The Ernest J. Gaines Center at 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. 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.
UL Lafayette established the Ernest J. Gaines Center in 2008, and a Board was appointed shortly thereafter. Construction of the center, located on the third floor of Edith Garland Dupré Library, began in August 2009. The center was completed in fall 2010 and held its grand opening on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010. In addition to the university’s contributions and support, activities of the center will also depend on philanthropic contributions. Fundraising initiatives to support the activities of the center and to establish a permanent endowment began in Fall 2009.