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National Death Penalty Archive: apap301
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M. Watt Espy Papers, 1730-2008

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.
National Death Penalty Archive: 2

Documentation of Executions, 1730-2008, Undated

44.5 cubic ft.
This series comprises the bulk of Watt Espy's primary and secondary research and is therefore the largest in the collection. Initially, approximately half of these documentation of execution records were arranged in an organized fashion alphabetically by state, or by federal, military, tribal or international categories and then alphabetically by an individual's name. The others were not arranged in any discernable scheme with a significant amount of materials kept as unorganized loose documents in boxes. Espy marked some files as "not written up," but it was ultimately unclear how these differed from other records. After careful review, the archivists decided to combine all of the documentation of executions together, divided the records into five subseries for executions conducted by all 50 states and the District of Columbia, federal executions, military executions, Native American tribal executions, and international executions, and subsequently arranged and inter-filed all the loose materials.
National Death Penalty Archive: apap346

Eugene G. Wanger and Marilyn M. Wanger Death Penalty Collection, 1754-2015

147.2 cubic ft.
Over the course of 50 years, Eugene G. Wanger created or collected the materials about capital punishment that comprise the Eugene G. Wanger and Marilyn M. Wanger Death Penalty Collection. The collection includes a wide range of materials on the death penalty documenting its history, efforts to abolish or reinstate the practice, its psychological impact, compatibility on religious, moral or ethical grounds, and its operation.