Italian Genealogy | Newberry

Italian Genealogy

This guide contains a sample of The Newberry’s resources on this topic. To locate additional resources, please check our catalog or consult a reference librarian.

Guides and Bibliographies

Carmack, Sharon DeBartolo. Italian-American Family History: a Guide to Researching and Writing About Your Heritage. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1997. Call # E184.I8 C37 1997 (2nd floor open shelf).

Cole, Trafford R. Italian Genealogical Records: How to Use Italian Civil, Ecclesiastical & Other Records in Family History Research. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1995. Call # E184.I8 C615 1995 (2nd floor open shelf).

Colletta, John Philip. Finding Italian Roots: the Complete Guide for Americans. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1993. Call # E184.I8 C62 1993 (2nd floor open shelf).

Biographical Dictionary

Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. Roma: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1960-. Call # CT1123 .D5 (3rd floor open shelf).

Chicago Research

Helpful website from local Italian genealogy organization. POINTers in Person: Chicago-North Chapter.  Also see directories on this page and separate Chicago pathfinder.


Piero Rebora, compiler. Cassell’s Italian Dictionary. New York: Macmillan, 1977. Call # PC1640 .C33 1977 (2nd Floor open shelf).


1897 Guida Commerciale Italiana. New York: Ciocia & Aste, 1897. Call # E184.I8 .E54 1897.

Cipriani, Lisi. Selected Directory of the Italians in Chicago. Chicago: 1929. Call # F8962 .805.

Heraldry and Nobility

To find works on these subjects, search the card catalog and the computer catalog for the subjects “Nobility-Italy” and “Heraldry-Italy.”

Libro d’Oro della Nobilità Italiana. Roma: Collegio Araldico, 1910-. Serial on Italian peerage. Newberry holds v.1-16, 1910- 1972. Call # F0735.504.

Spreti, Vittorio. Enciclopedia Storico-Nobilaire Italiana. Milano: Soc. An. Stirpe, 1932. Encyclopedia of Italian nobility, in six alphabetical volumes, with a two volume heraldry appendix. Include surname in request. Call #F0835.836a.

Immigration Research

Colletta, John Philip. They Came in Ships: a Guide to Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor’s Arrival Record. Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry, 1993.Call # CS49 .C63 1993 (2nd floor open shelf). A general guide to immigration research by the author of Finding Italian Roots. Published before the Ellis Island database was created, but still useful.

Glazier, Ira and William Philby, eds. Italians to America, 1880-1900. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1992-. Call # E184.I8 I844 1992 (2nd floor open shelf). Indexes Italian passenger arrivals in New York.

American Family Immigration History Center. Ellis Island Passenger Arrival Database 1892-1924. Contains a wealth of Italian immigration records.

Maps and Atlases

Dizionario di toponomastica : Storia e Significato dei Nomi Geografici Italiani. Torino: UTET, 1990. Call # DG415 .D49 1990 (3rd floor open shelf). This is a dictionary of Italian place names and their etymology. In Italian. Also, search the card catalog, computer catalog, map catalog (on 3rd floor) and the Atlas bibliography on the Newberry Web site for maps of Italy and smaller localities


For more information about Italians in Chicago and other localities, check the catalog for the headings “Italian- Americans” and “Italians” followed by the locality you are researching, i.e.“Italian Americans – Illinois – Chicago” or “Italians – New York (State) – Albany.” To examine local Italian records, researchers should consult the catalog of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The Family History Library has collected a large collection of church and civil records from Italy. The Newberry Library can borrow microfilm from the Family History Library for a fee of $5.50 per microfilm. To search the holdings of the Family History Library, check their online catalog. Select “place search” and enter the names of towns, cities, states, or nations. If you have questions about this process, please ask the genealogy librarian. Also, see Records of Genealogical Value for Italy (Salt Lake City: the Dept., 1979.) Call # folio CS753 .R43 1979. 09/07