The Free-Reed Center’s Deiro Archive, donated to the Center by Guido Roberto Deiro and Ms. Sandra Cattani, contains a wealth of documents—printed and recorded—pertaining to the lives and careers of the brothers Guido (1886-1950) and Pietro (1888-1954) Deiro, who together introduced the piano-accordion to the United States in the early twentieth century and then played a half-century-long role in popularizing the instrument.
The material is of paramount importance to anyone interested in the history of the accordion in the United States. Moreover, since the brothers enjoyed major careers on the vaudeville stage, the Archive is an importance source of documentation on the history of that aspect of American popular entertainment. Finally, the Archive’s documents shed light on one particular aspect of the Italian American immigrant experience in our country.
The Archive is divided into two sections: the Guido Deiro Section and the Pietro Deiro Section, the latter also containing materials about the life and career of Pietro (“Lee”) Deiro, Jr. (1913-1999). The catalogue of materials in each section is organized in a manner that best suits its contents.
The Deiro Archive is housed in the CUNY Graduate Center’s Mina Rees Library, Special Collections. The materials may be consulted by appointment: (212) 817 – 7076.