Special Collections & Archives James J. Periconi Research Fellowship

In late 2021, James J. Periconi donated his collection of Italian-language American imprints to Queens College Special Collections and Archives. Lovingly curated over multiple decades, the collection consists of over 500 items that provide unique insight into what Italian immigrants to the United States were reading, writing, and thinking about at the end of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries.  

After a successful first year, the Queens College Library, in collaboration with the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute and generously supported by James J. Periconi, is again offering a research fellowship program that will defray costs for a scholar to conduct research with the collection over a period of two to four weeks. Read about last year’s fellows and their fascinating research in this collection.

Il Martello [The Hammer], Vol. VIII, No. 14. New York: Casa Ed. “Il Martello,” 27 Aprile [April] 1922

The collection can be browsed through the CUNY OneSearch catalog or on a curated website that includes images and essays. Research fellowship applications are due by April 15, 2024. This program is generously funded by James J. Periconi. Details are posted below.

Research Fellowship details and logistics

Details and Requirements: 

  • Scholars receive a stipend of between $2500-$4500 to defray travel costs, depending on budget and length of stay. The stipend is provided once the scholar is in-residence. 
  • Scholars are expected to be in residence for two to four weeks, between July 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025. Dates must be arranged with Special Collections and Archives well in advance.  
  • All research will take place at the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library Building, Queens College, City University of New York, during normal business hours. 
  • During the summer months only, on-campus housing may be possible just steps from the library. Detailed information upon request. 
  • Scholars at all stages of their careers from the U.S. or abroad may apply. Accepted applicants from outside the U.S. are required to obtain a J-1 visa
  • Fellows will have opportunities to interact with the Calandra Institute and associated scholars at The City University of New York, as well as James J. Periconi.  
  • Fellows are expected to share their research in-progress through a discussion hosted by the Calandra Institute. 
Three World War I Patriotic (Anti-German Militarism) Italian-American Chromolithographs. New York: Italian Book Co., 1918

Application details

Applications for the 2024-2025 fellowship are due by April 15, 2024.

Applications must include: 

  • A brief biographical statement of not more than 350 words 
  • An overview of the proposed project, and how access to the Periconi Collection will aid the research process (3 pages maximum) 
  • A current resume or CV. 
  • One letter of reference.  
  • One-page budget and proposed length of research visit (between 2-4 weeks) 

Submit applications with Subject Line “Research Fellowship Application to” qc.archives@qc.cuny.edu by the end-of-day on April 15, 2024. Applications will be judged by a committee of reviewers.  

Processing the Helen Marshall Papers: A Q/A with the Archivist

Did you know that Queens College Special Collections and Archives is home to the Helen Marshall Papers? Donated to the Library by Donald E. Marshall in 2017, the collection is comprised of 40 boxes of papers, photographs, and memorabilia documenting Marshall’s celebrated career in politics.  

Marshall (1929 – 2017) was the second woman and first African American Borough President of Queens, elected to three four-year terms starting in 2001. Earlier, she served on the New York City Council for ten years in the 1990s and in the New York State Assembly for eight years in the 1980s. She was the first director of the Langston Hughes Library in Corona, Queens, when it was founded in 1969. Marshall was the daughter of Guyanese immigrants, growing up in Harlem and the Bronx and obtaining her BA in education from Queens College.    

Thanks to a $12,000 grant from the New York State Archives Documentary Heritage Program, Gianna Fraccalvieri, a graduate student in the Library and Information Studies Program, was recently hired as the Project Archivist to process the collection. In celebration of Black History Month, we sat down with Gianna to discuss the Helen Marshall project as it gets underway.  

Q: Gianna, you are near to completing your graduate degree in Library and Information Studies with a Certificate in Archives. What got you interested in this field? 

Gianna: I’ve always enjoyed the process of conducting historical research as a student, and working in libraries taught me that I enjoy helping others do the same. I learned about archiving as a career field through the MLS/MA dual degree program and became intrigued by the many different roles that archivists can play in facilitating exciting research experiences.  

A conference program from the Helen Marshall Papers.

Q: Now that you have had a chance to survey the collection, what have you learned about Helen Marshall so far? 

Gianna: Throughout her political career, Helen Marshall advocated for the rights and needs of Queens communities concerning a variety of social justice causes, including racial equity, women’s issues, public health and housing, improving higher education at CUNY, and much more. She was a leader on multiple fronts, often championing local initiatives in government by closely participating with community groups and organizations.  

