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Joseph F.M. Baldi II travel diary


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Joseph F.M. Baldi II (1893-1970) earned a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, before entering Law School at the University. He was a First Lieutenant, 314 Regiment, U.S. Army Expeditionary Force during World War I and served overseas. In 1923-1924, he was a prison inspector for Philadelphia County, and served as a Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives during the 1929 and 1932 terms. In 1935, he was on the first board of directors of the Justinian Society, a Philadelphia educational, non-profit organization founded by 47 attorneys of Italian descent.

This diary documents Joseph F.M. Baldi's trip abroad in western Europe with his father Charles C.A. Baldi. The diary opens on February 17, 1923 with the pair departing New York City on the S.S. Giulio Cesare (Italian line, launched in 1920) (p. 30). The ship stops briefly in Madeira, Gibraltar, and Algiers before arriving in Naples. Baldi recounts meetings with Italian family members and friends from previous trips, as well as meetings with notable figures including the Pope (p.62) and Mussolini (p. 60), various members of nobility. Their trip includes visits to palazzos and villas, nightclubs, cabarets, receptions and balls, horse races, opera and theater shows, as well as the major sights of the cities they visited. Baldi notes the state of Western Europe after World War I including the rampant inflation in Germany, and the prominence of fascism in Italy after the rise of Mussolini. The bulk of the trip is spent in Italy (Siena, Florence, Castel Nuovo, Naples, and Rome), but Baldi and his father also visit Vienna, Prague, Paris, Berlin among other European cities. On October 22, 1923, Baldi and his father set sail from Naples, bound for home on the S.S. Conte Rosso. Diary entries are written in a commercial publication. Pages 1-28 features color illustrations of "funnels and house flags", "pilot flags", "national flags", printed nautical facts, thumb-indexed address book, and "sun compass" (cardboard wheel) that can be turned to calculate ship's bearings.

Sold by from R and A Petrilla, Booksellers, 2019.

Accessioned as 2019.000560. Samantha Dodd processed, wrote and ecnoded the finding aid, 2023.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Samantha Dodd
Finding Aid Date
2023 May 9
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