Lavender Legacies Guide: United States: Delaware

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University of Delaware Library
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Delaware Library
Newark, DE 19717-5267
Phone: (302) 831-2229
Fax: (302) 831-1046
Contact: Timothy D. Murray, Head, Special Collections

History: The Library’s parent institution, the University of Delaware, dates to 1743.
The mission of the University of Delaware Library is to gather, organize, preserve, and provide access to the information resources necessary for the University of Delaware to achieve its educational, research, and service goals. This mission is supplemented by two secondary missions. The first is to improve and expand access to information in all forms, using innovative technology; the second is, as the primary library in the State and the only library having a comprehensive and broadly based collection, to assist in meeting the needs of library users in the State of Delaware.

Current Holdings:
Special Collections at the University of Delaware Library (approximately 200,000 volumes and more than 5,000 linear feet of manuscripts) holds a number of significant literary collections, including several collections, papers, or correspondence of prominent individuals who were gay, such as Tennessee Williams, Jane Heap, Allen Ginsberg, Beverly Nichols, or many others. Perhaps most significant for the purpose of this survey is to report the papers of Edward Field and Richard McCann, two writers who also anthologized or contributed to anthologies of contemporary gay literature:

Edward Field papers, 1943-1994, 21 linear ft.
Correspondence, photographs and negatives, poems, prose, book reviews, clippings, posters, programs, financial papers, address books, calendars, interviews, books, magazines and journals, flyers, plays, and ephemera.

Richard McCann papers, 1920s-2008 (bulk 1978-2005), 13.2 linear ft.
The Richard McCann papers document the personal life and professional career of this American author, poet, and educator. The collection includes McCann's early creative writing; teaching materials; reviews, essays, and critical writing; personal and professional correspondence; and extensive drafts of McCann's poetry and fiction. McCann's fiction has autobiographical roots, often drawn from family relationships and personal experiences, as illustrated in photographs and family memorabilia also included in the collection.

Collection Growth:
Special Collections at the University of Delaware Library collects broadly, in all formats, in the areas of American, English, and Irish literature; the department also collects personal papers of individuals and families, and records of organizations, clubs, and businesses in Delaware and the greater Delaware Valley.

Access and Use:
What are the requirements for using the organization's/institution's material?
Researchers must present photo identification and follow department policies described on webpage (above).
Hours: Regular hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm M-F, and until 8:00 pm on Tuesdays
Site is wheelchair accessible.

Research space
Reference assistance on site
Telephone reference
Internet reference (e-mail/web)
Copying services
Audiovisual facilities
Exhibitions Loan agreements for exhibits

Indices to the collections:
Online finding aids to archival collections are available at dept website (above). MARC records report collections as well as printed holdings in local OPAC and via OCLC.

Updating Collection Descriptions:
New acquisitions are regularly described in a Library Associates Newsletter and through University of Delaware press releases. See Richard McCann press release, for example: