Authored by Sean O’Donnell
Left to Right, front: Thomas Genadio, vm. Left to Right, rear: dr. Edward R. Laux, Alfred Scotti, Osipee, New Hampshire, 1930 is a photograph in The Center for Migration Studies of New York’s Vito Marcantonio Records. This is a black and white photograph that has been digitized as a digital image as part of a preservation partnership between The Center for Migration Studies and St. John’s University. The physical collection, as described by Brown, consists of “[p]rinted [d]ocuments,” “[p]apers and [p]ersonal [m]aterials” and “[p]hotographs” (Brown 1998, p. 3). Brown states that the photograph series “contains 77 photographs spanning the years from Marcantonio’s birth to an exhibit held in his honor in 1956” (Brown 1998, p. 4). This picture is listed by Brown as the fifth item in the Photographs Series as “Left to right, front: Thomas Genadio, VM. Left to right, rear: Dr. Edward R. Laux, Alfred Scotti, Osipee, New Hampshire, 1930. One 2 X 3” original print. Coll. #091, Print #3640” (Brown 1998, p. 7). The photograph is of Vito Marcantonio with several other men in Osipee, New Hampshire, taken in 1930.
According to Brown, Vito Marcantonio was a New York politician and Congressman noted for “pressing the New Deal to do more for Great Depression victims, opposing wars from World War II to the Korean conflict, advancing African-American civil rights, defending civil liberties, and advocating Puerto Rican independence” (Brown 1998, p. 2). John J. Simon of Monthly Review, a New York City based periodical specializing in topical issues of social importance, suggests that Marcantonio was an advocate for social justice (Simon 2014). Simon states, “[s]even days a week, spanning three decades, Marcantonio’s political organization dealt with the myriad of problems of his constituents: health, citizenship, relief, workmen’s compensation, immigration, tenant, legal, and family issues” (Simon 2014). Simon credits Marcantonio with “support[ing] social security and unemployment legislation for what later was called a ‘living wage’ standard” (Simon 2014).
Brown explains that the Vito Marcantonio Memorial Fund published I Vote My Conscience in 1956 (Brown 1998). After the fund disbanded, “Annette T. Rubinstein, lead editor of I Vote My Conscience, kept the fund’s records at her house…Rubinstein deposited the material at CMS” (Brown 1998, p. 2). As part of St. John’s University’s Vincentian mission, the DLIS program has entered into a partnership with CMS to digitally preserve the documents found within the Vito Marcantonio Records, printed documents, papers and personal materials and photographs of a man who stood for social justice.
Mary Elizabeth Brown, Inventory Vito Marcantonio Records (New York: Center for Migration Studies, 1998).
John J. Simon, Rebel in the House: The Life and Times of Vito Marcantonio (MonthlyReview, 2014), accessed March 1, 2014, http://monthlyreview.org/2006/03/01/rebel-in-the-house-the-life-and-times-of-vito-marcantonio