On March 24, 1800, Forlorn Hope became the first newspaper published within a prison by an incarcerated person. In the intervening 200 years, over 450 prison newspapers have been published from U.S. prisons. Some, like the Angolite and the San Quentin News, are still being published today. American Prison Newspapers will bring together hundreds of these periodicals from across the country into one collection that will represent penal institutions of all kinds, with special attention paid to women’s-only institutions.
Development of the American Prison Newspapers collection began in July 2020 and will continue through 2022, with new content added regularly. The source material for the collection is being provided by numerous libraries and individuals from across the country. Currently there are nearly 100,000 pages available (of a planned 250,000 pages), representing at least one prison in 30 states.