of the city, this book is the ideal travel companion for both tourists and resident tourists. Complete "how-to" information shows where to eat and shop, as well as how to get there.

"The Encyclopedia of New York City" by Kenneth T. Jackson (Editor); Nancy Flood (Editor); Lisa Keller (Editor)

ISBN: 0300114656 Publication Date: 2010 Call Number: 974.71003 E561 Covering an exhaustive range of information about Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, the first edition of The Encyclopedia of New York City was a success by every measure, earning worldwide acclaim and several awards for reference excellence.

Books on General Local History Research

"On Doing Local History" by Carol Kammen

ISBN: 9780759123694 Publication Date: 2014 For over thirty years, Carol Kammen's On Doing Local History has been a valuable guide to professional and "amateur" historians alike. First published in 1986, revised in 2003, this book offers not only discussion of practical matters, but also a deeper reflection on local, public history, what it means, and why it is done. It is used in classrooms and found on the shelves of local historians across the U.S.

"Why Old Places Matter" by National Trust for Historic Preservation

ISBN: 9781538117682 Publication Date: 2018 Why Old Places Matter is the only book that explores the reasons that old places matter to people. Although people often feel very deeply about the old places of their lives, they don't have the words to express why. This book brings these ideas together in evocative language and with illustrative images for a broad audience. The book reveals the fundamentally important yet under-recognized role old places play in our lives.

"Nearby History" by David E. Kyvig; Myron A. Marty

ISBN: 9780759112490 Publication Date: 2010 A comprehensive handbook for those interested in investigating the history of communities, families, local institutions, and cultural artifacts, Nearby History helps its readers research the world near at hand. In this fully updated third edition, the authors discuss a variety of research approaches involving published literature, unpublished documents, oral histories, visual and material sources, and landscapes; offer guidance in the uses of technology, particularly digital photography and digital voice recording; and suggest methods of historical presentation.

"Interpreting Local Culture and History" by J. Sanford Rikoon (Editor); Judith Austin (Editor)

ISBN: 0931406064 Publication Date: 1991 This title features a range of techniques to all those who accept the challenge to interpret their own local culture and history with insight and perspective.

Local History Journals and Databases

Family & Community History