Texas A&M: Don Kelly Collection of Gay Literature Exhibit

One of my classes was cancelled today, so rather than going home immediately after my previous class just to go home and watch TV, I went to one of the libraries on-campus and checked out this exhibit I’ve been wanting to take a peek at for a while.

Picture advertising the Don Kelley Research Collection. Image from the Cushing Library home page.

This exhibit, entitled Lives. Liberation. Love., is located at the Cushing Memorial Library on-campus.  This exhibit first opened on April 1st and will remain open until the end of the spring semester.  Lives. Liberation. Love includes different forms of literature–from novels to zines, it’s all there.  Movie posters for LGBTQ films were populating the walls, providing a well-rounded exhibit.

Some of my personal favorites that I saw include: a signed first edition of Howl, a signed first edition of Giovanni’s Room, and a first Evergreen Black Cat edition of Naked Lunch.  Features also included several issues of Vector: A Voice for the Homosexual Community, a newsletter turned magazine, covering a variety of topics with a wide-spread of covers (and I don’t just mean the full-frontal nudity that sometimes made its appearance in these magazines).

Exterior of Cushing Library at Texas A&M University
Exterior of Cushing Library at Texas A&M University

This exhibit had plenty of content to where it wasn’t a miniscule, but not too much to where you felt as if you had to spend all day at the library looking at stuff.  If you had just twenty or thirty minutes in your day, say, between classes, visiting this exhibit would be an eye-opening experience.  I highly recommend it, especially if you love literature and film as much as I do!

“I am grateful to the Texas A&M administration, deans and departments for their unwavering support to house the collection. I particularly would like to single out the staff at Cushing Library for their many kindnesses and courtesies in bringing the acquisition to fruition.” -Don Kelley (from the article about this exhibit on Cushing Library’s website)


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