Swarthmore College Peace Collection


Danilo Dolci Papers, 1947-1987

Collection: DG 105


Contact Information
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399
U.S.A.
Telephone: 610-328-8557 (curator)
Fax: 610-690-5728
Email: wchmiel@swarthmore.edu (curator)
URL: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/


Descriptive Summary
Repository
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Creator
Dolci, Danilo (1924-1997)
Title
Danilo Dolci Papers
Inclusive Dates
1947-1987
Call Number
DG 105

Language of Materials
Materials in English and Italian
Extent of Collection
3.75 linear feet [papers only]
Abstract
Danilo Dolci was born in Sesana on June 28,1924. He was a devout Catholic, and decided that instead of launching a professional career, he would work for a time with a priest, who had opened an orphanage for 3000 abandoned children after World War II. At age 28 Dolci moved to Sicily, working to overcome the poverty and violence. One technique he used was the "strike in reverse," which initiated unauthorized public works projects for the poor. Dolci became known throughout the world as the "Sicilian Gandhi" because of his efforts to create change nonviolently, and was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize. Dolci died on December 30, 1997 from heart failure.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
None
Usage Restrictions
Yes. Collection stored off-site, please contact SCPC staff to request boxes two weeks in advance of visit
Alternate Form of Material
None
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Jerre Mangione and R.L. Cope, 1976-1988 [Acc. 76A-118, 83A-081, 88A-111, 87A-096]
Processing Information
Processed by Anne Yoder, February 2004
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Danilo Dolci Papers (DG 105), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law

Online Catalog Headings
These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online library/archival catalogs.
See tripod record


Historical Background
Danilo Dolci was born in Sesana on June 28,1924, son of a Slovene mother and an Italian father who was a train station master. Dolci trained as an engineer and architect in Switzerland. He was a devout Catholic, and decided that instead of launching a professional career, he would work for a time with a priest, Don Zeno Saltini, who had opened an orphanage for 3000 abandoned children after World War II; it was housed in a former concentration camp near Modena.

Dolci first visited Sicily because of an interest in Greek building structures, but the wretchedness of the living conditions in that country moved him far more deeply. Most of the population there lived in extreme poverty, in slums without electricity, water or sanitation. Unemployment, hunger and illiteracy abounded, with the Mafia controlling most of civic life. At age 28 Dolci moved to Sicily permanently, settling in Trapetto. He married a women from the neighborhood, a widow with five children. He put his energies into working to overcome the poverty and violence in Sicily. One technique he used was the "strike in reverse," which initiated unauthorized public works projects for the poor. In 1958, after one such strike brought 150 unemployed men to repair a dirt road in Partinico, Dolci was arrested on false charges and spent eight months in jail. In 1967, he bravely accused prominent members of the government with collusion with the Mafia, and as a result he spent another two years in jail for libel. His trial was publicized all over the world and increased public awareness of his work to break the yoke of organized crime in Sicily and to improve the lot of the common people. He became known throughout the world as the "Sicilian Gandhi" because of his efforts to create change nonviolently, and was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The headquarters for Dolci's work was the Centro Studi e Iniziative in Partinicio, Sicily. There were four other centers in other parts of Sicily as well, each providing technical, educational and cultural programs for residents of the region. Besides being an activist and organizer, Dolci wrote books and articles about the problems of Sicily, and his works include interviews with otherwise invisible members of humble trades whose lives he brought into evocative focus. He also became well known as a poet.
Support groups were created in the United States and in Europe to provide financial assistance to Dolci so that he could continue his labors for the poor and his various writing projects.

Jerre Mangione received a research fellowship to spend six months in Sicily, where he spent time with Dolci and Dolci's family, neighbors and associates. The book A Passion for Sicilians: The World Around Danilo Dolci, was the result, published in 1968.

Dolci died on December 30, 1997 from heart failure. He was survived by the five children he had with his first wife, Vincenzina, and by two children from his second marriage.


Collection Overview
All material in this document group was collected by Jerre Mangione throughout his long association with Dolci and his work with Friends of Danilo Dolci.

Items removed:

Photographs
Posters
Oversized documents
Audio Visual item-reel-to-reel tape
newsletter Friends of Danilo Dolci Inc. 1962, 1970-1986 (many issues missing) were removed to their proper locations in the Peace Collection.

See also the Book Collection [Tripod] for books written by Dolci and by Mangione.

Arrangement of Collection
Series I contains files by and about Danilo Dolci, including biographical material, his writings, speeches, etc. Series II contains reports and circulars from the Centro Studi e Iniziative in Partinicio, Sicily, the headquarters for Dolci's work. Series III contains the files of Dolci's biographer Jerre Mangione. Series IV includes files concerning Dolci support groups around the world. Series V contains miscellaneous reference material found in the Dolci papers.





