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Perspective Archive

Identifier: MS-MS-ms093

The Perspective Archive consist of three major groupings. The first is a series of correspondence which includes a large group of business and general correspondence and two smaller groups of letters from Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams. The second, and largest, series is made up of the manuscripts, correspondence, and editorial matter for individual issues of Perspective. The final portion of the collection consists of the magazine's business records.


  • 1947-1982


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


9.00 boxes

Historical Information

Perspective magazine was one of the more interesting literary magazines to emerge in the United States after World War II. It was founded in 1947 by Jarvis Thurston and his wife, the poet Mona Van Duyn, while they were teaching at the University of Louisville. When Thurston joined the English faculty of Washington University in 1950, the magazine moved with them to St. Louis. Thurston and Van Duyn operated the magazine, which appeared quarterly, from St. Louis for over twenty years until 1975, the date of Perspective's final issue. In 1982, the Washington University English Department produced a special dedicatory issue of Perspective.This issue, which honored Thurston on his retirement and featured new work by his former students and contributors, might be considered the magazine's true final issue.

Perspective's 28-year run was quite lengthy, compared to most little magazines. What made Perspectiveimportant, however, was not the length of time it survived but the quality of the work it published. Thurston, Van Duyn, and the various other editors who worked on the magazine over the years demonstrated a keen eye for promising work by emerging poets and fiction writers. Authors whose work Perspectivehelped to introduce include William S. Merwin, Anthony Hecht, Douglas Woolf, Thomas McAfee, William Gass, Stanley Elkin, Donald Finkel, and Constance Urdang, the latter three serving on the editorial staff of the magazine for many years. And, as the list below indicates, Perspective's reputation as an important literary magazine helped it attract work from many of the most prominent authors of the time.

Related Materials

See also the Mona Van Duyn and Jarvis Thurston Papers

Perspective Archive
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 April 29: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collecting Area

Joel Minor
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495