This open-access digital archive of Canadian penal press materials was launched on September 2, 2011. Since that time, hundreds more issues have been digitized, coded and uploaded to the site. There are many more to come.

Attribution – using Penal Press materials

When using these materials from PenalPress for your own purposes, please be sure to credit the authors of these works and the creators of this database. The following section provides information of how to cite the materials using various academic formats.

MLA style

Format to use:

[author, by last name.] [“article title.”] [periodical title] [publication date]: full page numbers for article.] [Gaucher/Munn Penal Press Collection.] [Web.] [date of access.].


Parsons, Al. “My Cell.” Pen-O-Rama November 1954: 18. Gaucher/Munn Penal Press Collection. Web. September 2, 2021.”

APA style

Format to use:

[author(s), by last name, initial).] [(publication date).] [article title.] [periodical title,] [full page numbers.] [Retrieved from Gaucher/Munn Penal Press Collection accessed at]


Parsons, Al. (1954). My Cell. Pen-O-Rama, 18. Retrieved from Gaucher/Munn Penal Press Collection accessed at]

Contribute to Penal Press

If you are in possession of any newsletters produced by prisoners in Canada, I would love to see them. Over the years, the collection has been augmented by people sending Bob and I materials they had in boxes in their garages, on shelves in their offices or that they found when cleaning out their auntie’s house. I am happy to credit your donation on the site.

Prison-based writers across Canada created these magazines as a way of connecting with each other, their keepers and the outside world. They wrote and produced in conditions that were difficult and faced censorship and penalty un-rivalled in the free world. They took risks to document the conditions of their confinement and to agitate for change. For decades Professors Robert (Bob) Gaucher and Melissa Munn (me) have worked to make, preserve and archive these primary source documents. We have done so out of respect for the authors and out of a deep sense of the importance of these materials.