Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Meredith, William, 1919-2007
Selected Papers of William Meredith
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
5 boxes and 0.25 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-5


Consists, for the most part, of letters to American poet William Meredith (Princeton Class of 1940) from American authors, most of whom have been associated with Princeton.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists, for the most part, of letters to Meredith (Princeton Class of 1940) from American authors, most of whom have been associated with Princeton University. Correspondents include Allen Tate, Caroline Gordon, Donald Alfred Stauffer, Christian Gauss, Willard Thorp, and Richard P. Blackmur. Also included are typed manuscripts of Richard P. Blackmur's poem "All's the Foul Fiend's" and Willard Thorp's review of works by Robert Penn Warren and Meredith. Autograph manuscripts of verse are a part of Donald Stauffer's letters, and many of his letters are written on the backs of discarded manuscripts and galley proofs.

The following standard abbreviations, or their variations, are used to identify materials in this collection: ALS = autograph letter signed, AMs = autograph manuscript, TMs = Typewritten Manuscript.

Collection Creator Biography:

Meredith, William, 1919-2007

A member of the Princeton Class of 1940, William Meredith worked for the New York Times before joining the U.S. Army Air Force in 1941. Meredith later transferred to the Navy, serving as a pilot during World War II. During the war, Meredith's first collection of poems, Love Letter from an Impossible Land (1944) was published. After World War II, Meredith taught English at Princeton University and the University of Hawaii before returning to the Navy for service during the Korean War. Following the war, Meredith continued to teach and write, eventually joining the faculty of Connecticut College, where he taught from 1955 to 1983. In 1964, Meredith was elected a Chancellor of the American Academy of Poets and from 1978-1980, Meredith served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Additionally, Meredith was recognized with the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his work, Partial Accounts: New and Selected Poems (1987), and the National Book Award for Efforts at Speech (1997). Meredith's friend, Robert Drew, was an artist.

Collection History


Purchased from Richard Harteis, Attorney-in-fact for William Meredith with typed copy of poem "A View of the Brooklyn Bridge", a gift of Mrs. Alan Downer.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Biography written by Alyxandra Cullen, '09.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Selected Papers of William Meredith; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-5

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The following sources were consulted during preparation of biographical note: Dictionary of Literary Biography.

Subject Terms:
Poets, American -- 20th century.
Genre Terms:
Correspondence -- 20th century
Tate, Allen, 1899-1979
Thorp, Willard, 1899-1990