Q: Any gems in the collection that stood out to you? 

Gianna: There are quite a few lovely portraits of Marshall in this collection, documenting the arc of her journey from early childhood to late adulthood. Photographs of Marshall with family and friends, community members, and other well-known politicians help to visually convey her dynamic influence through the years.  

Q: What do you anticipate being a particular challenge to processing this collection? 

Gianna arranging materials from the Helen Marshall Papers.

Gianna: Arranging this collection in a way that makes it as accessible as possible to researchers is one of my top priorities, but I must also consider practical limitations such as the large quantity of materials and the timeframe of the project. Processing this collection will require me to maintain a healthy balance between detail-oriented and big-picture thinking. 

Q: How do you anticipate this collection being used by teachers or researchers in the future? 

Gianna: Broadly, this collection has a high research value for scholars interested in investigating the social and political histories of New York State, New York City, and the borough of Queens between the 1980s and 2010s. Additionally, the mix of professional and personal materials in this collection provides excellent opportunities to study Marshall as a historical figure in her own right, especially regarding her position as a first-generation African American woman in politics. 

Gianna will be preserving, arranging, and cataloging the collection this spring. The project will culminate this June with the publication of an archival finding aid that will make the collection open for research. Stay tuned! 

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The Passing of Arthur “Ben” Chitty

The Library mourns the loss of Arthur “Ben” Chitty, Higher Education Associate, who served as long-time Library Systems Officer, and PSC-CUNY union activist.

From Simone Yearwood, Interim Dean, School of Arts and Humanities:

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Arthur Ben Chitty on Sunday, February 11. Shortly before his retirement in Summer 2023, Ben was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.    Ben began working at Queens College in 1984 as an assistant professor in the Paul Klapper Library. With the opening of the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library in 1988, he transitioned to an administrative role as the library systems officer (HEO), where he remained until his retirement. Throughout his tenure, he took on various responsibilities including acting acquisitions librarian and acting head of technical services. Before his retirement, he served as the assistant to the chief librarian for special projects, focusing on the assessment of the college’s Federal Depository Library Program. He previously taught as an adjunct at the Queens College Graduate School of Library & Information Studies.  

Ben was a champion in promoting health and safety practices and contract enforcement. He worked tirelessly and was a staunch advocate for the PSC and DC37 unions. He played a key role in organizing the Queens College Unions Joint Committee on Quality of Work Life, the sole cross-union committee in the City University, which convened monthly for over a decade. Alongside his wife Priscilla Murolo, he co-authored From the Folks Who Brought You the Weekend: A Short Illustrated History of Labor in the United States. Ben’s activism extended beyond academia. He was involved in the antiwar veteran’s movement since his discharge from the US Navy in 1969, initially with Vietnam Veterans Against the War and then with Veterans for Peace, advocating for peace and social justice. He leaves behind his wife, two stepsons, and two grandchildren. Information on his memorial service will be forthcoming.

February 2024: Black History Month (Art History) 

by: Gianna Fraccalvieri, QCL Information Assistant

Please join us in honoring Black History Month this February by viewing a selection of books celebrating the lives and work of various Black American artists, displayed on the main level of the Queens College Library (Rosenthal, 3rd floor). Curated by Amanda Lea Perez, our Substitute Visual & Performing Arts-Art Librarian, this cultural awareness collection seeks to emphasize the diverse history and ongoing influence of Black American artists in the world of visual and performing arts.  

Black Art History Exhibit

Some of the featured artists include Kara Walker, famous for her silhouetted figures among other multimedia works of art; Jean-Michel Basquiat, known for his neo-expressionist drawings, paintings, and graffiti street art; Faith Ringgold, renowned for her multimedia sculptures, performance art, paintings, and art education; and William Pope.L, remembered for his “interventionist public art,” performances, and much more. Other Black American artists including Lorna Simpson, Theaster Gates, and Charles White are highlighted in this selection, as well as scholarly sources analyzing the lasting impact these individuals had on the arts in the United States and beyond. 

