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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Ital 75

Sympathy letters for victims of the Messina and Reggio earthquakes


Album containing letters, poems and music sent in sympathy after the earthquakes at Messina and Reggio in December 1908.


  • Creation: 1908-1911

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English, French, German, Italian and Latin.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.


.1 linear feet (1 volume)

Letters and poems in English, French, German, Italian and Latin, as well as manuscript music excerpts with lyrics, by notable composers, authors, playwrights, and other celebrities, expressing condolences; bound in an album of tan morocco.

Item numbers following page numbering in the album.

Biographical / Historical

Europe's most deadly earthquake, measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale, followed by a devastating tsunami, destroyed the towns of Messina and Reggio Calabria on the morning of 28 December 1908. The death toll reached about 100,000; another 200,000 were homeless. Survivors were relocated to other parts of Italy, while others were forced to emigrate, including some 850 people on the Ship Florida, bound for New York City in 1909.

Physical Location



Bookplate of Adriana R. Salem.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

54CM-39. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ward M. Canaday, The Overland Corporation, 500 Securities Bldg., Toledo, Ohio; received: Deposit, 1955 June 15; Gift, 1964 December 30.

Sympathy letters for victims of the Messina and Reggio earthquakes, 1908-1911: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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