Research

Sing Sing Prison Superintendent's Diaries

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series consists of daily diaries kept by warden W. L. Denno of Sing Sing Prison documenting his official activities. Entries include inspections of site personnel and security protocol; details of visitors to the prison or prisoners, including police investigators; attempted escapes or other prisoner misconduct; and the warden's attendance at executions.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
0.5 cubic feet
Inclusive Dates:
1951-1954, 1956, 1958-1962
Series Number:
B1245

Arrangement

Chronological.

Scope and Content Note

Daily diaries kept by warden W. L. Denno of Sing Sing Prison documenting his official activities. Most entries concern inspections of site personnel on duty, and whether guards were following proper security protocol. Other entries detail visitors to the prison or prisoners, police investigators speaking with prisoners, attempted escapes or other prisoner misconduct, and the warden's attendance at executions. Any official travel necessitating the absence of the warden from the prison is also reported. Of particular note are several entries relating to protests against the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953, and others noting visits to prisoner Joseph Fay by Senate Majority Leader Arthur Wicks, who was later forced to step down over these visits. No diaries exist for 1955 and 1957, and most days do not have entries.

Items Online

Digital Collection

Link to items online Browse items online

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Restricted to protect personal privacy. Access may be permitted under certain conditions upon application to and approval by the State Archives.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series B1238 Sing Sing Prison Principal Keeper's daily journal, contains related records.

Processing Information

Originally accessioned as part of old collection #516B, accession -444.

Access Terms

Corporate Name(s):
Geographic Name(s):
Subject(s):
Genre(s):
Function(s):