HISTORICAL RESEARCH SERVICE
The research service will be closed to new requests until September 30. All requests after that date will be processed in order as they are received by our research service.
The Friends of the Penitentiary Museum are pleased to offer to the public the opportunity to learn about inmates and personnel that spent time, one way or another, inside Canada's federal penitentiaries since the opening of Kingston Penitentiary in 1835.
In fact, our archive contains records dating back to c.1831. While no individual case or personnel files exist, the collection does include miscellaneous inmate and staff records, particularly for Kingston Penitentiary (K.P.) and Collin’s Bay Penitentiary (C.B.P.). K.P. Liberation interviews exist for the period between 1836 and 1881. Punishment registers of K.P. ranging from 1835 to 1908 can also reveal a great deal about the behavior of inmates while incarcerated. Records like letter books and registers from Dorchester Penitentiary and Manitoba Penitentiary (Stony Mountain) provide similar information for the late 19th and early 20th century. Other records such as Warden’s journals and letter books, as well as the minutes and memoranda of the Inspectors of Penitentiaries, shed light on life behind the walls of federal prisons in the 19th century.