National Death Penalty Archive

National Death Penalty Archive

Researchers, writers, activists, and records on capital punishment in the United States.
The National Death Penalty Archive (NDPA) is a partnership between the University at Albany Libraries and the Capital Punishment Research Initiative (CPRI) at the University's School of Criminal Justice. In 1999, researchers at the School of Criminal Justice formally established the CPRI. Its overarching goals were research and education -- initiate capital punishment research activities, facilitate collaboration among researchers, and make findings and information available to legal and criminal justice policymakers, practitioners, and the public. One of the original goals of the CPRI was to establish and maintain a collection of archival materials documenting the important history of capital punishment, and to provide resources for historical scholarship. This growing collection of archival materials is housed in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, which is located in the University's state of the art Science Library. Open since 1999, the new archival repository includes climate-controlled storage for more than 25,000 cubic feet. The following collections have been acquired for the NDPA through the collaborative efforts of the CPRI and the University Libraries; work is continuing to build this important link to the history of capital punishment in the United States.
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National Death Penalty Archive: apap301
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M. Watt Espy Papers, 1730-2008

Espy, M. Watt, 1933-2009
88.76 cubic ft.
The M. Watt Espy papers chronicle the extensive research efforts that led to the creation of the Capital Punishment Research Project and the database known as the Espy File. Espy spent three decades gathering and indexing documentation of legal executions in the United States. His papers contain both primary and secondary sources used to catalog thousands of instances of capital punishment in the United States and its territories since the 1600s. The collection includes material from corrections records, newspapers, county histories, legal proceedings, and books. In addition to the records pertaining specifically to the death penalty, there is also a selection of magazines collected by Espy that cover true crime stories as well as life in the American Old West.