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September 18, 2018

The Lega Toscana in the 21st Century: A Digital Humanities Case Study

The History Center’s Italian American Program maintains working relationships with a number of partner organizations from Pittsburgh’s vibrant Italian American community. One of our long-standing partnerships is with the University of Pittsburgh’s French & Italian Department. During the 2017-18 academic year, Professor Lina Insana, Chair of the University of Pittsburgh’s French and Italian Department and Chairman Emeritus of the Italian American Advisory Council, offered an Italian translation course utilizing documents from the Italian American Collection as content for transcription and translation. The records of the Lega Toscana di Protezione, a mutual beneficial society for Tuscan immigrants and their families, were selected for their numerous pages of handwritten Italian text and Humanities-rich content.

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April 18, 2018

In Vino Veritas: The Tradition of Winemaking in the Italian American Home

Like all immigrants, Italians brought their traditional methods of food production with them to their new homes in America. From canning garden-grown vegetables and curing meats to home brewing wine and spirits (think limoncello), the first generation harvested and processed their food in the same manner they would in Italy.

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October 25, 2017

From Cucina to Grocery Store: The Evolution of Pasta-Making in American Homes

For many people, Italian American culture is synonymous with Italian food. And who could fault individuals for thinking this way, considering the pervasiveness of Italian American cuisine in the United States today. The widespread popularity of Italian food was not always the case ... The evolution of pasta-making in American homes can be traced in the History Center’s Italian American Collection through an investigation of several of our artifacts: the chitarra, the hand-crank pasta machine, and the pasta die.

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