Detailed Description of the Collection

SERIES I: DANILO DOLCI
Box 1 off-site
Checklist / Removal Slips
Information by or about family members
Awarding of the Etna-Taormina International Poetry Prize (to Dolci), 1975
Nomination of Dolci for Nobel Peace Prize
Reflections by others re: Dolci [letters or mss. sent to or gathered by Jerre Mangione]
About Dolci, 1950s
About Dolci, 1950s: book Danilo Dolci by Aldo Capitini, 1958
About Dolci, 1960-1980s

Box 2 off-site
About Dolci, undated
Sentencing by Tribunale di Roma, 1967
Correspondence of Dolci, 1962-1969
Correspondence of Dolci, 1970-1974, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1985, undated
Statements by Dolci / transcriptions of conversations / interviews
Writings by Dolci: bibliographies
Writings by Dolci: poetry
Writings by Dolci: column “Incontra” for newspaper L’Ora, ca. 1965-1966
Writings by Dolci, 1960-1969

Box 3 off-site
Writings by Dolci, 1970-1984
Writings by Dolci, undated
Reviews of books by Dolci
Speaking engagements: itineraries
Speaking engagements: publicity
Speaking engagements: media coverage [see also folders “About Dolci”]
Speaking engagements / visits to United States: reports
Speaking engagement at Pendle Hill (PA), October 1970
Speaking engagement at Swarthmore College (PA), October 1977
Involvement in Corso per Pianificatori Comunali e Zonali, April 1965

SERIES II: CENTRO STUIDO E INIZIATIVE
Box 3 (cont.)
Mailing/Report “Appunti per gli amizi” #2-19 (1959-1961)
Circulars #194, 212, 222, 231 (1961-1962)
Circulars #324-355 (1964-1965)
Circulars #356-385 (1965)

Box 4 off-site
Circulars #387-410 (1966)
Circulars #412-444 (1967)
Circulars #445-485 (1968)
Circulars #487-510 (1969)
Circulars #533-558 (1970-1971)
Circulars #557-583 (1972; numbering out of order]
Circulars #561-598 (1973; numbering out of order]
Circulars #569-600 (1974)
Circulars #601-643 (1975)
Circulars #651-665 (1976)

Box 5 off-site
Circulars #725-759 (1977-1978)
Circulars #775-794 (1979)
Circulars #796-915 (1980-1984)
Reports etc., 1961-1965
Report on Menfi (February 1960 – July 1961) by Ilys Booker, 1961
“Fascicolo” #190-294 (1961-1963)
“Fascicolo” #302-306 (1963)
“Contributiti” #1-3 (1964)
“Un Lavoro di Sviluppo” #1-6 (1964)

Box 6 off-site
Reports etc., 1966-1969
Report “Atti del Seminario Internazionale di Studi Sulla ‘Citta Territorio’,” 1969
Reports etc., 1971-1987, undated
Establishment etc. of Centro Educavito Mirto

Series III: Biographer Jerre Mangione
Box 7 off-site
Publicity / media coverage / letters to the editor (published)
Correspondence to/from Dolci, 1960-1974, undated
Correspondence, 1959-1972

Box 8 off-site
Correspondence, 1974, undated
Proposal for book re: Dolci (& for research trip to Sicily)
Notes (much of it in diary form) re: Dolci during visit to Sicily, 1965
Notes (mostly for book re: Dolci)
Notes (mostly for book re: Dolci)
Mss. article “We Lived in a Mafia Town”
Book reviews for A Passion for Sicilians by Mangione, 1967-1969

SERIES IV: DOLCI SUPPORT GROUPS
Box 8 (cont.)
Friends of Danilo Dolci, Inc.
Friends of Danilo Dolci, Inc.: meeting minutes, 1961-1975
Friends of Danilo Dolci, Inc. financial records
Danilo Dolci Trust, London
Dolci Task Force (at the World Conference on Religion and Peace)
Efforts to establish an international support committee, 1976-1977
International Friends of Danilo Dolci groups in France and Sweden

SERIES V: REFERENCE MATERIAL
Box 9 off-site
Instituto Siciliano
[Mr.] Tullio Viray
“Una Voce da Polermo” #18-19, 23, 25 (1970-1972)
Misc. material, 1947-1969
Misc. material, 1971-1972, 1975
Misc. material, 1980s
Misc. material, undated


This page was last updated on September 29, 1975.