The New York State Writers Institute's central aim is to enhance and celebrate literature, writing, and performance, and to recognize the position of writers as a community within the larger community. Founded in 1983 by Pulitzer Prize-wining author William Kennedy, the Institute received a legislative mandate in 1984 under New York's arts and culture law to encourage artistic expression through the literary arts. Over 1,000 writers nationally and internationally acclaimed as well as emerging authors in all genres have visited the Institute to give readings, lectures, seminars, and interviews for student and public audiences. Most of these presentations were audio and/or videotaped. The resulting archive of over 4,000 hours of recorded material makes it one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind in the nation. Portions of this collection are available here for scholarly research and general interest.