Seeking to “improve the representation of Contemporary Black artists in the QC collection,” Amanda has recently ordered more books that will soon be available to browse in the Art Collection (Rosenthal, 6th floor). Some of these new acquisitions include Amy Sherald: The World We Make, Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks, and Simone Leigh, among others. To further explore your interests, please browse the print books on display, use OneSearch to find related e-books and academic articles, meet with a research librarian in the Research Office (Rm. 344) and, of course, visit Amanda in the Art Collection

Display curated by Amanda Lea Perez, Substitute Visual & Performing Arts-Art Librarian /  Blog post written by Gianna Fraccalvieri, Information Assistant 

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ICPSR News: Scholarship, Researcher Passport, and Love Data Week

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is an international consortium of more than 750 academic institutions and research organizations, including Queens College. In this new year 2024, again, ICPSR brings data users new resources.

New Scholarship

For students: NEW Data Communication Scholarship

The NEW Data Communication Scholarship is open to undergraduate and graduate students. Promoting a research study from the ICPSR catalog by creating a compelling short video, students are able to compete for scholarships up to $1000. Apply by Feb. 23.

ICPSR Data Communication Scholarship

2024 ICPSR Summer Program: improving data skills with scholarships

The scholarships for 2024 ICPSR Summer Program cover one of the General Sessions, which are available online, asynchronously or live, or in person. All materials for the Sessions are available through December 31, 2024. Courses in these Sessions aim to assist data users in quickly advancing and strengthening skills in data analysis, quantitative methods, and statistics.

View the full list of scholarships. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is Monday, February 26.

New Changes

Besides the new home page, ICPSR has updated its data user authentication process to assist data users in transiting from MyData to Researcher Passport.

ICPSR’s Researcher Passport helps data users take advantage of the new Research Data Ecosystem, a National Science Foundation-supported project, in support of the research lifecycle. Using Researcher Passport, Data users are able to securely and safely connect, access, store, and manipulate data.

Love Data Week: Feb. 12-16

Join Love Data Week to participate in new activities and draw on resources suitable for all levels:

  • Scavenger Hunt – 9 questions with hints and answers
  • Crossword Puzzles – 2 puzzles with 8 questions each
  • Search and Find activity
  • Material for K-6 with instructions

Spring 2024 Art Exhibitions In New York

By: Amanda Lea Perez, Substitute Visual & Performing Arts-Art Librarian

Welcome back, Queens College Art Students! 

As the new Art Librarian at the Queens College Library for the spring semester, I look forward to assisting you with your art research needs! The Art Collection on the sixth floor of the Benjamin S. Rosenthal building contains printed books, exhibition catalogs, art pamphlets, periodicals, and rare books, as well as digital resources with access to ebooks and art-centric databases. Databases such as Artstor provide access to visual reproductions of many works of art, but part of the experience of being an art student requires seeing art in person, which is why we at the QCL have put together an art resource information board on the sixth floor, which highlights upcoming Art exhibitions in New York City. Additionally, we have provided information on how to acquire complimentary admission to New York Institutions. 

Complimentary Admission

CUNY Arts (with CUNY ID)
Cuny Arts provides students with free access to arts and cultural institutions like the Leslie-Lohan Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art, Museum of the City of New York, MoMA, El Museo del Barrio, Whitney Museum of American Art, Poster House, and The Frick Collection

Culture Pass (with NYC Public Libraries)
CUNY students can also sign up for a public library card at Brooklyn, Queens, or NYPL, which provides access to museums via Culture Pass. Enter your library card number and four-digit pin, and students can reserve a pass online for a select day to visit museums such as the Brooklyn Museum, International Center of Photography, The Morgan Library & Museum, Museum of Arts and Design, Museum of Chinese in America, Museum of the Moving Image, New Museum, The Noguchi Museum, Guggenheim Museum, and the Ukrainian Museum.

Using your ID NYC identification card allows you a one-year Membership for museums like the Drawing Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Queens Museum of Art, and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Museums and cultural institutions in NYC also offer complimentary admission days. The American Folk Art Museum, the Bronx Museum of Art, the Sculpture Center, the Center for Book Arts, and the Grolier Club are always free! The Metropolitan Museum of Art is Pay What You Wish for New York Students. Cooper Hewitt is Pay What You Wish from 5 to 6 p.m. daily. Several museums throughout NYC offer free admission on Friday evenings, such as the Rubin Museum of Art and the New-York Historical Society

Spring 2024 Art Exhibitions

Bard Graduate Center Gallery (February 23 – July 7, 2024): Work by the 20th-century artist Sonia Delaunay will be on view at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery from February 23 – July 7, 2024.  Admission is free all day on the first Friday of each month. You can read about Sonia Delaunay at Queens College in the Art Stacks on Level 6

Brooklyn Museum (February 10 – July 7, 2024): The dynamic duo of New York musicians turned art collectors Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz will be exhibiting artwork from their personal collection at the Brooklyn Museum. Works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gordon Parks, Lorna Simpson, and Kehinde Wiley will be on view from February 10 – July 7, 2024. Admission is free on the first Saturday of every month from 5–11 pm; free tickets are also available through Culture Pass. 

