Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Lloyd Sealy Library

Lloyd Sealy Library

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Library News Blog

CUNY is teeming with people conducting interesting research and writing. Steve Ovadia, a faculty member in the library at La Guardia Community College, and Kathleen Collins, faculty in the Lloyd Sealy Library at John Jay, are ferreting out some of these creators and featuring them on a new podcast, Indoor Voices.

The format is informal conversation, with Steve or Kathleen talking with guests about their work. So far these have included Richard Ocejo and Barry Spunt from John Jay, Barbara Katz-Rothman from the Graduate Center, and Polly Thistlethwaite and Jessie Daniels of the Graduate Center and Hunter College, respectively. Each of these has centered on the books these authors have recently published, but future chats may include non-book projects and works in progress.

The podcast itself is an evolving work in progress, and thanks to funding from John Jay’s Office for the Advancement of Research, it should see improvements and expansion in the coming year. Links to the audio interviews and more about the podcast can be found at indoorvoicespodcast.com.


November 2017

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Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 4:41pm

Anytime Printing station

At the end of the Spring semester, our systems staff installed a new print station and computer just outside the Library’s doors. This setup now allows students to access and print their papers even when the Library is closed. 

We first advertised this new service on Instagram, where students left comments like “Great idea!” and “Three thumbs up.” Since then, the Anytime Printing station has grown in popularity, particularly in the morning before our doors open. 

Our Anytime Printing station is part of the EZ Print Center initiative, launched by CLSS in 2009 to relieve long lines at labs’ print stations. Many thanks to CLSS and our systems staff for installing this new station!


November 2017

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Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 4:39pm

Two charger cables

While staplers remain high in demand, we have been expanding the range of supplies and accessories we offer at the Reference Desk. When the Library added additional group study rooms—equipped with white boards, large monitors with multiple HDMI hookups, and outlets—we started to provide students with dry-erase markers and adapters to connect their individual devices to the room’s projector.

After many a desperate request, we have also purchased a few phone chargers that have quickly become popular. All these items can now be checked out at the Reference and Circulation Desks for 3 hours at a time. 


November 2017

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Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 4:36pm

Ellen Belcher

In preparation for our upcoming exhibit, “Rogues Gallery: Forty Year Retrospective of Courtroom Art from Son of Sam to El Chapo” (Shiva Art Gallery, November 29 through February 2), I have been spending a lot of time with the Richard Tomlinson Collection of Courtroom Drawings. It strikes me that while many of us are familiar with courtroom drawings, we don’t know much about the process of courtroom artists.  

By Richard Tomlinson. An artist making a drawing in court.

As I reported previously in this newsletter (Spring 2012, p. 15), Richard Tomlinson worked as a courtroom artist for three decades. For quite a while, he worked covering New York City area trials full-time for Channel 5 WNEW news. He and other artists, working for other news outlets, would sit side by side, drawing boards in their laps at the front of the courtroom, surrounded by their art supplies, working quickly to capture all the action of the court proceedings within their allotted space on the courtroom bench.  Richard Tomlinson was well known for drawing in a small, confined area with a few materials in his pocket and a pair of binoculars next to him; others spread out onto every free area on the bench and floor. At the end of the proceedings, courtroom artists ran outside to waiting news photographers and cameramen, who would immediately shoot the drawings in natural light on the sidewalk. Other times, artists lugged their drawings to Midtown newsrooms on the subway (or sometimes by a speeding cab), where editors shuffled through them looking for the best shot to illustrate breaking news stories.  Now courtroom artists scan their drawings in their studios and email them to newsroom editors.  

Four sketches by Richard Tomlinson

Courtroom artists employ a range of materials to capture all the color, actions, and emotions of court proceedings quickly.  Sometimes the court appearance of defendants and witnesses is so brief that only a quick sketch can be accomplished, which is later colored in with details added from memory.   The paper has to be the right size and texture to capture and hold the action as well as the drawing media, and it must stand up to possible rough handling. Everyone develops their own distinctive style, which could change over time, or with each trial. While pastels and charcoal can be messy and easily smudged, they are by far the most used medium because of their ease of use in rendering quick, colorful, and expressive drawings.  Richard Tomlinson often did a charcoal sketch that he then filled in with colored oil crayon, pencils, or watercolor onto a thin, smooth—but very durable—vellum paper. Other artist materials include markers, pens, and gouache in any combination, all of which must correctly interface with the paper. 

While courtroom artists are dwindling in number due to the widespread introduction of cameras in the courtroom, the Special Collections has a growing collection of courtroom art, launched by the Richard Tomlinson Collection and now supplemented with gifts of the Elizabeth Williams Collection and Aggie Kenny Collection. Portions of all these collections will be on exhibit in the Shiva Art Gallery exhibit, opening on November 29. Examples from these collections will also soon also appear in our Digital Collections. 

