Reveal Digital develops Open Access primary source collections, with content curated and sourced from a wide array of libraries, museums, historical societies, and individual collectors, and funds pooled from library partners through a crowd-publishing model. These collections bring together fragmented documentary material from under-represented 20th century voices of dissent. Items showcased below are highlights from recently launched collections.

Collection spotlight

American Prison Newspapers, 1800-2020: Voices from the Inside

Launched last year, Reveal Digital’s American Prison Newspapers collection is an Open Access digital collection of publications produced within prisons by people who have been or are currently incarcerated. Upon completion the collection will include newspapers published between 1800 and 2020, and will bring together hundreds of these periodicals from across the country into one collection that represents penal institutions of all kinds, with special attention paid to women’s-only institutions.

Made possible by a growing list of libraries that are providing funding to cover the publishing costs along with libraries that are opening their archives to provide the source material for digitization, some examples of some of the sources digitized for this collection are below:

Castle (12-01-1972.) This issue, published by incarcerated journalists within the Kentucky State Penitentiary, includes poetry, cartoons, and op-ed articles, with the stated goal of promoting “a better understanding between the prisoners and interested persons outside.”


Long Line Writer. (Vol. 25, No. 12. 12-01-2005.)  A publication “for entertainment and general information,” the Long Line Writer is published by the Arkansas Department of Correction, Cummins Unit, with this issue including a crossword puzzle, recaps of sporting events and competitions, and a reprint of O. Henry’s “Proof of the Pudding.”


Student Activism

Reveal Digital’s Student Activism collection aims to serve as a scholarly bridge from the extensive history of student protest in the United States to the study of today’s vibrant, continually unfolding actions. Upon completion the collection will incorporate primary source materials connected to years-long movements such as the Civil Rights movement and anti-war protests, as well as more focused events such as the East L.A. student blowout and the Columbia University student strike of 1968. Some examples of primary sources included in this collection are below:

Gidra. (Vol. 4, No. 3. 03-01-1972.) Published by a group of Asian American students at UCLA, Gidra was founded in 1969 and documented issues faced by the Asian American Community on campus and within the greater Los Angeles area between 1969 and 1974.


SNCC Newsletter. (Vol. 1, No. 4. 06-01-1967.) Published by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNNC), the newsletter documents changes within the organization, covers news related to the organization’s activities, and offers commentary on political and social events within the US and around the world.


If your institution holds American prison newspapers or content related to Student Activism that you would be interested in including, please reach out to Reveal Digital’s Senior Editor, Anne Ray, at