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Order Sons of Italy in America - Frank Della Noce papers

Identifier: IHRC529

Scope and Contents

Thecollection is divided into six series as follows: 1) Biographical, 2) National OSIA, 3) State OSIA, 4) Local OSIA, 5) Non-OSIA, and 6) Photographs. The records are mostly in Italian with a significant minorityin English. The collection covers the period 1915 to 1971. The bulk of materials is for the years 1920 to 1944.

Series I, Biographical information, contains two brief sketches written in 1964 when Della Noce received the American of the Year Award.

Series II, National materials, contains rarely found reports and minutes from the 1923, 1937 and 1939 Supreme Conventions. Minutes of a 1940 Supreme Council Plenary Session are alos present. Under sctivities are the program book for a 1922 testimonial dinner honoring Giovanni Di Silvestro, and a 1927 memo on the Loan to Italy campaign. Two booklets containing the Constitution and a general Laws date back to 1915 and 1923.

The State section, Series III, is the largest and focuses exclusively on the Maryland Grand Lodge. Most important it contains minutes of the grand conventions and special meetings, 1920-1955, and gand council minutes, 1920-1956. A rather rare record in the OSIA Archives, officer and delegate attendance books, are present in this series. Correspondence, 1921 to 1939, details Maryland Grand Lodge activities, and its communications with the Supreme lodge during the years 1928-1939. Information on committees and projects, 1922-1971, includes the Ameritan Award progam, Amnesty Program for Ex-Members, Columbus Day celebrations, dances, Junior Lodge Program, Membership, and the Sons of Italy home. The latter, referred to as the Italian Gerdens, was purchased in 1931 and a drawing of the floor plan is included in the collection. Lastly, Mortuary Fund Commission records, financial reports and membership applications, 1921-1941, round off this series. These records provide an unusal insight into the early days, i.e., pre-1950, of a grand lodge. When studied in conjunction with the 'Collection of the Grand Lodge of Maryland" and the "Papers of Arnold Broccolino" a good overall picture of the Marylan Grand Lodge emerges.

SeriesIV offers records on eight Local lodges in maryland, 1923-1964, as well as one in West Virginia. Non-OSIA materials in Series V include files on miscellaneous songs, writings and events. Lastly, Photographs, Series VI, contains six photographs of grand lodge leaders in the 1920s, a 1929 event, and a 1960 photo of Louis Milio.

The original arrangement of the files at the time of their transfer to the IHRC has been largely maintained. Series and subseries categories were artificially established in processing the material but drew heavily upon pre-existing groups.


  • 1920/1971


Language of Materials

Mainly in Italian; a few items in English


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.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRCA.

Biographical / Historical

Frank Della Noce was born in Penna Sant'Andrea, Teramo, Italy on May 18, 1894. He emigrated to the United States in 1911 and became a citizen in 1926. He married Vittoria Grue in 1914, and the couple reared one child, Jerome.

In 1934, he completed an apprenticeship program and opened his own funeral home in Baltimore. Shortly later he opened a larger establishment in the city's Italian district. Always involved in civic activities, Della Noce participated in fundraising projects for the benefit of Italian war orphans during the First World War. During World War II he was active in selling war bonds and he organized groups to entertain Italian prisioners of war who were working for the American Army at Fort Meade. For a time Della Noce was an agent and correspondent for Il Corriere d'America of New York and for La Libera Parola of Philadelphia. He was especially active in the affairs of St. Leo's, Our Lady of Pompeii and St. John the Baptist parishes.

In 1913 Della Noce helped to organize Guglielmo Marconi Lodge #183, the first OSIA lodge in Maryland. When the Grand Lodge of Maryland was organized in 1920 he was elected Grand Recording Secretary and held this office until 1944. He served as Grand Orator, 1944-1950, Grand Trustee, 1971-1974, and was also a Maryland delegate to Supreme conventions. In 1964 he received the American of the Year Award from the Maryland Grand Lodge. He died on July 2, 1971.


1.5 Linear Feet


The Frank Della Noce Order Sons of Italy in America collection consists of Supreme Lodge correspondence and booklets (1922-1940), by-laws books (1915-1917), Supreme Convention minutes and booklets (1935-1943). The bulk of materials are of the OSIA Maryland Grand Lodge and include grand council minutes (1920-1941, 1950-1956), grand convention minutes (1920-1936), correspondence (1923-1948), financial reports (1928-1940), lists of grand officers and delegates (1922-1935), assorted books on activities (1922-1971), photographs, and and issue of Bollettino Ufficiale (1917).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was acquired from Genevieve Della Noce in Sepember 1986 by John Andreozzi, Sons of Italy Archives Coordinator, who processed the documents in July 1988.

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