Our History: 1928 -1945

The history of the Center for American Studies through documents and archival materials

By Centro Studi Americani

The library for american studies in Italy (1925) by Musmanno, Michael AngeloCentro Studi Americani

1928

The Library's fame spreads both nationally and internationally.

Pag. [3]. The library for american studies in Italy, Musmanno, Michael Angelo, 1925, From the collection of: Centro Studi Americani
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Pag. 6. The library for american studies in Italy, Musmanno, Michael Angelo, 1925, From the collection of: Centro Studi Americani
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Pag. 5. The library for american studies in Italy, Musmanno, Michael Angelo, 1925, From the collection of: Centro Studi Americani
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Upon the expiration of the term of office of President Ruffini, an anti-fascist senator, the Undersecretary for Education of the Mussolini government, Emilio Bodrero, is appointed President of the AIA. On June 18, 1928, the New York Times announces that the new president of the AIA.

Lettera del presidente dell'Associazione Italo-Americana, Giuseppe Volpi conte di Misurata, al Capo del Governo, Benito Mussolini (1931-07-25) by Volpi, GiuseppeCentro Studi Americani

On June 18, 1928, the New York Times announces that the new president of the Italian-American Association is Giuseppe Volpi, Count of Misurata, former Minister of Finance, who will remain in office until 1941. On August 12, 1932, Harry Nelson Gay, founder of the Library for American Studies in Italy, dies in Monte Carlo.

Lettera del presidente dell'Associazione Italo-Americana, Giuseppe Volpi conte di Misurata, al Capo del Governo, Benito Mussolini (1931-08-07) by Volpi, GiuseppeCentro Studi Americani

Count Filippo Giordano delle Lanze donates a library of over 10,000 volumes of American studies to the new institute. After moving to Rome, the CISA is established as a non-profit organization by Royal Decree no. 2027 dated September 17, 1936 (published in the Official Gazette no. 278 on December 1, 1936), under the control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Telegramma del Capo del Governo, Benito Mussolini, al presidente dell'Associazione Italo-Americana, Giuseppe Volpi conte di Misurata (1931-07-28) by Mussolini, BenitoCentro Studi Americani

At the end of a series of preparatory steps, Pietro Gorgolini, general manager of the Società Anonima Casa Editrice Nazionale di Torino (SACEN), establishes the Centro Italiano di Studi Americani (CISA) in the Piedmont capital city, with the aim of promoting relations between Italy and the entire American continent.

Fotografia dall'Archivio Storico del Centro Studi Americani. Da sinistra: l'ambasciatore statunitense Samuel Miller Breckinridge Long, Giuseppe Volpi conte di Misurata, presidente dell'Associazione Italo-Americana e Alberto Asquini, presidente del Centro Italiano di Studi Americani ([1936]) by Centro Italiani di Studi AmericaniCentro Studi Americani

By notarial deed dated July 1, 1936 A. Kirk, attorney for Breckenridge Long, John Morron and Myron G. Taylor, directors and sole representatives (Trustees) of the Library for American Studies in Italy, donate the Library to the newly founded Italian Center for American Studies.

Centro Italiano di Studi Americani. Serie artistica di 12 cartoline ([1936]) by Centro Italiani di Studi AmericaniCentro Studi Americani

1936


The inauguration of activities in the new premises of Palazzo Antici Mattei, granted for free use by the State, takes place on October 7, 1936, with the first National Conference of Americanists. 

After Gorgolini is ousted, the presidency is entrusted to the jurist Alberto Asquini, a prominent member of the Fascist regime and former undersecretary at the Ministry of Corporations, who remains in office until 1943.

Cartolina 1 - Sala d'Ingresso, Centro Italiani di Studi Americani, [1936], From the collection of: Centro Studi Americani
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Cartolina 3 - Rachele cogli armenti, affresco attribuito al Domenichino, Centro Italiani di Studi Americani, [1936], From the collection of: Centro Studi Americani
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Cartolina 5 - Biblioteca, Centro Italiani di Studi Americani, [1936], From the collection of: Centro Studi Americani
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Cartolina 10 - Giuseppe in prigione spiega i sogni, affresco attribuito a Giovanni Lanfranco, Centro Italiani di Studi Americani, [1936], From the collection of: Centro Studi Americani
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Cartolina 11 - Decorazione nella scala del Palazzo Mattei. Fot. R. Moscioni, Roma, Centro Italiani di Studi Americani, [1936], From the collection of: Centro Studi Americani
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After July 25, 1943 Asquini joins the Italian Social Republic. Unlike the Italian-American Association, which deals with the United States, the CISA extends its field of interest to the entire American continent.

Cartolina 2 - Isacco benedice Giacobbe, affresco attribuito a Francesco Albani ([1936]) by Centro Italiani di Studi AmericaniCentro Studi Americani

1940-41

Its activityis are carried out through various committees: the three scientific committees (historical-political, statistical-economic and American ethnology) are joined, in 1940-41, by the Peruvian studies committee and the Italian-Chilean committee. In July 1941, due to the worsening of relations between Italy and the United States, the AIA suspends all its activities and leaves Palazzo Salviati.

Annuario del Centro Italiano di Studi Americani - 1941-42, XIX-XX (1942) by Centro Italiani di Studi AmericaniCentro Studi Americani

As the hostility of the Fascist government's policy towards the USA progresses, President Asquini turns the Center into an instrument of active propaganda against the United States and the policies of President Roosevelt.

Prefazione dell'Annuario del Centro Italiano di Studi Americani - 1941-42, XIX-XX. Pag. 1 (1942) by Centro Italiani di Studi AmericaniCentro Studi Americani

The CISA Yearbook 1941-42, entitled Italy and America in the World War, opens with a harsh indictment of the American president and predicts the Axis victory: "The next yearbook will be published with the new world political map, which the victory of the Tripartite Pact arms will have built"

Corsi di lingua e cultura americana (1953) by Consiglio per gli studi americaniCentro Studi Americani

With the Decree of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dated August 28, 1944, the Council of Founding Members of the AIA is declared dissolved and replaced by the new Commissioners who remain in office until March 16, 1945. 

Prefazione dell'Annuario del Centro Italiano di Studi Americani - 1941-42, XIX-XX. Pag. 2 (1942) by Centro Italiani di Studi AmericaniCentro Studi Americani

After the Liberation, by agreement between the Allied Authorities and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, lawyer Giovanni Selvaggi and Professor Edoardo Ruffini  are appointed commissioners of the CISA and the Italian-American Association. 

The Italian-American Association resumes its activities at Palazzo Antici Mattei at the CISA, which continues to exist legally, but whose functions are in fact exercised by the AIA. To lead the AIA the following people are elected: President, the distinguished jurist and politician Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, former president of the Council "of Victory" (1917-1919), member of the Constituent Assembly (1946-47) and senator during the first republican parilamentary term; vice-presidents, Prof. Edoardo Ruffini and the lawyer Giovanni Selvaggi.

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