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Cell Block 7 Museum (independently operated by Ella Sharp Museum)

Organization Location

Jackson, Michigan

Supervisor(s)

Brad Collins, Manager of Cell Block 7 Museum

Description of the Fellow’s Role

The Fellow will participate in an oral history program focused on the history of the State Prison of Southern Michigan, located in Jackson. This newly launched oral history program is intended to collect stories related to prison history and to the role of the prison in shaping the history of Jackson and the state of Michigan. The Fellow will help identify prospective interviewees, articulate questions, conduct interviews, and assist with transcription.  The Fellow will also conduct background research to provide historical context for the interviews. The oral history project is part of a new interpretive plan for Cell Block 7 Museum, so the Fellow will also have a chance to be part of the interpretive planning process and the conceptualization of new exhibits.

Time Commitment and Stipend (i.e., schedule, days per week)

  • 3-4 days per week for 12 weeks, mostly regular business hours although interviews may be conducted on evenings or weekends and offsite, depending on the schedule and preference of the interviewee
  • $5,040 – $6,720
  • $350 travel stipend
  • NOTE: this position requires commuting to Jackson, MI

About the Cell Block 7 Museum

Cell Block 7, Michigan’s Prison Museum, opened to the public in 2014 as a joint operation between Michigan Department of Corrections and Ella Sharp Museum, with the intention of informing the public about the history and mission of the corrections system. Cell Block 7 is one of the only museums in the country inside an active prison complex. Today, the Cell Block 7 Prison Museum is independently operated by the Ella Sharp Museum. Visitors to Cell Block 7 experience the cell block itself (now decommissioned) as well as interpretive exhibits including objects, photographs, and text. Tours are both self-guided and guided by museum staff.

The Ella Sharp Museum is a multidisciplinary museum on a separate campus (not adjacent to Cell Block 7) in Jackson.