Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
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.
The collection consists of 167 letters by Meredith to his intimate friend Robert Drew from 1949 to 1972, postmarked Princeton, N.J., New London, Conn., and other places. The letters are mostly personal in nature but also discuss Meredith's poetry, his other writings, and his teaching and literary careers; some include a few poems in their text. There are also about 25 other autograph, typed, or printed poems, all sent to Drew, and several photographs of Meredith. Also included are miscellaneous papers relating to Robert Drew, such as passports, a birth certificate, documents for his name change (1960) from Zygmund Lewicki to Robert Drew, his will, death certificate, art brochures, clippings about both Drew and Meredith, and a portrait of Meredith on a wooden block.
Purchased from Bart Auerbach Ltd in 1994. AM1995-54.
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.
Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (2015) in 2012.
No appraisal information is available.
- Manuscripts Division
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
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.