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Grant number like: PW-253826-17

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Hamilton College (Clinton, NY 13323-1295)
Doran Larson (Project Director: July 2016 to December 2021)

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Preservation and Access

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$262,000 (approved)
$262,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2017 – 6/30/2021

The American Prison Writing Archive

Cataloging and digitization of 1,200 original, non-fiction essays written by prisoners in the American criminal justice system.

We seek funding to support The American Prison Writing Archive (APWA), the largest and first fully searchable digital archive of first-person, non-fiction essays by incarcerated people and prison workers writing about their experience inside. Currently holding over 1,100 essays in its paper files, and gathering 1,200 more before and during the grant period, the APWA fills a yawning gap in the literature on a prison-jail system that holds 2.26 million Americans and affects millions of others. Based in first-person narratives, the APWA will re-open the prison to humanities scholars sidelined from prison studies in face of the sheer size of the U.S. prison system. It will build and maintain a national, collaborative archive serving scholarly and general audiences, and it will bring together faculty and students, library and technology specialists, and members of the larger community to develop the most innovative and sustainable digital features to serve all interested parties.