Don Kelly Collection of Gay Literature exhibit opens at Cushing Library

By Marketing and Communications | 02-18-2015

With the recent acquisition of the Don Kelly Research Collection of Gay Literature and Culture, Cushing Memorial Library and Archives will opened its new Lives. Liberation. Love. exhibit, April 1, 2015, featuring materials from the Kelly collection. The grand opening of the exhibit will be a featured event in the GLBT Awareness Week sponsored by the Texas A&M GLBT Resource Center.

The event will start at 5:30 p.m. at Sterling C. Evans Library in Room 204E with remarks from Cushing Library Director Francesca Marini, David Carlson, Dean of the University Libraries, Dr. Karan Watson, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Christine A. Stanley, Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity, and by the namesake of the collection, Don Kelly. After the remarks, guests are invited to view the Lives. Liberation. Love. exhibit in the Wendler Gallery on the second floor of Cushing Library, followed by a reception in the first floor lobby.

“The process of acquiring this collection was among the most satisfying since I have come to Texas A&M,” Dean Carlson said. “With just this single collection, the University Libraries becomes one of the premier collections in the country for scholarly resources in LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) literature.”

The acquisition of the Kelly collection was made possible by financial contributions from several campus stakeholders, including Dean Carlson, Provost Watson, Dr. Mark A. Hussey, interim president of Texas A&M, Dr. Stanley, and Dr. Pamela R. Matthews, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts. The materials in the exhibit highlight the Kelly collection, which consists of more than 8,000 items. The collection boasts a wealth of significant and unique research materials, including many first editions and rare books, magazines and journals — from the important works of the Victorian era to the “lost gay novels” of the early twentieth century and the campy gay pulps from the 1950s and 1960s.

“I am grateful to the Texas A&M administration, deans and departments for their unwavering support to house the collection,” Kelly said. “I particularly would like to single out the staff at Cushing Library for their many kindnesses and courtesies in bringing the acquisition to fruition.

“It is my fervent hope the collection will spotlight this diversity and give due recognition to this great center of learning; as well as further enlightening minds and opening hearts in the wider community as to the talents and gifts of gay people. If this be so, I take pride in this legacy.”

The April 1 events for the opening of the exhibit will be free and open to the public. People with physical disabilities planning to attend the event are asked to contact Rebecca Hankins at or 979-845-1951 so that accommodations can be made. The event will require a short walk between Evans Library and Cushing Library, which has steep stairs entering and exiting the exhibit gallery.