Contents and Arrangement

Series 2: Correspondence, 1951-2008

4 boxes
Restrictions may apply. See Access Note.

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This series includes Robert Fagles's correspondence with a variety of friends, colleagues, former students, and poets, as well as a small amount of family correspondence. As a whole, much of the correspondence is of a mixed nature, covering both professional and personal topics, and reflects Fagles's close working relationships with his colleagues and fellow classicists and his willingness to serve as a mentor to many former students and younger scholars interested in ancient Greek and Latin literature. Notable correspondents include Louise Glück, Anne Carson, Robert Fitzgerald, Harold Shapiro, James Dickey, Joyce Carol Oates, William Meredith, Francine du Plessix Gray, Rachel Hadas, Robert Hollander, Francis Fergusson, George Steiner, Robert Goheen, and Charles Tomlinson. Letters often regard Fagles's responses to various translations and poems sent to him for comments, as well as recommendations he provided for colleagues and students for various positions and grants; accordingly, some files also contain writings, clippings, and other print materials regarding works of others. Letters from Fagles often contain lengthy discussions of his ideas about the art of translation and his readings of Greek texts. Of particular interest is a large group of detailed and intimate letters that Fagles wrote to his mother Vera Fagles during his undergraduate years at Amherst and graduate study at Yale in the 1950s, which provide insights into his early encounters with translation studies and ancient literature.

Researchers should note that additional correspondence files with Fagles's collaborator Bernard Knox and his literary agent Georges Borchardt can be found in Subseries 3A, as a part of Fagles's publishing and permissions files. Topical correspondence regarding Fagles's own translations and published works is filed with his writings in Series 1, in keeping with the original organization of the papers.


This series includes a file group of alphabetical correspondence followed by a file group of chronological correspondence, in keeping with original order.

Collection History


Nothing was removed from the collection during 2015 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in April 2015, with assistance from Kristine Gift (GS) and Fiona Bell '18. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in April 2015.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

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:

Series 2: Correspondence; Robert Fagles Papers, C1499, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (rcpxm): Box 22-25

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