A selection of resources on courtroom artists 

Church, M.. (2006). The art of justice: An eyewitness view of thirty infamous trials Philadelphia, Pa.: Quirk. Reserve (3 day loan)  NC953.8 .C47 A4 2006 

Dengrove, I. L. (1990). My days in court: unique views of the famous and infamous by a court artist. New York: Morrow. Stacks  NC 953.8 .D46 A2 1990 

 Hobman, P. (2015). Trial & image: Courtroom artists capture the colors and gestures of justice. ArtNews 115(2), 110-117. 

Library of Congress, Washington D.C. (2017). Drawing justice: The art of courtroom drawing.  Online exhibit.

Frost, Natasha. (August 2017). The dying art of courtroom illustration. Atlas Obscura Blog.

Williams, E.. (2014). The illustrated courtroom: 50 years of court art. Reserve (3 day loan) NC953.5 .U6 W54 2014 

November 2017

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Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 4:32pm

Maria Kiriakova

The Library’s monograph collection is multifaceted and reflects a variety of subjects that are hot topics in today’s mass media outlets. These passionately debated issues include race and ethnicity. Below are just a few examples of the books (in print and electronic format) that deal with the issue of being black in different parts of the world throughout history. See the location provided to find these materials in our library.

Six book covers

Aitken, R. (2015). Black Germany: The making and unmaking of a diaspora community, 1884-1960 (1st pbk ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stacks DD78 .B55 A48 2013

Alexandrov, V. (2013). The Black Russian. New York, NY: Atlantic Monthly Press. Stacks DK34 .B53 A43 2013

Campt, T. (2004). Other Germans: Black Germans and the politics of race, gender, and memory in the Third Reich (UPCC book collections on Project MUSE). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Stacks DD78 .B55 C36 2004 and also available in as an ebook, unlimited user access.

Chambers, E. (2017). Roots and Culture: Cultural politics in the making of Black Britain. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. Stacks DA125.N4 C39 2017

Dixon, K. & Burdick, J. (2012). Comparative Perspectives on Afro-Latin America. University Press of Florida. Available as an ebook, unlimited user access.

Earle, T. F., & Lowe, K. J. P. (2005). Black Africans in Renaissance Europe. New York: Cambridge University Press. Stacks D233.2 .B44 E26 2005

Hondius, D. (2014). Blackness in Western Europe: Racial patterns of paternalism and exclusion. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers. Stacks D1056.2 .B55 H66 2014

Marable, M. & Agard-Jones, V. (2008). Transnational Blackness: Navigating the global color line (1st ed., Critical Black studies series). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. Stacks and Reserve HT1581 .T73 2008 

Ramey, L. (2014). Black Legacies: Race and the European Middle Ages. Florida: University Press of Florida. Available as an ebook, unlimited user access.

Smith, C. A. (2016). Afro-Paradise: Blackness, violence, and performance in Brazil. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Available as an ebook, unlimited user access.

Trigos, L. A, Svobodny, N., Nepomnyashchy, C. (2006). Under the Sky of My Africa: Alexander Pushkin and blackness (Studies of the Harriman Institute). Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press. Stacks PG3358 .R33 U53 2006

Wyatt, Don J. (2011). Blacks of Premodern China. University of Pennsylvania Press. Available as an ebook, unlimited user access.

November 2017

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Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 4:25pm

Gaslight Lawyers coverMaria Kiriakova

Gaslight Lawyers: Criminal Trials & Exploits in Gilded Age New York by Richard H. Underwood was published this year by Shadelandhouse Modern Press in Lexington, Kentucky. The book was recently acquired by the Library (Stacks KF355.N4 U53 2017). It has an excellent bibliography, and many of the works cited are also available via the Sealy Library.

Professor Underwood did his research in the New York Public Library, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Library of Congress, among others, but he highlights the Lloyd Sealy Library’s trial transcripts collection in his acknowledgements—and he opens the book with a special dedication:

To John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Lloyd Sealy Library, with a special tribute to librarians Ellen Belcher, Ellen Sexton, and Bonnie Nelson

November 2017

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Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 4:20pm

Maria Kiriakova

Several books to the left and right of Blue On Blue

Most people like browsing shelves in a bookstore. You walk through a certain section (Mystery or Cooking) and then just let your eyes wander from title to title, lost in time. In an academic library, there are no labels for such sections, but you can still browse books in a certain area of knowledge using the call number system. Books that have call numbers starting with B, for example, will deal with philosophy and psychology; HV represents criminal justice; and Z stands for library science. You can browse the whole Library of Congress Classification Outline (the one the majority of the American academic libraries use).

Reference librarians often suggest to students who are looking for books on a particular topic to find one book in the catalog that fits their topic, then find it on the shelves and browse the area for more titles that might address the same issue. Now the library discovery tool OneSearch allows users to virtually browse library bookshelves to see books arranged by call number and represented visually by book covers—similar to browsing in one’s favorite bookstore.

For example, say you found a great title on police corruption in OneSearch, Blue on Blue: An Insider’s Story of Good Cop Catching Bad Cop. The book's record page shows detailed information about the author, publisher, table of contents, subject headings, call number. By scrolling to the bottom of this screen (as in the screenshot above), you will see the images of various book covers to the left and right of Blue on Blue, all with call numbers beginning with HV 7911.

