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The Manuscripts Collection: A sub-group of the Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Collection

 Record Group
Identifier: MSS 014

Scope and Contents

This collection is a part of a greater collection entitled The Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Papers. This collection deals primarily with Musmanno’s manuscripts written throughout his lifetime. Musmanno was a prolific author, receiving inspiration from a number of different sources. He published a number of his writingsA number of his writings were published, however, not all of his works moved beyond the rough draft phase. The collection holds a great number of copies of his works, including rough draft in various states and a few final copies. The Manuscripts collection consists of 17 boxes, making up approximately 10 cubic feet of space. The records span his lifetime dating from 1916-1991 This collection contains Musmanno’s written works, published and unpublished, as well as a few contracts and letters for various works as well as some personal writings. There are a number of works written in Italian as well. There is no additional commentary on his works in this collection; however, various other collections in the Musmanno holdings have other copies of his published manuscripts often including commentary. The collection is broken up into a number of series the first grouping consisting of the title of each work. Each is listed in alphabetical order by manuscript title or theme and then organized with the actual drafts starting the series and subsequent materials following after. The last three series are unpublished manuscripts, Italian Publications and Manuscripts Published in Magazines. These lase three series are organized chronologically. There are no further restrictions on this collection.


  • 1916-1991

Biographical / Historical

Michael A. Musmanno was born April 7, 1897, in Stowe Township, Allegheny County, PA. In 1923, he was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar and worked for several years as an attorney. He served 4 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and, in 1932; he began his lifelong career as a jurist. In 1951, he became a Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. During the World War II, Captain Musmanno served as naval aide to General Mark Clark, Fifth Army, during the Italian invasion. Musmanno led the U.S. investigation to determine if Adolf Hitler died at the end of the war. He served as a presiding judge at the Nuremberg War Crime trials and retired from active duty as a rear admiral. He was elected as a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge, a position he held until his death. In 1964, Musmanno ran an unsuccessful campaign for United States Senate. Aside from his political career, he was a prolific writer, publishing 16 books, including Ten Days To Die, Black Fury, Across the Street From the Courthouse, The Story of Italians in America, and Columbus Was First as well as a number of short stories and articles. Judge Musmanno passed away at the age of 71 on Columbus Day, October 12, 1968.


10 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Series 1-79: Manuscripts alphabetized by title This series contains the manuscripts that Musmanno wrote and edited throughout his lifetime. It includes a number of drafts and extra copies in a variety of topics. There is very little commentary within this series, although there is an occasional folder of clippings or additional documentation about a particular work. This series is organized alphabetically by manuscript title or theme. Some series are comprised of individual works, where others have multiple drafts and copies or additional documentation. If that was the case, organization consisted of drafts and original works listed first with additional documentation immediately after. This series makes up the largest portion of this collection, with the known dates ranging from 1916-1991. This series is helpful for researchers wanting to look at Musmanno’s writing with no additional commentary or reviews. Other holdings within the Musmanno collection will more likely have the commentary and correspondence regarding individual manuscripts.

Series 80: Unpublished Manuscripts This series contains Musmanno’s unpublished drafts and writings. A good number of the documents in this series consist of thoughts and rewritten sentences. This series does not take up much space, a few bound volumes and folders. In some cases, the thoughts drafted in this series make up sentences in other manuscripts. The series has no particular order, as there is only one date listed in the entire series. This series is helpful for any researcher looking to work through Musmanno’s thoughts and ideas regarding a portion of his later manuscripts.

Series 81: Italian publications This series consists of the articles Musmanno wrote in Italian and for Italian publications. Musmanno was bilingual and could read and write fluently in both English and Italian. The documents in this series contain some of those works. For some articles, the English translation is provided. This is another small collection comprised of a small number of folders. The series follows a chronological organization; a bulk of the dates ranges from 1924-1925. This series is useful for researchers looking to comprehend Musmanno’s early influences in American and Italian politics.

Series 82: Manuscripts Published in Magazines This series contains bound copies of Musmanno’s manuscripts. The magazine articles are not the full version as some edited for space. There are multiple copies of the original versions throughout the collection. This series does not take up much space, comprising a small number of folders and is organized chronologically from 1925-1991. This series is useful for researchers looking to understand which of Musmanno’s manuscripts received publication into which magazine.


The personal papers and library of the former Pennsylvania State Supreme Court justice, congressional representative, and author Michael A. Musmanno are located in the University Archives at Duquesne University. Documents include papers from Musmanno’s time as a defense attorney in the Sacco & Vanzetti trial, judge in the Nuremburg Trials, witness in the case against Adolf Eichmann, and interviews with Hitler’s associates. The collection also covers papers related to campaigns to end the Sunday Blue Laws, illegalize the Communist Party and to disband the Coal and Iron Police. This particular collection is an extension of these holdings, containing the papers from Judge Musmanno and his written works both published and unpublished in various forms. Musmanno wrote extensively and had ideas and inspirations for many topics ranging from his time during the war to short stories inspired by friends and family. This collection holds the multiple rough draft and final copies of a number of his works, as well as contracts and letters regarding certain works. Furthermore, there are a few magazine articles published in various editions also included in this collection. The collection is broken up into a few series, the first grouping being that of written rough drafts in alphabetical order, followed by unpublished works, published works in Italian magazines, and finally works published in American magazines.

The Manuscripts Collection: A sub-group of the Honorable Michael A. Musmanno Collection
Duquesne University Archives and Special Collection
Gina DelGreco
December 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Edition statement
Processing Information: Reprocessed and updated by Gina DelGreco, December 2016 Originally processed by Gerard O’Neil

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository