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Representative digitized documents from this collection:

Restrictions on Access

Use of the originals is restricted. This collection is available as color digital facsimiles (see links below).

Collection Summary


This collection consists of 1 box of papers of social workers Dina D'Alto Malgeri (1900-1990) and her husband Francesco "Francis" P. Malgeri (1860-1941).

Biographical Sketch

Dina D'Alto was born in Canosa di Puglia, Italy in 1900 to Andrea D'Alto and Eusapia Forina D'Alto. She emigrated to Boston in 1921, where she taught English and Italian and assisted Italian immigrants in assimilating and, in some cases, becoming naturalized U.S. citizens. While in Boston, D'Alto met her husband, Francesco "Francis" P. Malgeri. Francesco Malgeri was born in Salerno, Italy on 20 November 1860. His father, who practiced medicine in Salerno, soon relocated to a small village in Calabria with his wife and elder son, leaving Francesco to live with his uncle. After a difficult childhood, he attended school, was drafted into the Army, and held various clerical jobs before moving to the U.S. in 1901. Dina D'Alto and Francesco Malgeri likely met and married while working as social workers in Boston before 1928.

In 1928, Dina and Francesco Malgeri moved to Chicago, where they lived until returning to Boston in 1934. Around this time, they had two children, Francis Anthony Malgeri (b. 1928) and Dina G. Malgeri (b. 1929).

Dina D'Alto Malgeri's work in Chicago and Boston centered around providing immigrant communities with the tools for education, cultural enrichment, employment, community building, and governmental/medical assistance. Malgeri worked with charitable groups such as the Salvation Army, Moody Mission, Off the Street Club, March of Dimes, North End Cultural Center, Michelangelo School Center, Federal Emergency Relief Administration, International Institute of Boston, and Boston Tuberculosis Association. She also founded a women's group in Boston, Circolo Religione e Patria, which helped Italian women to assimilate and pursue citizenship. Francesco Malgeri worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as a social worker in both Chicago and Boston.

Collection Description

This collection consists of 1 box of papers documenting the lives and work of Dina D'Alto and Francesco "Francis" P. Malgeri. Papers primarily concern their work on behalf of Italian immigrant communities in Chicago and Boston's North End. Included are two disbound scrapbooks (1925-1974 and 1927-1942) containing clippings, correspondence, circular letters, printed ephemera, and photographs. Many items are printed in Italian. Also included is a letter and essay by Vida D. Scudder.

The collection also contains writings by the couple, including a short autobiography by Francesco Malgeri and other biographical information, as well as original poems and religious writings. Original writings in Italian have been translated into English by their daughter Dina G. Malgeri.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dina G. Malgeri, July 2018, with additions in October 2018 and 2019.

Restrictions on Access

Use of the originals is restricted. This collection is available as color digital facsimiles (see links below).

Other Formats

The collection is also available as color digital facsimiles.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1Folder 1digitized
Autobiographical composition by Francesco Malgeri (with translation), undated
Box 1Folder 2digitized
Biographical information about Dina D'Alto Malgeri, undated
Box 1Folder 3digitized
Newspaper clippings, 1927, 1941
Box 1Folder 4digitized
Poems by Dina D'Alto Malgeri (with translations), 1969
Box 1Folder 5digitized
Poems by Francesco and Dina D'Alto Malgeri (with translations), 1927-1931
Box 1Folder 6digitized
Religious writings by Francesco Malgeri (with translations), undated
Box 1Folder 7Vol. 1digitized
digitizedScrapbook, 1927-1942
Box 1Folder 8Vol. 2digitized
digitizedScrapbook, 1925-1974

Preferred Citation

Dina D'Alto Malgeri and Francesco P. Malgeri papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.


Malgeri, Dina D'Alto, 1900-1990.
Malgeri, Dina G.
Malgeri, Francesco Pasquale, 1860-1941.
Scudder, Vida Dutton, 1861-1941.


Boston Tuberculosis Association.
International Institute of Boston.
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.
Michelangelo School Center (Boston, Mass.).
North End Cultural Center (Boston, Mass.).
Off the Street Club (Chicago, Ill.).
United States. Federal Emergency Relief Administration.


Boston (Mass.)--Emigration and immigration.
Boston (Mass.)--Social conditions--20th century.
Charitable societies--Illinois--Chicago.
Charitable societies--Massachusetts--Boston.
Chicago (Ill.)--Emigration and immigration.
Chicago (Ill.)--Social conditions.
Citizenship--United States.
Emigration and Immigration.
Italian Americans--Illinois--Chicago.
Italian Americans--Massachusetts--Boston.
Italy--Emigration and immigration.
North End (Boston, Mass.).
Social service--Illinois--Chicago.
Social service--Massachusetts--Boston.
Social workers--Illinois--Chicago.
Social workers--Massachusetts--Boston.