Skip to main content

Crime, prisons, and reform schools collection

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00424

Scope and Contents

The Crime, Prisons, and Reform Schools Collection documents the activities and experiences of female criminals, the efforts of social scientists to understand them, the work of prison reformers to improve their treatment, and the changing approaches and methods used by the state to manage them. Types of material include articles, correspondence, drawings, leaflets, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, promotional material, reports, and unpublished papers that focus on the United States and England and span the period from 1857 to 1977.

The collection includes some unique 19th century material such as correspondence relating to the founding of the Maine Industrial School for Girls (1862-1890), correspondence of prison reformer Miriam Van Waters (1930-1969), and one letter from Dorothea Dix (1882). Other material includes an undated typescript by a Dr. Tenebaum titled "The Riddle of a Woman," and an unpublished course paper by a Hampshire College student titled "Women in Prisons" (1972).

The bulk the collection consists of printed material. There are a large number of newspaper clippings and magazine articles that profile jailed women, analyze patterns of female crime, advocate better treatment of women prisoners, or describe new methods for punishing/rehabilitating women who violate the law. Most of these are dated from the 1960s to the 1970s, but a few are from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Also included are annual reports and promotional material from organizations and programs that address the needs of women in the criminal justice system. Organizations include the Pennsylvania Program for Woman and Girl Offenders, the Fortune Society, Aid to Incarcerated Women, and the American Civil Liberties Union. Other printed sources in the collection include leaflets for anti-prison rallies, excerpts from the Congressional Record, and reports from state agencies.

Dates of Materials

  • 1850-1992

Language of Materials

English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Extent

0.875 linear feet (2 containers)

Abstract

Documents the activities and experiences of female criminals, the efforts of social scientists to understand them, the work of prison reformers to improve their treatment, and the changing approaches and methods used by the state to manage them. Material includes printed material, correspondence, drawings, reports, and unpublished papers that focus on the United States and England.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials in this subject collection were purchased or given to the Sophia Smith Collection by various donors.

Additions to the Collection

Periodic additions to collection are expected.

Processing Information

Finding aid revised in 2002. Text by Kate Weigand.

Title
Crime, prisons, and reform schools collection
Subtitle
Finding Aid
Author
Finding aid prepared by mnsss.
Date
2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
  • 2005-09-23: mnsss88 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2019-04-25: Made paper FA pencil edit changes.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Contact:
Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063