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Did you know that our Science Library maintains the ONLY National Death Penalty Archive?

The University at Albany’s libraries and the Capital Punishment Research Initiative, part of our School of Criminal Justice, jointly established the National Death Penalty Archive (NDPA) in August of 2005. This collection is housed in the M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives located in the Science Library. This archive is the first of its kind in the nation that is exclusively dedicated to the history of the death penalty in the United States. The archive specializes in collecting primary source documents (letters, reports, unpublished writings, personal papers, and other related materials) written and/or owned by anyone touched by the death penalty (death penalty activists, lawyers, family members, etc.) The archive also includes interviews featuring death penalty activists and professionals involved in death penalty abolition efforts and related work.

In the University Libraries we have other sources of information on the death penalty with the Library of Congress subject heading of the Death Penalty. We also have access to any available government documents electronically through the NCJRS (National Criminal Justice Reference Service) Abstracts database and the Bureau of Justice Statistics website.

Included in our collection are books written by a few of the leading death penalty experts. These experts and their books include:


  • Wounds That do not Bind: Victim-Based Perspectives on the Death Penalty edited by our own CPRI Professor James Acker along with David R. Karp and Jarrett B. Warshaw can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8694 W68 2006

  • America’s Experiment with Capital Punishment: Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of the Ultimate Penal Sanction by our own James Acker and Hindeland Center volunteer staff associate Charles Lanier, and Robert M. Bohm can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 A746 1998

  • Killing as Punishment: Reflection on the Death Penalty in America by Hugo Adam Bedau can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 B43 2004

  • Capital Punishment Clemency Petitions by William Bowers can be found in the Special Collections/ Archives manuscript collection MSS APAP-214

  • Condemned : Inside the Sing Sing Death House by Scott Christianson can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 C4 2000

  • The Death Penalty: An American History by Stuart Banner can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U 5 B367 2002

  • Deathquest II: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Capital Punishment in the United States by Robert M. Bohm can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 B65 2003

  • America without the Death Penalty: States Leading the Way by John F. Galliher can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 G35 2002

  • Dead Man Walking by Helen Prejean can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 P74 1993

  • The Abolition of the Death Penalty in International Law by William A. Schabas can be found at Dewey Library / K 5104 S33 2002

  • A Comparative Analysis of Capital Punishment: Statues, Policies, Frequencies and Public Attitudes the World Over by Rita J. Simon and Dagny A. Blaskowich can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 S55 2002

  • The Hangman’s Knot: Lynching, Legal Execution, and America’s Struggle with the Death Penalty by Eliza Steelwater can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 S72 2003

  • The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment by Franklin E. Zimring can be found at Dewey Library / HV 8699 U5 Z563 2003

If you are interested in research on the death penalty or other criminal justice topics, please make an appointment with Mary Jane Brustman, our Bibliographer for Criminal Justice. She can be reached at 442-3517 or by e-mail at mbrustman@uamail.albany.edu.

Blog post created by Judith Mueller