The Italian American Collection documents the history and culture of Western Pennsylvania’s Italian American community. The collection consists of three main elements:

  • Approximately 800 objects, including textiles, utensils, tools, sculptures, housewares, and other three-dimensional items
  • Thousands of archival materials in the form of books, photographs, immigration materials, family papers, and records from businesses and fraternal organizations
  • Oral histories from more than 300 first, second, and third generation Italian Americans

Highlights of the artifact collection are found throughout the History Center, the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, and in the section of the Special Collections exhibition devoted to Italian Americans. The majority of our holdings are housed in state-of-the-art museum storage in the Museum Conservation Center in temperature and humidity controlled conditions in order to preserve them for future generations. Requests to view specific items are welcomed and can be made by contacting Melissa E. Marinaro at


The History Center’s Detre Library & Archives houses the Italian American Collection’s archives and oral histories, which are accessible to the public. Whether you are a scholar, an armchair historian, the family genealogist, or a curious Italian American, there is something for everybody to explore in the archive.

For more information on the Italian American Collection’s archival holdings, please search the catalog or contact the Reference Desk at

Additional Resources

The History Center’s Italian American Program is one of many resources available in the United States that celebrates Italian heritage. Below is a list of local and national organizations that aim to preserve and celebrate Italian history and culture.

Local Resources

National Resources