Cooper Hewitt (until August 11, 2024): Cooper Hewitt is exhibiting An Atlas of Es Devlin until August 11, 2024. Es Devlin is a contemporary visual artist and stage designer who crosses the boundaries into a variety of art mediums, including immersive projection-mapped sculptures. Es Devlin’s first monograph is available at Queens College Library, thanks to the generous donation through the Professor Libby Tannenbaum Memorial Endowed Fund for Art Library Acquisitions.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (February 25 – July 28, 2024):  After the closure of Vertigo of Color: Matisse, Derain, and the Origins of Fauvism and Manet/Degas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, spring will open with several exhibitions such as The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism (February 25 – July 28, 2024), and Weaving Abstraction in Ancient and Modern Art (March 5 – June 16, 2024)—the Metropolitan Museum of Art is always Pay-What-You-Wish for New York students.

Museum of Modern Art (March 31 – July 20, 2024): Work by the artist Käthe Kollwitz will be on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from March 31 to July 20, 2024. Books about Kollwitz can be found in the Art Stacks on Level 6. CUNY students receive free admission to MoMA. 

New Museum (until March 3, 2024): Contemporary artist Judy Chicago’s retrospective Herstory is on view at the New Museum until March 3, 2024. The Art Collection contains many books about Judy Chicago. Discounted tickets are available to CUNY students; free tickets are available on Culture Pass. 

Noguchi Museum (March 20 – July 28, 2024): A retrospective by the artist Toshiko Takaezu: Worlds Within will be displayed from March 20, 2024 – July 28, 2024, at the Noguchi Museum. Admission to the museum is free on the first Friday of every month.

MoMA PS1 (April 4  – September 2, 2024): The retrospective by the artist Pacita Abad is on view at MoMA PS1 from April 4 – September 2, 2024. Melissa Cody: Webbed Skies will also be on view until September 2, 2024. Thanks to the generous donation through the Professor Libby Tannenbaum Memorial Endowed Fund for Art Library Acquisitions, new monographs from Pacita Abad and Melissa Cody have been added to the Art Collection. CUNY students receive free admission to MoMA PS1. 

Ukrainian Museum (until April 7, 2024): Folkart by the Ukrainian artist Maria Prymachenko is on view at the Ukrainian Museum until April 7, 2024. Free admission to the Ukrainian Museum is available on Culture Pass. The exhibition catalog is available in the sixth-floor Art Collection.

Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library Art Collection wishes Queens College art students an inspiring spring semester; if you have any questions or need assistance while you navigate the Art World, stop by room 603.

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December 2023: Universal Human Rights Month (UHRM)  

by: Gianna Fraccalvieri, QCL Information Assistant

On December 10th, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was published by the United Nations General Assembly to officially define and defend the inherent rights of all human beings for the first time in history. In honor of this milestone, the world celebrated the 75th anniversary of Human Rights Day on Sunday, December 10th, 2023. Please help us raise awareness for Universal Human Rights Month (UHRM) this December by visiting the book display on the main level of the Queens College Library (Rosenthal 3rd floor). 

Highlighting the 2023 UHRM theme of “Freedom, Equality and Justice for All,” the books on display include works across the fields of history, political science, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, economics, and more to provide a multilayered perspective on universal human rights issues. Feel free to browse the physical books on display as this month’s cultural awareness installment, use OneSearch to find related E-Books, or meet with a librarian to discuss further research options.   

As a major achievement in international and multicultural collaboration, the UDHR has been translated into more than 500 languages and influenced the formation of over 70 human rights treaties. To learn more about this legacy and how to get involved in universal human rights advocacy efforts, please visit the following links: 

Display and blog post created by Gianna Fraccalvieri, an Information Assistant at Queens College Library and MLS/MA student at Queens College GSLIS. 

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