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Your Family Now: UNL students to harvest history of Italian-American community

Posted at 1:32 PM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 20:08:35-04

Students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln history department are documenting the family histories of the Italian-American community. 

They will be meeting Sunday, October 28th from 1 p.m.- 5 p.m. at the Santa Lucia Hall at 725 Pierce Street in Omaha. 

People are invited to bring photographs, diaries, recipes and other heirlooms that will be photographed and digitized so it can be added to The History Harvest website. Items will be returned the same day. 

Jeremy Caniglia is proud of his Italian-American heritage. "Everything is done in the tradition of the family - famiglia is the most important thing that we have." Caniglia explained how stories and traditions are passed onto the next generation in his family. 

He recently visited Carlentini in Sicily. Caniglia described it as being like a sister city to Omaha. In the early 1900s people came to Omaha from Carlentini. In 1925 some of those people decided to continue Carlentini's tradition of the Santa Lucia parade and festival which had existed there for hundreds of years. The celebration in Omaha is still going strong. 

Sunday's gathering is part of the ongoing UNL History Harvest project that preserves family artifacts and oral history online. It's meant to benefit the families participating but also the general public. The project started in 2010 and is co-directed by Professors William Thomas and Patrick Jones.