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A Finding Aid for the Prism Collection 1979-2013

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Prism Collection

Creator: Ferris State University. Department of Language and Literature.

Dates: 1979-2018

Abstract: The Prism is a collection of prize-winning essays, term papers, technical/professional writing/script writing, short fiction, and artwork created by students of Ferris State University. It is judged by a committee of FSU faculty and produced by the Department of Languages and Literature.

Language: English

Quantity: 1.2 cubic feet; 3 Hollinger boxes

Identification: UA 24.8.600

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Historical Note

In 1979, the Department of Language and Literature created a journal to celebrate the work of their students. Selections within the journal "are indicative of the high caliber of writing that is possible when the opportunity is offered and the recognition is made available," according to department member Richard Cronk.

The journal was named Prism. Through a department sponsored contest, fifteen prize-winning essay entries were published in the first issue. A committee of faculty judged the entries. Any current FSU student was eligible. Later, prizes in art were added. The prize involved cash, in addition to the publication in the annual student literary journal.

In the writing competition, the following categories are considered: Freshman/Sophomore Essay, Freshman/Sophomore research paper, Junior/Senior Essay, Junior/Senior Research Paper, Technical Writing/ Professional Writing/Script Writing, Poetry and Short Fiction. The art contest considers original artwork in any medium including acrylic, oil, water color, pen and ink, etc.

In 2008 the Freshman/Sophomore Research paper was renamed the Mary Killgallen award, after a faculty member who originally chaired the committee between 1979-2008. Other departmental faculty rotated on and off the committee.

Scope and Content Note

This literary journal is the product of an annual competition sponsored by the Department of Language and Literature. Categories are divided by upper and lower classmen and are not limited to English majors. A panel of judges reviews entries in the spring.

The collection contains only the final issues of the journal. Some issues are missing.


The papers are contained in a single series.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The Prism Collection is open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.

Conditions of Use

Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Copyright interests for this collection have not been transferred to Ferris State University and are held by the individual authors. For more information, contact the University Archivist.

Subject Headings

Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.

Related Materials

None specified.

Administrative Information


Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box (or url). Prism Collection. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

These records were transferred to the University Archives by the Department of Language and Literature. The majority of issues were transferred in October 2008. Individual issues were transferred on an annual basis for the years 2003-2008.

Processing Information

The Prism Records were processed to the folder level by Danielle Richmond in December 2008. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 2.0. A collection level MARC-21 record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).

Technical Requirements

This collection consists of bound publications. No specialized software or hardware is required for viewing.

Content Listing

Series 1. Prism. Issues. 1979-2013.

The Prism Collection, a literary journal, consists of 0.8 cubic feet of writings by Ferris State University students . Those writings were chosen by a panel of judges comprised of Ferris State University faculty. This collection contains only the final issues. Some issues are missing.

They are arranged chronologically.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Prism. 1979.
1 2 Prism. 1980.
1 3 Prism. 1982.
1 4 Prism. 1983.
1 5 Prism. 1985.
1 6 Prism. 1986.
1 7 Prism. 1989.
1 8 Prism. 1991.
1 9 Prism. 1995.
1 10 Prism. 1996.
Box Folder Contents
2 1 Prism. 1999.
2 2 Prism. 2001.
2 3 Prism. 2002.
2 4 Prism. 2003.
2 5 Prism. 2004.
2 6 Prism. 2005.
2 7 Prism. 2006.
2 8 Prism. 2007.
2 9 Prism. 2008.
Box Folder Contents
3 1 Prism. 2009.
3 2 Prism. 2010.
3 3 Prism. 2011.
3 4 Prism. 2012.
3 5 Prism. 2013.
3 6 Prism. 2014-2015.
Box Folder Contents
4 1 Prism. 2016.
4 2 Prism. 2017.
4 3 Prism. 2018.