Author Elizabeth Findley Shores to Discuss 'Shared Secrets' March 4

Elizabeth Shores
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Elizabeth Shores

Join the University of Arkansas Libraries and Press for a discussion of author Elizabeth Findley Shores' recent book, Shared Secrets: The Queer World of Newbery Medalist Charles J. Finger, and a virtual tour of related Special Collections holdings from 4-5 p.m. Thursday, March 4, on Zoom. The event is open to the public, and registration is required. 

Born in England, Charles J. Finger enjoyed "an early life of travel and adventure" before eventually putting down roots in Fayetteville, where a local park is named in his honor. The Finger home, Gayeta, remains in Fayetteville to this day. Finger was a varied and accomplished writer, publishing everything from short stories to books and magazines. 

Shared Secrets, published by the U of A Press, examines the ways in which Finger used veiled language, such as double entendres and innuendos, to communicate within the gay subculture of the time. 

"Finger was more than a queer bibliophile, however," writes Shores in the Introduction. "He was a highly enterprising, prolific writer who studied the publishing opportunities of the day and used every publication means available to him to express his twin loves, literature and men."

The Libraries' Special Collections division holds several copies of Tales from Silver Lands, the book for which Finger won the Newbery Medal in 1925, including a signed copy that had been a gift from the author to local suffragist Lessie Stringfellow Read. The Charles J. Finger Papers (MC 639) include Finger's correspondence, diaries, photographs and more.

"Special Collections is proud to be the home of Charles J. Finger's papers, along with archives from correspondents, colleagues, and members of his family," said Joshua Youngblood, rare books librarian. "Shores' careful reexamination of Finger's life and work connects resources available in the University Libraries to archives and literature beyond the hills of Fayetteville where he lived, helping us better understand the complexity of both his identity and his writing."

Due to COVID-19, Special Collections materials are currently available to U of A cardholders by appointment only. Email to schedule. 

About the University of Arkansas Press: The University of Arkansas Press, a division of the University of Arkansas Office of Research and Innovation, advances the mission of the University of Arkansas by publishing peer-reviewed scholarship and literature of enduring value. The Press publishes books by authors of diverse backgrounds writing for specialty as well as general audiences in Arkansas and throughout the world.

About the University Libraries: Located in the heart of campus, the David W. Mullins Library is the university's main research library. Branch libraries include the Chemistry and Biochemistry Library, the Fine Arts Library, the Physics Library, and the Robert A. and Vivian Young Law Library. The Libraries provide access to more than 3.1 million volumes and more than 180,000 journals, and offer research assistance, study spaces, computer labs with printing and scanning, interlibrary loan and delivery services, and cultural exhibits and events. The Libraries' Special Collections division acquires, preserves, and provides access to materials on Arkansas and the region, its customs and people, and its cultural, physical, and political climate. Visit the Libraries' website at to learn more about services and collections.


Joshua Youngblood, rare books librarian
University Libraries

Kelsey Lovewell Lippard, director of public relations
University Libraries


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