Finding Aid for the William Armand Lessa papers, 1943-1985
Processed by Hilda Bohem, February 1981, October 1995; additions processed by Lilace Hatayama, March 2013; machine-readable
finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Title: William Armand Lessa papers
Date (inclusive): 1943-1985
Collection number: 1499
Lessa, William Armand.
9 boxes (4.5 linear ft.)
Abstract: William Armand Lessa (1908-1997) was assigned to the postwar allied administration of Italy as a military government official
administering towns and other population units. In 1947, he joined the UCLA Anthropology Department. He investigated comparative
religion, myth and ritual, while doing field work in Oceania, China and Hawaii. The collection consists of papers relating
to the postwar allied administration of Italy. Includes notes for and a copy of Lessa's book,
Spearhead governatore: remembrances of the campaign in Italy (1985).
Language: Finding aid is written in
Language of the Material:
Materials are in English.
University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections
for paging information.
Restrictions on Access
Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library
Special Collections for paging information.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the
creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright
owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
Gift of William A. Lessa, 1986.
[Identification of item], William Armand Lessa papers (Collection 1499). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young
Research Library, UCLA.
UCLA Catalog Record ID
Lessa was born in 1908; he received his Ph.D from the University of Chicago; joined the UCLA Anthropology Department in 1947;
investigated comparative religion, myth and ritual, while doing field work in Oceania, China and Hawaii; books include
An appraisal of constitutional typologies (1943),
The ethnography of Ulithi Atoll (1950), and
More tales from Ulithi Atoll: a content analysis (1980); Lessa retired in 1970; he died on October 14, 1997 in Los Angeles.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of papers relating to the postwar allied administration of Italy, in particular to Lessa's assignments
in Italy as a military government official administering towns and other population units. Includes notes for and a copy of
Spearhead governatore: remembrances of the campaign in Italy (1985). Also contains documents, maps, memorabilia, publications, notes and accounts contributed by others, and postwar correspondence.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Lessa, William Armand --Archives.
Allied Military Government.
University of California, Los Angeles. Dept. of Anthropology --Faculty --Archival resources.
Italy --History --Allied occupation, 1943-1947 --Archival resources.
Box 1, Folder 1
Spearhead Governatore: remembrances of the campaign in Italy. Malibu: Undena Publications.
Box 1, Folder 3
Contents pages for notebook now arranged in folders[?].
Box 1, Folder 4
Prologo - first files of notes arranged according to chapters of book.
Box 2, Folder 6
Bronze star medal (Lessa), military insignia, shoulder patches, journals, etc.
Box 3, Folder 7
Souvenirs from Mussolini's office.
Box 3, Folder 8
Italy: postcards, photos, places and people.
Box 4, Folder 1
Postwar correspondence (Mavis).
Box 4, Folder 2
Postwar correspondence (recent).
Box 5, Folder 1
Maps: detailed road maps of all of Italy.
Sheets 1-30 in individual folders.
Publications, some from Allied Control Mission, some War Department manuals, etc.
Box 7, Folder 1
Publications (cont'd), including dissertation, soldier's outline of Italian history, etc.
Box 8, Folder 1
Notes contributed by Lt. Col. Mavis (American), AMG.
Box 9, Folder 1
Notes contributed by Captain A. Riley (British).
Box 9, Folder 2
Informed satiric publications about AMG by Captain Peter Clarke (British) [recalled by superior officers].
Box 9, Folder 3
Allied military administration of Italy 1943-1945. London: HMSO.
Physical Description: [Photocopy]
Box 9, Folder 4
Photocopies of ‘Notes of Master Francis Fletcher.”