The Ernest J. Gaines Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is an international center for scholarship on Ernest Gaines and his work. The center honors the work of UL Lafayette’s Writer-in-Residence Emeritus and provides a space for scholars and students to work with the Gaines papers and manuscripts. Born in 1933 on a plantation near New Roads, Louisiana, Gaines based his award-winning novels on the African American experience in the rural South. His works include The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971) and A Lesson Before Dying, both later produced as award-winning films. Gaines’s generous donation of his early papers and manuscripts (through 1983) and some artifacts to Edith Garland Dupré Library provided the foundation for the center’s collection. The center also anticipates acquiring the remainder of Gaines’s papers.
Along with the Gaines papers and published scholarship, the Ernest J. Gaines Center can also anticipate the donation of extensive papers, manuscripts, and tape-recorded interviews of Gaines scholars. 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. It will be the site of the only complete collection of Ernest Gaines scholarship in the world.
The Ernest J. Gaines Center will also coordinate other activities related to research and scholarship on the work of Ernest J. Gaines. The first of these activities will be an Ernest J. Gaines Scholars Conference at UL Lafayette, bringing in major scholars for presentations and inviting other scholars to do presentations and discussions in sessions, all focused on Gaines’s work.
Another activity of the center will be the Ernest J. Gaines Speakers and Writers Series. This series will continue to bring major scholars and writers to UL Lafayette and will focus on the work of creative writers and eminent scholars.
UL Lafayette established the Ernest J. Gaines Center in 2008. Construction of the center, located on the third floor of Edith Garland Dupré Library, began in August 2009 and was completed in Fall 2010. The formal opening ceremony for the Ernest J. Gaines Center was held on Sunday, October 31, 2010. In addition to the university’s contributions and support, activities of the center will also depend on philanthropic contributions. Fundraising initiatives are ongoing to support the activities of the center and to establish a permanent endowment.
- Gaines Center Capital Campaign
- "This Louisiana Thing That Drives Me:” The Legacy of Ernest J. Gaines
Contact UsMr. Derek Mosley, Director, 337-482-1848.
For more information about the Ernest J. Gaines Center please call 337-482-1848. If you would like to be added to the mailing list for the Gaines Center, please e-mail your address to us at: email@example.com.