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Joseph Amato Papers

Identifier: Mss088

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains many materials related to Amato's research and writing of published works, specifically his books Dust(2000), and On Foot (2004), and an article published in Modern Age (Spring 2008) about writer, teacher, and colleague Stephen J. Tonsor. There is also correspondence with a variety of colleagues and editors. Among Amato's early writings are published and unpublished essays and journals focused on the themes of war, ethics, and spirituality. AV materials include recorded audio interviews on cassette and microcassette. Amato's library consists primarily of published works written or edited by Amato including a series published through the Society for the Study of Local and Regional History, as well as personally annotated books which influenced his work.


  • 1961-2014, undated

Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

The collection is open and available for use by researchers in the Andersen Library Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright retained by the creator. Please see the archivist for further information.

Biographical note for Joseph A. Amato

Joseph Anthony Amato was born August 31, 1938 in Detroit, Michigan. He received a B.A. in History from the University of Michigan in 1960; an M.A. in History from the Université de Laval, Québec, in 1963; and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Rochester in 1970.

From 1969 to 2004 Amato taught courses in intellectual and cultural history at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota, where he was a founder and chair of the History Department. He also assisted with the development of the university’s Rural Studies curriculum and was a principal founder of the Society for Local and Regional History, as well as the founder and Dean of Rural and Regional Studies.

Amato has published over twenty books and numerous essays and reviews in a variety of subjects during the course of his writing career including history, ethics, memoir, and poetry.

Amato won the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Prairie Star Award in 2003, a Minnesota Book Award in 2004, and the Minnesota Humanities Prize for Literature in 2005.


27 Linear Feet (18 boxes)


Collection includes Joseph A. Amato's early writing, correspondence, reviews, lectures and talks, materials related to his research, and a library of both Amato’s published works and personally annotated books.


The collection is organized into four series:

  1. Writing and Research
  2. Correspondence
  3. Audio/Visual
  4. Library

Physical Location

Mezz (R67, D5, S6-D6, S4-6)


Collection was donated to the Literary Manuscripts Collection by Joseph A. Amato.

Processing Information

The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Elena Carrillo, 2014, with generous support from Creative Heritage Initiative donors.

Joseph Amato Papers
Elena Carrillo
April, 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Collecting Area Details

Contact The Upper Midwest Literary Archives Collecting Area