Skip to Main Content

Italian Americans

This guide was created in commemoration of Italian American History Month, to accompany a library exhibit honoring the contributions of the late Carmela E. Santoro, professor of History and Secondary Education at Rhode Island College

Carmela E. Santoro

Carmela E. Santoro

Professor of History and Secondary Education

Rhode Island College


Professor Carmela Santoro taught history and secondary education at RIC from 1960 until her retirement in 1983. 

 She received her Ed. B. from Rhode Island College in 1937, her M.A. in history from Brown University in 1944 and her Ph.D from Syracuse University in 1967, after which she was promoted to the rank of Professor.

 Professor Santoro served as the Director of the Ethnic Heritage Studies Project at RIC during the 1980’s.

 Upon her retirement, she was named Professor Emerita of History and Secondary Education.

 After her retirement, she authored “The Italians in Rhode Island: the Age of Exploration to the Present, 1524 – 1989” published by the Rhode Island Publications Society in 1990.

Information from the Rhode Island College Archives, James P. Adams Library Special Collections

The Santoro Fund

The Carmela Santoro Fund for Italian-American Materials

was established in 1984 by the friends and colleagues of Dr. Carmela Santoro on the occasion of her retirement as a professor of history at Rhode Island College.  The purpose of the fund is to support the purchase of Italian-American materials for the James P. Adams Library.


 Photo and caption from The Echo, July 31, 1986

Nearly 30 years later, the fund continues to provide new materials on Italian-American history and culture, including books, films, curriculum materials, and juvenile literature. 

 This exhibit includes just a few of the hundreds of items that have been purchased with the Carmela Santoro Fund.