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Robert Louis Benson papers, ca. 1955-1996
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Indexing Terms

  • Title: Robert Louis Benson papers
    Collection number: 496
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 18.5 linear ft. (19 boxes)
    Date: c. 1955-1996
    Abstract: Robert Louis Benson (b.1925 - d.1996) was a professor in the department of history at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The collection consists of research notes, the manuscript of The Bishop Elect,a study in medieval ecclesiastical office (1968), manuscript transcriptions, articles for journals, galley and proof sheets, correspondence, microfilms, UCLA and Wesleyan University course lecture notes, and UCLA departmental materials. Also included are manuscripts, notes, and correspondence of Ernst Hartwig Kantorowicz, and materials relating to Kantorowicz that were in Benson's possession at the time of his death.
    Language of Materials: English, Latin, German, French and Italian.
    Creator: Robert Louis Benson

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. 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.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    COLLECTION CONTAINS DIGITAL MATERIALS: Special equipment or further processing may be required for viewing. To access digital materials you must notify the reference desk in advance of your visit.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Robert Louis Benson Papers (Collection 496). Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Papers were acquired from the estate of Robert Louis Benson in July 1997.

    Processing Information

    The collection was not organized when acquired. As a result, the organization was determined by the processor. The processor also assigned the folder titles listed in Series 1, 2, and 4.


    Robert Louis Benson was born on August 21, 1925 in Portland, Oregon. After military service in the US Army Air Corps (1943-1945), he attended the University of California, Berkeley, BA (1950), the University of Munich, (1953-1955), and Princeton University, where he received his MA (1953) and Ph.D. (1958).
    Benson worked as an instructor at Barnard College and Columbia University from 1956 to 1959. He then taught as an assistant professor (1959-1963), associate professor (1963-1968) and professor (1968-1975) at Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut). Other positions included: visiting associate professor (1961-1962) at Cornell University; visiting professor at the Free University of Berlin (1973-1974); and lecturer (summer 1975) at the University of Poitiers. His last position was as a professor (1974-1994) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
    While at Wesleyan University, Benson served as chair of the Department of History (1970-1972). After his arrival at UCLA, Benson served on the Publications Committee of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (1976-1985) and as editor of Viator. Benson was a member of the Institute of Medieval Canon Law, serving on the Advisory Board, the Board of Directors, and as Secretary Treasurer. He was also Vice-President of the International Society of Medieval Canon Law.
    Benson was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Munich (1953-1955), a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (1964-1965), a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton during Fall 1977, and a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. He was also a Senior Fellow at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library from 1982-1983. He served as a Corresponding Member, Zentraldirektion, Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Benson was invited to present the Carlyle Lectures at Oxford University during the 1989-1990 academic year.
    Benson published The Bishop-elect: A Study in Mediaeval Ecclesiastical Office in 1968. With Giles Constable, Benson co-edited Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century (1982) and co-wrote the introduction. Benson also contributed the article, "Political Renovation: Two Models from Roman Antiquity" to that volume.
    Benson died on February 18, 1996 in Los Angeles, California.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of: notes, manuscripts, galley and proof sheets, correspondence, microfilm, UCLA and Wesleyan University course lecture notes, and UCLA departmental materials of history professor Robert Benson. The manuscripts of The Bishop Elect, a study in medieval ecclesiastical office and articles for journals are included. Also included in the collection are certain manuscripts, notes, and correspondence created by Ernst Hartwig Kantorowicz and materials relating to Kantorowicz that were in Benson's possession at the time of Benson's death in 1996.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 6946382 

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Benson, Robert Louis, 1925- --Archives.
    Kantorowicz, Ernst Hartwig, 1895-1963 --Archives.
    University of California, Los Angeles. Department of History --Faculty --Archival resources.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    manuscripts for publication.