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Order Sons of Italy in America, Florida Grand Lodge records

Identifier: IHRC1780


Records include Florida Grand Convention books (1965-1987) and Convention minutes (1952-1953, 1957, 1965-1987); Grand Lodge correspondence, financial receipts and disbursements, building fund deposits, check receipts, bills and receipts; OSIA membership applications, some dating from the 1920s and 1930s; lists of officers; and charter applications. In addition, there are 52 cassette tapes of Florida Grand Council meetings (1977-1987). Also included are per capita reports of numerous Florida local lodges (1967-1983); materials relating to La Nuova Sicilia Lodge No. 1251, including minutes (1959-1978), miscellaneous financial records, "Avanti," the lodge newsletter (1979-1987), miscellaneous correspondence, programs, applications, insurance cards and officer lists. Also included are applications to New Sicily Junior Lodge (1938-1940); a typescript of "History of the Sons of Italy in Florida"; ritual books; OSIA Constitution and General Laws and Aquilano's L'Origine Figli d'Italia in America. Also photographs and newspaper clippings.


  • 1923-1987


Language of Materials

Mainly in English; some items in Italian


Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

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Biographical / Historical

The Florida Grand Lodge was founded on February 8, 1953, the twentieth state lodge chartered by OSIA. The first local lodge in the state, Cesare Battisti #857, was founded in Jacksonville in 1918 by Italian American soldiers based at Fort J. E. Johnson. During the 1920s two additional lodges were organized in Tampa. Over twenty years passed before another lodge came into being, in 1949; and then ten lodges were founded in the 1950s and three in the 1960s. The organization of 22 local lodges in the 1970s and twenty additional ones in the 1980s is probably a reflection of the general population movement, especially of elderly people from the Northeast, to Florida and other southern and western states.

The Florida Grand Lodge hosted the Order's 1953 Supreme Convention in Tampa, and a number of its members have served on the Supreme Council since that time. The state lodge has a Benefit Insurance program and is active in anti-defamation, scholarship awards, and charity causes. In 1957 the lodge had a total membership of 903. This figure dipped to 606 in 1969, then rose to the 1,578 mark in 1975. Membership continued to rise as new lodges were formed and reached 2,153 in 1982.

Florida is one of the two states that have elected women to the position of State President. Grace Genco-Campisi, who served in this office from 1965 to 1969, was the first woman ever elected to head a grand lodge. Jennie Albano was elected State President in 1977 and served one term.

Occasional newsletters were published by the Florida Grand Lodge during the 1960s. A newspaper, The Sunshine News, was published from 1971 to 1981; and this was followed by another newspaper, The Floridian, from 1981 to 1988.


10 Linear Feet

Inventory of the Order Sons of Italy in America, Florida Grand Lodge records.
IHRC Archives
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding Aid in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Immigration History Research Center Archives Collecting Area