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Aitala family papers


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

The Aitala Family Papers reveal the narrative of a family–through documents, writings, journals, and children's notebooks. Permission documents for travel and identification illustrate the Aitala family's journey from Rovignio d'Istria (presently Rovinj, Croatia) across the Adriatic Sea–as World War II forced relocation to Trieste, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. Around 1947 the family become labeled as refugees and were given permission to travel to Rome. Finally, after becoming displaced persons and living in Bagnoli near Naples, Italy, the family immigrated to the United States in 1952 as Displaced Persons.

Concetto Aitala (1901-1960) was an agricultural teacher and head of the family; his papers represent chiefly documents for identification and travel for the purpose of relocating his family from region to region. Wife, mother, and Italian teacher, Anna Zaccai Aitala (1908-1954), expresses her happiness and sadness about moving and emigrating to the United States through the writings and stories contained in the papers. The children Franco G. Aitala (1932-2005) and Ruggero Aitala (1937-) reveal glimpses of World War II seen through a child's eyes with compositions, poems, and drawings contained in school notebooks and composition journals.

Also contained in the Aitala's papers are expense ledgers from 1942 to 1956. The financial needs and expenditures are recorded during the family's life in Italy and as they immigrated to the United States.

The Aitala Family Papers illustrate the confusion and bureaucracy of relocation during World War II and its aftermath, and immigration to a new country as they became displaced from their own. The papers also disclose the emotional attachment to one's culture and country of origin while creating roots and learning the language and customs of a new one.

Gift of Tina Aitala, 2008.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
July 2008
Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

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Series Description

Arranged alphabetically by family member beginning with documentation; followed by writings, including poetry, diary entries, essays, stories, some drawings, and miscellaneous notes. Following the family members are some letters and organization information regarding immigration to the United States.

Physical Description

1 boxFolders 1-44

Aitala family. History , ca.1951.
Box 1 Folder 1
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Documents, 1944-1952.
Box 1 Folder 2
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Employment history, 1951-1953.
Box 1 Folder 3
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Notes?, 1926-1927.
Box 1 Folder 4
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Writings, lists, 1928 and before 1931.
Box 1 Folder 5
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Lists, ca. 1930-1931.
Box 1 Folder 6
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Miscellaneous writings and lists, 1947?-1948, n.d.
Box 1 Folder 7
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Story/essay, May 1949.
Box 1 Folder 8
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Will and testament?, June 7, 1949.
Box 1 Folder 9
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Poem, diary entry, writings, April-May, 1952.
Box 1 Folder 10
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Diary, essays, Sept.-Nov., 1952.
Box 1 Folder 11
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Expense ledger, Summer 1953.
Box 1 Folder 12
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Diary, January, 1953.
Box 1 Folder 13
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. "A Christmas I Will Never Forget", Nov. 8, 1953.
Box 1 Folder 14
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Clippings, 1952?, 1954.
Box 1 Folder 15
Aitala, Anna Zaccai. Posthumous documents, 1954-1959.
Box 1 Folder 16
Aitala, Concetto. Documents, teaching credentials, travel papers, 1930-1945.
Box 1 Folder 17
Aitala, Concetto. Documents for travel and identity, 1946-1949.
Box 1 Folder 18
Aitala, Concetto. Employment history and c.v., 1947-1952.
Box 1 Folder 19
Documents for immigration, 1951-1953.
Box 1 Folder 20
Death certificate, 1960.
Box 1 Folder 21
Aitala, Franco G. (Franco Gaetano). Documents, travel, and identity, 1946-1953.
Box 1 Folder 22
Medical history, 1947.
Box 1 Folder 23
Aitala, Franco G. (Franco Gaetano). Military leadership exam, ca. 195?.
Box 1 Folder 24
Aitala, Franco G. (Franco Gaetano). Poem & other essays, ca. 1947-1949.
Box 1 Folder 25
Aitala, Franco G. (Franco Gaetano). "Storia di Draguccio", before 1950.
Box 1 Folder 26
Aitala, Franco G. (Franco Gaetano). Essays, after 1952.
Box 1 Folder 27
Aitala, Franco G. (Franco Gaetano). Letter to Lily, October, 1960?.
Box 1 Folder 28
Aitala, Franco G. (Franco Gaetano). "Attesa", typescript, undated.
Box 1 Folder 29
Aitala, Franco G. (Franco Gaetano). Poems, 1 photograph, 1991-2001.
Box 1 Folder 30
Aitala, Ruggero. Documents and identity, 1946, 1951.
Box 1 Folder 31
Aitala, Ruggero. Drawings, 1943.
Box 1 Folder 32
Aitala, Ruggero. Arithmetic, 1950-1951.
Box 1 Folder 33
Aitala, Ruggero. Clippings, July 1953.
Box 1 Folder 34
Aitala, Ruggero. Writings, algebra, undated.
Box 1 Folder 35
Aitala, Ruggero. Aitala family history, 1996.
Box 1 Folder 36
Aitala family. Story, "La balleinetta", 1949, 1949.
Box 1 Folder 37
Aitala, Lucia. correspondence to Franco and Ruggero Aitala, 1961.
Box 1 Folder 38
Politeo, Romola. correspondence to Anna Zaccai Aitala, 1927.
Box 1 Folder 39
Unknown correspondent, April 1959.
Box 1 Folder 40
CARE, Inc.. form letter in Italian, ca. 1950.
Box 1 Folder 41
"Guide for New Americans: An Introduction to Your New Homeland" , 1950.
Box 1 Folder 42
United States. Displaced Persons Commission. published materials, rules & regulations, 1950.
Box 1 Folder 43
Dry cleaning slip, undated.
Box 1 Folder 44

Series Description

Contain Franco and Ruggero Aitala's school notebooks and exam books arranged chronologically by person. In addition there are family expense ledgers arranged chronologically.

Physical Description

3 boxesBoxes 2-4, Folders 45-63

Aitala, Franco G. (Franco Gaetano). Composition books, school notebooks , 1941-1946.
Box 2 Folder 45-52
Aitala, Franco G. (Franco Gaetano). School journal, 1942-1950.
Box 3 Folder 53
Aitala family. Expense ledgers, 1942; 1947-1950; 1954-1956.
Box 3 Folder 54-56
Aitala, Ruggero. School notebooks, 1946-1950.
Box 4 Folder 57-63

Series Description

Three publications regarding the history of Istria and Trieste.

Physical Description

1 boxBox 5, 3 items

Book: A.D. 2045 Rebus Istriano, Dussi, Lino.
Box 5
Booklet: Momenti di Capodistria, quell'estate del 1925, Cherini, Aldo.
Box 5
Journal: La Sveglia, periodico della "fameia capodistriana" , dicembre 2004.
Box 5

Physical Description

1 folder8 items, 9 leaves: located in map case

Map, Europa Politica: Africa settentrionale ed orientale ed una dettagiliata carta della grecia edizione speciale , ca. 1941.
Folder 64
Travel permission for Concetto Aitala , July 1946.
Folder 64
Document; verso poems by Aitala, Franco and Aitala, Anna Zaccai , 1947.
Folder 64
La Scuola in Azione , febbraio 1946.
Folder 64
Container Summary

1 leaf from journal

Newspaper, Il problema giuliano, Roma , 9 marzo 1947.
Folder 64
Container Summary

1 leaf

Clippings, 1952-1954.
Folder 64

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