Larson's American Prison Writing Archive Awarded $262K NEH Grant

Doran Larson, Wolcott-Bartlett Professor of Literature & Creative Writing and project director of the American Prison Writing Archive (APWA) at the Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi), has been awarded $262,000 by the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH).  This grant is the largest NEH grant awarded solely to a Hamilton College faculty member in 17 years.

Larson has been working on the APWA with DHi since 2010, and has developed this research as a physical archive, a digital archive, and an accompanying book, Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America.  He has maintained an active and ongoing call for essays submitted by inmates and prison staff across the country, which are regularly digitized and added to the archive at:  This archive is actively developed in collaboration with the Digital Humanities Initiative's Collection Development Team.

This three-year NEH grant will enable the APWA to double the size of the archive and increase its faceted search capacities, Larson said. For example, a researcher will be able to specifically search for writing by inmates’ race, state, religion and with specific keywords such as “foster care.”

Read the Hamilton College news announcement here: