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William Meredith and Robert Drew Papers


This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Manuscripts Division . Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Manuscripts Division
Meredith, William, 1919-2007
William Meredith and Robert Drew Papers
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
1 box
0.4 linear feet
English .
Consists of 167 letters by American poet William Meredith to his intimate friend Robert Drew from 1949 to 1972, postmarked Princeton, N.J., New London, Conn., and other places.
Cite as:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); William Meredith and Robert Drew Papers, Box and Folder Number; Special Collections, Princeton University Library.
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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.

Scope and Contents

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.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts Division

Revision Description

Run through PULFA 2.0 normalization routines. 2012-06-11T09:28:42.959-04:00

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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Bart Auerbach Ltd in 1994. AM1995-54.

Processing Information

Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (2015) in 2012.


No appraisal information is available.

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Controlled Access Headings

  • Correspondence -- 20th century
  • Personal papers -- 20th century.
  • Photographs -- 20th century.
  • Poetry -- 20th century.
Personal Name(s)
  • Drew, Robert, 1923-1987
  • American poetry -- 20th century.
  • Artists -- United States -- 20th century.
  • Gay men's writings, American -- 20th century.
  • Poets, American -- 20th century -- Correspondence.

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Collection Inventory

Correspondence of Robert Drew, 1949-1972. 3 folders.

Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1954-1966. 1 folder.

Verse, 1949-1978. 1 folder.

Drawings and Verse, 1961. 1 folder.

Photographs, undated. 1 folder.

Printed Material, 1954-1962. 1 folder.

Documents of Robert Drew, 1923-1987. 1 folder.

Printed Matter of Robert Drew, 1949-1984. 1 folder.

Portrait of William Meredith by Robert Drew on board, circa 1950. 1 folder.