With the help of a graduate student’s crowdfunding campaign, the University of British Columbia (UBC) Library has acquired two rare examples of early gay literature that have long been suspected of being authored—in full or in part—by Oscar Wilde. UBC is the only institution in the world to hold both texts—Teleny and its prequel, Des Grieux. The two works were published in the 1890s and only a few copies of each are known to exist.
Justin O’Hearn, a PhD candidate in Victorian literature at UBC, launched a Kickstarter campaign in November 2014 to help the library fund the acquisition. In one week he raised more than $3,000 (Canadian) from 56 backers. The UBC Library contributed the remaining funds—approximately $36,000 (Canadian)—needed to purchase the two titles.
For more details, see the January 12, 2015, UBC news release, “Wilde Times: Rare Book Coup for UBC.”