1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Steven King Ainsworth Papers


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The Steven King Ainsworth Papers contain his artwork and writings, including "Heads Up" bulletins written by Ainsworth for prison inmates sentenced to life, life without parole, and their advocates.


Ainsworth, Steven King
Date Coverage:
.33 cubic ft. (about .33 boxes)

Steven King Ainsworth, currently incarcerated in California, was sentenced to death in 1980 and served two decades on Death Row in San Quentin. In 2001 the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California granted Ainsworth's habeas corpus petition vacating his capital sentence. Ainsworth is a published writer of fiction and non-fiction, and a self-taught artist whose work has been exhibited in the United States and internationally. His many publications include Words from the Row and essays or short stories in Undoing Time: American Prisoners in Their Own Words (2001), Writing for Their Lives: Death Row U.S.A. (2007), and Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America (2014).

The Steven King Ainsworth Papers contain his artwork and writings, including "Heads Up" bulletins written by Ainsworth for prison inmates sentenced to life, life without parole, and their advocates. The bulletins contain advice for and background information about petitioning the Governors Office for clemency in the State of California, as well as news clippings of interest. The collection also contains correspondence and an application for executive clemency.

The collection is arranged alphabetically. There are no series.

Steven King Ainsworth donated his papers to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives in several installments between 2012 and 2018.

Processed by: Christien Braithwaite

Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on

Published: 2019-02-25 23:02:23 -0500

EAD file created, 2014

Encoded in EAD by Jodi Boyle, 2015

Collection arranged and described by Christien Braithwaite., 2018

Archival materials can be view in-person during business hours in our reading room, located on the top floor of the Science Library on the Uptown Campus.

We can also deliver digital scans for remote research for a fee.

Access to this collection is unrestricted.

Copyright Statement

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Steven King Ainsworth Papers, 1993-2017. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Ainsworth Papers).

Contents of Collection



11California Penal Code Sections 4800-48132017


12California State Prison-Sacramento-Mailing Regulations with Correspondence2003 October


13Copy of Geogiann Lyga's "Cages" and Kay J. Bandell's "Calif. Report from a Court" + Correspondence2004 September


14Correspondence Addressed to Margo2002-2005


15Correspondence Addressed to Maria2005


16Correspondence from Bridget2004 October 03, 2004 January 12


17Drawing and Correspondence1993 September 30


18Governor Brown's "Application for Executive Clemency" Rough Draft2013


19"Heads Up," No. 1-8, 10-112013, Undated


110"Heads Up" SupplementUndated


111Lesson in Stupidity2010 January 25


112Letter to Governor Schwarzeneggar Suggesting Policy ChangesUndated


113"Now is the Time"Undated


114Original Draft and Rough Draft of Support Letter Packetca. 2013


115Review of California Law 43 McGeorge L. Rev. 7472012


116Review of an Exhibit and A Photo of Notre Dame Cathedral with Correspondence2004


117Rough Draft of "Exiting Death Row Alive" wth Correspondence2005 January 02


118Writings by Steven King Ainsworth1996, 1997, 1998, Undated