New York State Factory Investigating Commission Research Files on Contract Prison Labor

Held by the New York State Archives

Overview of the Records


New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

These letters, reports, articles, notes, and government documents provide information about the prison contract labor system for the manufacture of shoes and shirts in other states and countries. The series includes correspondence comparing prison labor to free labor in the shoe industry; questionnaires recording productivity and convicts' earnings; and legislation, hearings, and reports for and against contract prison labor.
0.1 cubic feet, including 1 microfilm roll 35mm
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By record type: correspondence and typed notes and reports; federal publications; state publications; articles and clippings.

Scope and Content Note

This series contains correspondence, typed and printed reports, articles, notes, and federal and state documents concerning the prison contract labor system for the manufacture of shoes and shirts in various states, the U.S. as a whole, and other countries.

The series contains: letters comparing prison labor to free labor in the shoe industry; answers to questionnaires sent to prisons outside New York State, providing information on number of convicts involved in contract labor, productivity, receipts from prison labor, and convicts' earnings; copies of contracts between manufacturers and prisons; extracts from editorials and statements by public figures; letters to unions and manufacturers urging support for legislation to end the contract prison labor system; reports and notes on contract prison labor policy in various states and individual institutions, and on proposed legislation; reports on hearings before U.S. House and Senate subcommittees, some with transcripts of testimony, concerning prison labor; bill concerning prison labor, and Congressional Record (March 4, 1912) including a debate on the bill; lectures, news clippings, and articles on prison labor in the U.S., France, and Germany, mostly opposing contract prison labor; and broadside urging people to wear union-made clothing instead of prison-made clothing.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of this material.

Alternate Formats Available

Microform is available at the New York State Archives through interlibrary loan.

Custodial History

Collation date 1913-1914.

Access Terms

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