Prison Libraries Book Catalog Records, 1809-1877

face of a prisoner
Reference point: sheet: bestseller holdings 1840-75

About 6300 prison library books (author title, year and prison library in which held, some data on price of books) from fifteen prison library book lists for U.S. prisons, 1809 to 1877. Includes subject/type classifications/

Dataset sheets:

  • Prison Book Dataset: book titles from book lists for nineteenth-century prison libraries
  • PBD descriptions: Prison Book Dataset (PBD) field definitions
  • unified class shares: summary statistics on book classification from Prison Book Dataset, using a unified classification scheme
  • historical class shares: summary statistics on book classification shares using classification schemes within given book lists
  • controversial books: books in Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet, 1883, with book’s author excluded from some public libraries
  • bestsellers: summary statistics of prison libraries’ holdings of best-sellers published in previous decades
  • bestsellers holdings 1840-76: best-selling books, published 1840-1876, and held in mid-19th-century U.S. prison libraries
  • English prison libraries: titles will 10 or more copies in the Chaplain Library for circulation to prisoners, Millbank Penitentiary, London, c. 1837

Related datasets:

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