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Calligiuri (Nadine) Personal Papers
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Collection Overview
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The Nadine Calligiuri Collection is comprised of personal papers and related items documenting the life and works of a Catholic laywoman who dedicated her life to minister to those with disabilities and the homebound through the organization she founded, the Handicapables. The collection consists of official and personal correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, scrapbook pages, and ephemera related to Nadine's life and the founding of the Handicapables in 1965, and its growth and activities.
Nadine Calligiuri was born in 1938 in Hibbing, Minnesota and raised in the North Beach District of San Francisco, California. Nadine was born with cerebral palsy, and as a young child she spent months at the Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles undergoing treatment that was at the time thought to help with the physical limitations brought upon by the diagnosis. Shortly after graduating from Presentation High School, an all-girls Catholic high school in San Francisco in 1958, Nadine attended a vocational training center for individuals with physical and mental disabilities. At the center, Nadine learned how to type, stuff envelopes and make tooth brushes, earning twenty cents an hour, far below the minimum wage at the time. It was also the first time in her life she encountered those with more severe handicaps than her own. She recalled her experience in a 1975 magazine article interview, "I withdrew from them not because of their handicaps, but because of the feelings of loneliness and despair each one expressed." At the end of the six-month program, Nadine was advised to stay on, but she chose instead to pursue a different career path, saying, "I tried everything. I even took a civil service librarian's exam, but I was too slow to do the work." Because of these personal experiences, Nadine felt a calling to become an advocate for people with mental and physical disabilities, and she eventually went on to found a Catholic lay ministry "Handicapables" in 1965.
2.55 Cubic Feet ; 2 records center boxes; 1 flat box
Collection is open for research.