Small Town Noir: Mug shots from New Castle, PA 1930-60 - Kickstarter Fund Project #23

Every week, the Seattle Review of Books backs a Kickstarter, and writes up why we picked that particular project. Read more about the project here. Suggest a project by writing to kickstarter at this domain, or by using our contact form.

What's the project this week?

Small Town Noir: Mug shots from New Castle, PA 1930-60. We've put $20 in as a non-reward backer

Who is the Creator?

Diarmid Mogg.

What do they have to say about the project?

An extraordinary collection of criminal mug shots and the stories behind them from one small American town 1930-1960

What caught your eye?

This is a fascinating idea: a series of mughsots from a small town in America, found by a journalist and artist, who started investigating the stories of the people in the images. Using the attached criminal records, as well as newspaper information, Diarmid is creating a narrative of crime in this small town from 1930 - 1960.

That's a great concept, but execution is everything. Look at his website for a sample, where you'll see the people in the mugshots, and what Diarmid has recreated is evocative and well written, and he includes all the sources on each post.

Why should I back it?

Because no researcher will ever write this history, but it's a history worth knowing. A history of grift, of corruption, of petty crime, of people in the wrong place at the wrong time, with all of the racial and social layers that still affect American jurisprudence. Back it because the stories are amazing, and back it because you want to know.

How's the project doing?

They're only 4% funded currently, towards their goal of $20,000. A slow start, they can use every bit of help we can offer.

Do they have a video?

Kickstarter Fund Stats
  • Projects backed: 23
  • Funds pledged: $460
  • Funds collected: $400
  • Unsuccessful pledges: 0
  • Fund balance: $580