November 2017

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Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 4:18pm

Strokes of Genius: A History of Swimming cover

Maria Kiriakova

It is always interesting to observe how books are published in waves. One year, many books are published on the topic of cleaning, for example, while another year Internet security sees a surge of publications. Surprisingly, the year of 2017 brought two books on the history of swimming that the library acquired.

In Strokes of Genius: A History of Swimming that was just published by Reaktion Books in London, Eric Chaline researches how swimming contributed to the evolution of species and surveys this art of human movement from prehistory to the current era. The author looks at swimming not just as a sport, but also as a part of religious, military, and medical history. You can find this book in the Stacks, GV836.4 .C43 2017.

Swell: A Water biography cover

The other book is Swell: A Waterbiography by Jenny Landreth (Bloomsbury Publishing). It is a fascinating account of societal norms prescribed for swimmers of different genders in the last two centuries. You can read the whole story of the “swimming suffragettes” who liberated swimming for women by picking up the book from the Stacks, GV837.5 .L36 2017.

November 2017

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Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 4:14pm

Recently acquired by the Media Department

Ellen Sexton

Timbuktu poster

Timbuktu  DVD 1480  a 2014 French-Mauritanian drama film directed by Abderrahmane Sissako, telling the story of an occupation of Timbuktu by Islamic militants, as experienced by one small family.

Woman in gold poster

Woman in gold DVD 1481  An elderly Jewish woman fights a legal battle to recover a Klimt painting stolen from her family by Nazis.  

Waltz with Bashir promotional image

Waltz with Bashir  DVD 1473  Animated autobiographical account of the 1982 Lebanon war and massacres at Sabra and Shatila.

Touching the void.  DVD 1479  Feature film on surviving a climbing accident in the Peruvian Andes. 

La jaula de oro [the golden dream] DVD 1471 Director Quemada-Díez, 2013, social-realist drama of Guatemalan teenagers travelling through Mexico to the United States.

Billy Budd  (Peter Ustinov, 1962).  DVD 1478

Juno  DVD 1470

Alien quadrilogy: Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, Alien Resurrection.     DVD 1472 

High school.  2010.  “What could possibly go wrong when you steal a psycho drug dealer's stash to get the whole school high?”   DVD 1474 

Kiss me deadly (Mike Hammer investigates the murder of a mysterious blonde; classic film noir from 1955).  DVD 1475

Murder in Coweta county  True-crime story set in 1948 rural Georgia.   DVD 1463

Looking to assign a DVD to your class? We recommend requesting DVDs for in-class viewing in advance.

For viewing outside of class, students may request a DVD by call number (e.g., DVD 1477) at the Circulation Desk. They may view it in the library with headphones or in the Media Viewing Room (seats 6), but cannot take it out of the library.

November 2017

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Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 4:11pm

Recently acquired by the Media Department

Ellen Sexton

Free CeCe cover

Free CeCE  (DVD 1482) An African American trans-woman’s experiences of violence, incarceration, and activism highlights transphobia, racism and the everyday dangers faced by transgender people. 

Windmill photo

Marathon for justice (streaming plus DVD 1485)  Environmental justice is explored around the themes of air, water and land in this documentary; activists in Philadelphia protesting industrial air pollution, Navajo people coping with water poisoned by uranium mining, and Lakota in the Black Hills struggling for reimbursement for land stolen from them by the United States.

Festival au desert photo

Last song before the war (DVD 1484)  The 2011 music Festival au Desert in northern Mali. 

Untouchable cover

Untouchable  (DVD 1483)  Ex-Bronx Defender David Feige’s 2016 documentary explores issues surrounding child sexual abuse and the restrictions placed on registered sex offenders.  It won the new documentary director award at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. 

Capitalism, in six episodes. Streaming from Icarus Films on the Docuseek2 platform:

Inside the criminal mind (30 documentary episodes, directed by Ron Meyer).   DVD 1476 

National Gallery Director Frederick Wiseman, 2014.   DVD 1469

You’ve been trumped  DVD 1464

Brotherhood: life in the FDNY  DVD 1465

Burn: One year on the front lines of the battle to save Detroit   DVD 1466

Too hot for Burn (more Detroit firefighting)  DVD 1468

Incarcerating US  DVD 1467   Also available streaming on Docuseek2 platform.

The brainwashing of my Dad  DVD 1461

National Gallery Frederick Wiseman documentary, 2014.   DVD 1469

A good job: stories of the FDNY DVD 1462

American teen Five Indiana high school students tell what it is really like. DVD 1477

Looking to assign a DVD to your class? We recommend requesting DVDs for in-class viewing in advance.

For viewing outside of class, students may request a DVD by call number (e.g., DVD 1477) at the Circulation Desk. They may view it in the library with headphones or in the Media Viewing Room (seats 6), but cannot take it out of the library.

November 2017

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Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 4:04pm