Skip to main content

Joseph Fucilla (1897-1981) Papers

Identifier: 11/3/12/1

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Joseph Fucilla Papers, comprising seven boxes, are arranged in six main subseries: biographical materials, correspondence, research materials, teaching materials, publications, and talks.

The biographical materials include news releases and biographical sketches, Mrs. Fucilla's hand-written account of their trip to Washington and Italy in 1974, several obituary notices, and published bibliographies of Fucilla's writings. A marked copy of a bibliography indicates which of Fucilla's books and articles are part of this collection or in the University Archives' Faculty Publications Collection. Also included is Fucilla's 45-page) typed autobiography, dated July 18, 1974. Clippings concern Fucilla's interest in personal names, his promotion of a U.S. stamp to commemorate the 700th anniversary of Dante's birth, and various events in his academic life. The awards and certificates are all photocopies. Some of the identification cards carry pictures of Fucilla at different ages.

The correspondence is quite general, consisting mainly of letters to Fucilla. Many letters are in Italian, Spanish, or French. They deal with manuscripts and publications by Fucilla and other authors in his field, meetings, research, and awards. Several letters written by former students include comments about Fucilla's teaching and influence upon them. The personal correspondence contains letters informing Fucilla of increases in his salary, arrangements for grants, and notification of awards.

The research materials consist of typed copies of poems, mostly in Italian or Spanish, from published works or manuscripts, bibliographic and source notes, and a small amount of pertinent correspondence. The notebooks contain, for the most part, excerpts from and entire poems, notes, and journal entries Fucilla made during his trips, including one to southern Europe in June and July, 1935.

The teaching materials include dated and undated class lists and grades.

The bulk of the Papers, approximately four boxes, consists of offprints of Fucilla's many publications. The Modern Language Association selected Fucilla to research and write a book on the teaching of Italian in the United States. Correspondence, data, and photocopies in Box 4 and portions of Boxes 3 and 5 pertain to this assignment. Drafts and notes for several articles are also included.

Addition, Boxes 8-9

The material in this addition is arranged in three categories: class materials, research materials, and drafts.

The folder of class materials includes one student paper (1938) and a small number of grade sheets for courses Fucilla taught at Northwestern (1966), the University of Wisconsin (1967-1968), and the University of Colorado (1967).

The folder of research materials contains a wide variety of reading notes, excerpts, and miscellaneous materials relating to many subjects.

Drafts comprise the bulk of this addition. Included is a bibliography of studies on Petrarch, one of Fucilla's major interests. Also here are Fucilla's translations of Dido Abandoned, Demetrius, and The Olympiad by the eighteenth century playwright, Metastasio. A review of this publication appeared in the South Atlantic Review (May, 1982) and is filed in Box 5, Folder 12. A small amount of correspondence pertaining to the translations is included here. Finally, several article and book review manuscripts and a number of manuscript fragments are included with the drafts.

Addition, Box 10

This addition to the Joseph Fucilla Papers fills one half-size archival box and spans the period 1921-1982 with the bulk of the material between 1952 and 1982. The addition is divided into three categories: biographical files, correspondence, and publications. Most of the addition consists of materials related to Reba Fucilla and the South family.

The biographical materials fill two folders and consist of genealogical data, certificates, clippings and obituaries. One of the folders is filled with a genealogical study of the South family (Reba Fucilla's maiden name) and short essays written by Reba Fucilla.

The correspondence folder spans the years 1952-198, and is arranged chronologically by date. The folder contains personal letters and correspondence related to the Fucilla's fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration, held on May 9, 1975.

The publication folder contains the book cover for Joseph Fucilla's Our Italian Surnames.


  • 1918-1981


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


10.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



During his career at Northwestern University, Joseph Fucilla traveled to Europe on several occasions, wrote prolifically, and served as editor of Italica, the journal of the American Association of Teachers of Italian, from 1943 to 1968. The Joseph Fucilla Papers include biographical materials, correspondence, research materials, teaching materials, publications, and talks.


The Joseph Fucilla Papers are arranged in six main subseries: biographical materials, correspondence (arranged by date), research materials, teaching materials, publications, and talks.

Method of Acquisition

These materials were donated to the University Archives by Mrs. Joseph Fucilla on September 11, 1981 as Accession #81-197.

Additional materials were donated by Reba Fucilla on November 15, 1983 as Accession #83-166, and integrated into existing folders.

Separated Materials

Twenty-two photographs were transferred to the Northwester University Archives' photograph collection.

Processing Information

William K. Beatty, October-November, 1981.

Guide to the Joseph Fucilla (1897-1981) Papers
William K. Beatty
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US