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MC 207

Levis, Rosa Marie Finocchietti, 1878-1959. Papers of Rosa Marie Finocchietti Levis, 1890-1959: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 207
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Levis, Rosa Marie Finocchietti, 1878-1959
Title: Papers of Rosa Marie Finocchietti Levis, 1890-1959
Date(s): 1890-1959
Quantity: 2.09 linear feet (5 file boxes) plus 2 folio+ folders, 1 folio+ photograph folder, 3 oversize items)
Language of materials: Materials in English and Italian.
Abstract: Correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, of Rosa Marie Finocchietti Levis, volunteer civic service worker.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 1188
The papers of Rosa Marie Levis were deposited in the Schlesinger Library by Albert Warren Levis, Jr. in July 1967.

Processing Information:

Processed: November 1974
By: Katherine Gray Kraft

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Rosa Marie Finocchietti Levis is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Rosa Marie Levis Papers, 1890-1959; item description, dates. MC 207, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


The following items have been removed from the collection and added to Schlesinger Library periodical collection:


Rosa Marie Levis was born March 17, 1878 on Hull Street in the North End of Boston. Her parents, Giovanni and Theresa Finocchietti, were recent emigrés from Genoa, Italy. In her teens, while still a student at the Hancock School, Levis began her long career of volunteer civic service, interpreting for doctors in the Hull Street Medical Center. In 1897 she married Albert Warren Levis, a Florentine sculptor and fencer who had come to the United States to help design a bronze door for the Chicago Exposition. They had six children, three boys and three girls; the family lived in the North End until 1914, when they moved to Dorchester. Levis was proud of her early advocacy (1910) of woman suffrage, claiming to be the first Italian-American suffragist in Massachusetts. During World War I she participated, with other suffragists, in the sale of Liberty Bonds, and in programs for food conservation and for Americanization of Italian immigrants. In addition, she worked with Boston Italians rolling bandages and assembling supply kits for Italian-American soldiers. She again sold war bonds in World War II, and aided in the organization of relief programs for a war-devastated Italy.



When deposited in the Library, the papers in the Rosa Levis collection were in scrapbooks. They have been removed and placed in folders for preservation purposes, and rearranged topically. Although this collection contains correspondence and printed material concerning Levis' personal life, her husband's business and fencing career, and her suffrage and war-related activities, the bulk of the papers documents her involvement in social, political, and religious women's organizations, in Boston's Italian community, and in the Republican Party. She founded the Chatterbox Club with her daughter Lydia (1919) and the League of the Sacred Heart Church of North Square (1936); was organizing secretary of the Women's Italian Club (1916); was first president of the Women's Columbus Republican Club (1943); and helped to establish the Massachusetts State Federation of Women's Italian Clubs (1947), in addition to membership in many other organizations. She worked to have Italian taught in Boston high schools, and to help Italian immigrants adjust to life in America while retaining pride in their heritage. Politically active from the time she became the "first woman of Italian extraction to register as a Republican," Levis served as a committeewoman from the 7th Suffolk Senatorial District, a member of the Republican State Committee, Vice President of the Republican City Committee, Chairman of Ward 15, and a delegate to Republican state and national conventions. She was an energetic campaigner, and her papers include many letters of gratitude from victorious Republican office-seekers, as well as letters from prominent suffragists. She remained active in politics and club work until her death on January 15, 1959 at the age of eighty-two.
The collection is arranged by subjects, some of which overlap. For example, material relating to World War I may be found under "Suffrage and related activity," and "Italian community," as well as "War-related work." The arrangement is chronological within each subject, with the exception of "Clubs," where the arrangement is alphabetical. An index of correspondents is located at the end of the inventory.



Container List

Additional Index Terms

Fund raising
Italian Americans
North End (Boston, Mass.)
Politics, Practical--Societies, etc.
Religion--Societies, etc.
Social service
Women in war
Women--Societies and clubs
World War, 1914-1918--Women
World War, 1939-1945--Women
Adkins, Bertha Sheppard, 1906-1983
Andrews, Fannie Fern, 1867-1950
Bagley, Grace Hodges, 1860-1944
Chatterbox Club
Coe, Evelyn Peverley, 1881-1967?
Curley, James Michael, 1874-1958
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969
Fuller, Alvan Tufts, 1878-1958
Hancock School Parents Association
Herter, Christian Archibald, 1895-1966
Hoover, Lou Henry, 1874-1944
Hosmer, Clara B.
Hynes, John B.
League of the Sacred Heart Italian Church of North Square, Boston
Lodge, Henry Cabot, 1902-1985
Martin, Joseph W. (Joseph William), 1884-1968
Massachusetts State Federation of Women's Italian Clubs
McCormack, John W., 1891-1980
Page, Mary Hutcheson, 1860-1940
Park, Maud Wood, 1871-1955
Peters, Andrew James, 1872-1938
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- )
Saltonstall, Leverett, 1892-1979
Stantial, Edna Lamprey
Storrow, Helen Osborne, 1864-1944
Tillinghast, Anna Churchill Moulton, 1874-1951
Tobin, Maurice Joseph, 1901-1953
Volpe, John A.
Walsh, David I. (David Ignatius), 1872-1947
Weeks, Sinclair, 1893-1972
Willkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944
Women's Columbus Republican Club
Women's Italian Club