During the 1970s, the American West Center conducted interviews with ethnic minority Utah residents in an attempt to find out more about their life and experiences in America and Utah. The interviews contained in the Italian Oral Histories were conducted between 1971 and 1979. Events recalled by the interviewees span the period of time from the late 1800s to 1979. Topics covered include family life, early life in Italy, immigration, ethnic ceremonies and customs, social activities, work in the mines and railroads, relations with other ethnic groups, and achieving American citizenship. Most interviews were conducted by Phil Notarianni. Other interviewers include Floyd O'Neil, Kent Powell, Helen Papanikolas, and Mary Peterson. Also included is a transcript of a CBS news special, "Essay on the Mafia," recorded in June 1972.
The Italian oral history project audio recordings (1970-1987) consist of interviews conducted with Utahns of Italian descent. Interviews begin with a short biography of the subject and cover topics such as discrimination, labor unions and social events. The American West Center conducted this and other ethnic oral history projects in an attempt to record the experiences Utah's eithnic minorities.