Teaching with Reveal Digital’s American Prison Newspapers Collection

Collage of newspaper coversThe American Prison Newspapers, 1880-2020: Voices from Inside is a collection of prison publications developed by Reveal Digital for distribution on the JSTOR platform. Managing Editor, Anne Ray, and a small team of researchers source newspapers from libraries, archives, former and current newspaper editors, and individual donors. After the publications are located, they are then digitized, indexed, and added to JSTOR where they are fully searchable. Primary sources like the newspapers in this collection appear alongside academic research.

This guide is a specially curated collection of instructional material designed for instructors who want to facilitate interdisciplinary engagement with the American Prison Newspapers collection for themselves and their students. All curricular material is freely available and designed to be used in conjunction with the collection, which is open access.

Instructional Guides: Prison Newspapers

A series of newspaper covers

Studying Women’s Prison Newspapers

Reveal Digital's American Prison Newspapers Collection offers first-person perspectives about what matters to women in prison, from pregnancy to recovery.
An illustration of The Hole from an October, 1962 issue of Recount, from Colorado State Penitentiary

Prisoners’ Rights: An Introductory Reading List

A selection of readings and visual material on the subject of prisoners’ rights to foster dialogue and discovery in the classroom.

What Can Native American People in Prison Teach Us About Community and Art?

An exploration of creativity, ingenuity, and resilience using the American Prison Newspapers collection and JSTOR. The second curriculum guide in this series.
closeup of the hancduffed hands of a person patterned as the gay pride flag

Teaching LGBTQ+ History: Queer Women’s Experiences in Prison

This instructional guide is the first in a series of curricular content related to the Reveal Digital American Prison Newspaper collection on JSTOR.

Webinar: Teaching with American Prison Newspaper Collection

Engagement and Curriculum Fellow Brittany Marshall recently hosted a webinar offering highlights from the American Prison Newspapers collection, as well as teaching tips, and resources for those interested in bringing these primary sources into the classroom. You can register to watch a recording of the webinar below or download a copy of the presentation.

Register to Watch a Recording of the Webinar

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Download a PDf of the Webinar Reveal Digital

Related Essays: American Prison Newspapers

Sing Sing prison, with warden T. M. Osborne and two other men, c. 1915

Were Early American Prisons Similar to Today’s?

A correctional officer’s history of 19th century prisons and modern-day parallels. From Sing Sing to suicide watch, torture treads a fine line.
The cover of the September, 1990 issue of The Angolite

Cold War Flames on US Soil: The Oakdale Prison Riot

In the 1980s, Cold War tensions led to thousands of Cubans languishing in American prisons, unable to be released or repatriated. Uprisings followed.
Close-up Vintage Wooden Hourglass on Wooden Background, Sand running through the bulbs for measuring the passing time

The Meaning of Time in The Hour Glass

Writings from a women's prison in the 1930s grapple with philosophical questions on time and life. “The mere lapse of years is not life.”
A soldier in shadow, holding a gun

How Veterans Created PTSD

Now a cultural staple, PTSD is a newer diagnosis. How have conceptions of trauma morphed and what does it mean for US institutions and society?
The cover of Adelante from April 1, 1972

50 Years Later: The Evolution of Prison Policy

Buried within Adelante is evidence of a fleeting attempt at prison reform and oversight in Connecticut. Is history repeating itself?
Two hands holding prison bars

Rethinking Prison as a Deterrent to Future Crime

Time behind bars can increase the likelihood that someone will re-offend, research finds. In many cases, programs that rehabilitate, rather than punish, may be a better solution.

The Lives Beyond the Life Sentences

Their lives didn't stop when the judge sentenced them to life in prison. Then what? A 1994 issue of The Angolite profiled the longest-serving Americans.

Read more related essays on the American Prison Newspaper series page.