Prison Public Memory Project Launches Digital Prison Archive

We’re pleased to announce the launch of a new, publicly accessible digital archive of historically significant prison records from our prison memory sites. The new archive will live, for now, on our Flickr page at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/prison-public-memory-project/sets/72157689809794984. Please check it out!

 Prison Public Memory Project Digital Archive

The first set of records we’re making available in the Prison Archive, with permission from their owner, is the Lisa Durfee Collection of institutional records of the New York State Training School for Girls (1904 - 1975), once the largest detention center for girls in the United States, located in Hudson, NY.  

The Lisa Durfee Collection includes letters, telegrams, staff notes, pictures, intake forms, court records, and other remnants of the lives of several young women who were incarcerated at the Training School from the 1920’s and early 1930’s. Including over 100 documents and images, this collection represents a deep dive into the social history of this historic institution that affected thousands of lives in profound and ordinary ways. 

 New York Prison Records Archive

This new Prison Archive was born out of our desire to foster critical thinking and conversation among broad, diverse audiences about these documents and the lives and institutions they represent. It is made possible by people, like Lisa Durfee, who have generously allowed the Prison Public Memory Project to digitize their collections. Researchers, journalists, filmmakers, and interested others can view and read the documents online. 

For more information on the collection or to inquire about obtaining access to high resolution scans of the documents, please contact us here.

 New York Prison History Records