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Collection Overview

Weiss, Renée Karol. and Weiss, Theodore Russell (1916-2003)
Quarterly Review of Literature (QRL) Records
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
60 boxes and 26.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-59; 16A


Consists primarily of the issue and correspondence files of the independent literary journal of the same name that was founded in 1943 by Warren Carrier, and co-edited and published from 1944-1999 by the husband and wife team of poet and former Princeton professor Theodore (Ted) and editor and author Renée Weiss. Also present in the collection are manuscripts of, and associated material from, eleven of Theodore Weiss's thirteen published books of poetry.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of the records the Quarterly Review of Literature (QRL). An independent magazine, its editors originally published poetry, fiction, reviews, articles, and criticism of known and emerging writers. In 1948, QRL began focusing primarily on poetry, fiction, and plays, before switching solely to the publication of whole volumes of modern poetry in 1978 with the launching of the QRL Poetry Series. Theodore Weiss was professor of English and creative writing at Princeton University from 1967 to 1987.

Included in the collection are correspondence files with most of the magazine's contributors, such as Louise Bogan, Clarence Brown, Robert Coover, e. e. cummings, Roger Hecht, Jane Hirshfield, Edmund Keeley, Robert Lowell, William Meredith, James Merrill, W. S. Merwin, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Allen Tate, William Carlos Williams, James Wright, and Paul De Man. Also present are the QRL issue files containing almost complete files (1943-1999) of many of the manuscripts submitted for publication (with the exception of a few issues from 1944, 1945, 1974-1977, and 1981). Some of these manuscripts have author's corrections, such as Ralph Ellison's manuscripts for his posthumously published novel, Juneteenth (Vol. XIII). Other Ellison materials are present for "The Roof, the Steeple and the People," (Vol. X, No. 1/2-3) and "Night-Talk," (Vol. XVI). In addition, the collection also includes 11 magnetic audiotapes with readings of plays, including one, in Russian, with the voice of Boris Pasternak.

In addition to the QRL archives, there are manuscripts of Theodore Weiss's own papers, and manuscripts or corrected proofs for his works of poetry including The Catch (1951), Gunsight (1962), Fireweeds (1976), Recoveries (1982), and From Princeton One Autumn Afternoon: Collected Poems 1950-1986 (1987).

Collection Creator Biography:

Weiss, Renée Karol.

Renée Karol Weiss (1923-2021) was an editor, writer, musician, and dancer. Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Abraham S. Karol and Elizabeth (Levitt) Karol, Weiss graduated from Bard College in 1951. She studied dance and violin, and was a member of multiple orchestras and music ensembles. Renée and her husband, poet and professor Theodore Weiss (1916-2003), edited the literary magazine, Quarterly Review of Literature (QRL), for nearly sixty years from 1944 to 1999. In their last years together, Renée and Theodore wrote poems together. The final QRL publication, The Always Present Present, (2003) was a collection of their jointly written poems, love letters from Theodore to Renée, and a biography of the magazine.


Theodore Russell Weiss (born December 16, 1916) was a poet, educator and editor, who, along with his wife, Renée Karol Weiss, edited and published the independent literary journal Quarterly Review of Literature for nearly six decades. Theodore (Ted) Weiss graduated from Muhlenberg College with an A.B. in 1938, and from Columbia University with a M.A. in 1940. He began his academic career at the University of Maryland (summer of 1941), then taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1942-44), Yale University (1944-46), Bard College (1947-66), and Princeton University (1966-87), where he was the William and Annie S. Paton Foundation Professor for Ancient and Modern Literature from 1977 until his retirement in 1987. Weiss' work was published widely, including the following books of poetry: The World Before Us: Poems, 1950-1970 (Macmillan, 1970), Fireweeds (Macmillan, 1976), A Slow Fuse: New Poems (Macmillan, 1984), and A Sum of Destructions (Louisiana State University Press, 1995). He died in April of 2003 in Princeton, NJ.

Collection History


Purchased from and gifts of Theodore and Renée Weiss, beginning in the summer of 2000 (AM 2000-17, AM 2005-8, AM 2007-2).


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Barbara Volz performed the preliminary processing of the collection, while Sylvia Yu completed its organization and wrote the finding aid. Matthew Fisher compiled and wordprocessed the QRL Author Index and Box/Folder listing.

Finding aid updated by Faith Charlton in 2022, including title change, collection description, and the addition of Renée Weiss as collection creator to elucidate her role per reparative description work.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

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:

Quarterly Review of Literature (QRL) Records; 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): Boxes 1-59; 16A