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Contact: Kathleen Thames Oct. 13, 2007
(337) 482-6397, kat@louisiana.edu
Author Ernest Gaines Donates More Papers to UL Lafayette
LAFAYETTE – The Ernest J. Gaines Center’s holdings grew Monday afternoon with the formal donation of the author’s papers.

Gaines, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s writer-in-residence emeritus, and his wife, Dianne, gave the Ernest J. Gaines Collection of manuscripts, author’s papers and translations to the university.

UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie accepted the material on behalf of the university. “We promise to show this the respect it deserves,” he said at Gaines’ home in Oscar, La., where the transaction took place.

The university agreed to maintain and preserve the collection in perpetuity, to make the collection available to scholars and to present programming about the author’ work through the Ernest J. Gaines Center.

Construction of the center, which is on the third floor of Edith Garland Dupré Library on campus, has begun. It is expected to be complete in late December or January.

The Ernest J. Gaines Center provides a space for scholars and students to work with Gaines’ papers and manuscripts. It will be the site of the only complete collection of Gaines scholarship in the world.

Gaines is best known for “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” and “A Lesson Before Dying.” His donation of his early papers, manuscripts and some artifacts to Edith Garland Dupré Library provided the foundation for the Ernest J. Gaines Center collection.
The center anticipates the donation of extensive papers, manuscripts and tape-recorded interviews of Gaines scholars, according to Dr. Marcia Gaudet, the center’s director. She is also the Dr. Doris Meriwether/BORSF Professor of English and Research Fellow of the Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism.

“The center will expand the collection on Gaines to include all books, journal articles, essays, interviews, theses, and dissertations on Gaines and his work. In addition, it will include a complete collection of all the published translations of Gaines’s writings,” she said.

The Ernest J. Gaines Center will also coordinate activities related to research and scholarship on Gaines work. The first of these activities will be an Ernest J. Gaines Scholars Conference at UL Lafayette, tentatively planned for Spring 2011.

UL Lafayette established the center in 2008. In addition to the university’s contributions and support, activities of the center will depend on philanthropic contributions. Fundraising initiatives to support the activities of the center and to establish a permanent endowment for the center began this fall.

For more information about the Ernest J. Gaines Center, contact Charles W. Triche, dean of Libraries, at 337-482-6396 or Gaudet, director of the Gaines Center, at 337-482-5486 or ejgc@louisiana.edu

Shown above, from left: Dr. Joseph Savoie, president, UL Lafayette; Dr. Charles Triche, dean of Libraries and professor of Library Sciences; Ernest Gaines; Dr. Marcia Gaudet, director of the Ernest J. Gaines Cente and professo of English; Dr. Darrell Bourque, Louisiana’s poet laureate and UL Lafayette professor emeritus; Dr. Carl A. Brasseaux, director, Center for Louisiana Studies; and Dianne Gaines.


Document last revised Thursday, October 15, 2009 3:08 PM

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