THE ITALIAN ORAL HISTORY INSTITUTE (IOHI):
http://www.iohi.org - 1994-2007
The IOHI's mission was to collect, preserve, and disseminate materials and information relating to the culture and history of Italians in California. It especially focused on Italian oral, folk, and regional culture and on the oral history of Italian immigrants. The IOHI was incorporated in 2000 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to conduct community-based research and public education and has produced multimedia festivals, conferences, and a variety of public programs to further its mission. It was formerly known as the Italian Oral History Project (1994-2000). In 2007, the IOHI was dissolved. Its work is partly continued by founder-director, Luisa Del Giudice, Ph.D., in her capacity as an independent scholar.
History of the http://www.italianlosangeles.org Project
In 1990, Luisa Del Giudice (founder/director of the IOHI - 1994-2007) was commissioned by the Folk and Traditional Arts Program (City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Departmentˇno longer in existence) to undertake a Preliminary Survey of Italian Folklife in Los Angeles. With the goal of mapping this somewhat "invisible" community, the survey helped identity its geographic distribution, customs and traditions, leaders, performers, arts, etc. The survey proved useful to her students of Italian folklife and ethnography during her years as visiting professor at UCLA, as well as to Italian and American scholars, Los Angeles public events programmers (e.g., museums), and the Italian community itself. In 2003, under the direction of Del Giudice, the IOHI, together with student interns and community volunteers (and in collaboration with other Los Angeles-based civic, cultural, commercial, and educational entities, See: SPONSORS), began coordinating a large-scale research effort to make the Italian community and its resources better known, that is visible to the community itself and to others. That preliminary compilation formed the basis of this expanded and updated project whose ultimate goal is to foster a sense of communityˇhowever virtualˇand to highlight its richness. May it function as a village piazzaˇproviding a familiar meeting placeˇin this diffuse city of Los Angeles. This site continues to be updated, from time to time, by Luisa Del Giudice.