Library News Blog
We are proud to announce the launch of the Lloyd Sealy Library Digital Collections. Our rich digitized resources are a boon to researchers, instructors, students, and the general public. From 1930s Sing Sing mug shots to photographs from NYPD history to exclusive oral history interviews with major figures in criminal justice, our digital collections are freely available to the public and include many public domain images. Presented here are highlights from each of the collections we feature online.
Browse through the collections yourself at dc.lib.jjay.cuny.edu!
Justice in New York: An Oral History stretches across more than half a century, from the 1950s to the 2010s. Those years saw an unprecedented rise in social unrest and violent crime in the city, and then an equally dramatic drop in crime and disorder. If the interviews have an overarching theme, it is how the city—the police, courts, elected officials, and advocates—addressed and overcame those challenges. These men and women were actors in that drama, and their narratives stand on their own. The truth or mendacity of the story is for the reader to assess.
The images in this collection portray arrested crime suspects, their rap sheets, crime scenes and crime investigation, dating from 1940–1945 and located mainly in Brooklyn. Burton Turkus (1902–1982) collected and created these documents while he was a Assistant District Attorney and Chief of the Homicide Division in the Office of the District Attorney, Kings County (Brooklyn), 1940–1945. During this time, he investigated and prosecuted key members of the organized crime syndicate based in Brownsville, Brooklyn that came to be known as Murder, Inc.
Policemen guarding children on public skating ponds
The photographs and images in this collection are selected from the New York Police Department's annual reports issued from 1912 to 1923. The full annual reports are held in Lloyd Sealy Library and have been fully digitized. They include crime statistics, events in the history of the NYPD, and descriptions of city policy. Each image record includes the link to the source report.
Photograph of Sing Sing baseball team with trophies
The images are of items collected by Lewis E. Lawes while Warden of Sing Sing between 1920–1941. Most are photographs taken in and around Sing Sing and illustrate the prison, its inmates and officers, and Lawes himself. Included are photographs of death row inmates executed at Sing Sing, some dating from before 1920.
Mother Teresa at John Jay College of Criminal Justice for the 23rd Commencement
The John Jay College Archives are part of the Special Collections of the Lloyd Sealy Library. The archives holds a wide variety of material such as correspondence, reports, studies, newspapers, newsletters, brochures, college yearbooks, bulletins, audiotapes, videotapes, photographs, and architectural plans. Some of these materials are presented in this online collection.
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 6:26pm
Top: A little journey to the home of Jac Auer. Bottom: papers of retired NYPD Assistant Commissioner Philip McGuire.
We recently came across two beautifully illustrated works which came to us with the Helpern Library, a large collection of books that was de-acquisitioned by the NYC Health Department.
In the last decade of the 19th century, a successful industrialist, Elbert Hubbard, inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement, founded a community of artisans in upstate New York, the Roycrofters. These woodworkers, artists, printers and bookbinders explored organic, naturalistic visions of the world. Hubbard’s 1915 account of a celebrity physical fitness promoter, A little journey to the home of Jac Auer, was one of a series of Little journeys published by their small print press. Hubbard himself died later that year in the sinking of the Lusitania. A digitized copy of a variant edition can be read on HathiTrust. Our copy is printed on watermarked paper, bound in suede, illustrated with graphics in red and black inks, with black and white photographs.
On the other side of the Atlantic, after the Great War, Dr. Fritz Kahn was accompanying his popular science works with extraordinary machine-inspired biomedical illustrations. Best known perhaps is his 1926 poster of the human body as a chemical plant, Der Mensch als Industriepalast (Man as Industrial Palace). While we do not have the good fortune of owning that wonderful item, we do now have some of his illustrations in a 1926 English translation of his popular science booklet, The Cell. Kahn originally published the booklet in Stuttgart in 1919, as part of the Cosmos series. The paper of our copy is quite brittle and can be handled only with great care. Happily the same illustrations can be seen risk-free in a digitized copy of the original German print on Project Gutenberg.
Just arrived in the archives are the papers of retired NYPD Assistant Commissioner Philip McGuire. McGuire’s professional interests at the NYPD included the use of information systems for crime analysis. The collection has not yet been processed, but we believe his records are likely to provide a unique look at the development of computerized crime mapping. We hope to make the collection available to researchers this summer. Shown here is a 1970s dot-matrix print-out showing a crime map of the area around City College.
We have also acquired an early American edition of Beccaria’s Essay on Crimes and Punishments, published by R. Bell in Philadelphia in 1778, bound in its original sheepskin.
Ellen Sexton is the Interim Special Collections Librarian.
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 6:13pm
Faculty favorites: wherein faculty share a favorite book with the rest of us.
Carmen Solis, SEEK Department
Bonilla-Silva, E. (2014). 4th ed. Racism without racists: color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in America. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield.
Bonilla-Silva, a sociologist at Duke University, brings to light issues of color-blind ideologies and how those become ways to implement racist strategies. He helps one to see things like language context and story lines in color-blind dramas very differently. The analysis teaches one a lot.
The third edition is available on textbook reserve and in the library stacks: E184.A1 B597 2010
James Cauthen, Chair, Political Science Department
Kuhn, T. S. (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Originally published in 1962, I first read this book on the history of science as a graduate student almost 20 years ago and I still think about it today. Its biggest impact on me was Kuhn’s view that scientific advancement is not incremental and linear, but rather through a series of revolutions. These revolutions come about after “puzzle-solving” within a dominant paradigm reveals weaknesses in the paradigm, leading to revolution and a new paradigm. Although Kuhn was a physicist who later focused on the history and philosophy of science, his work has application in the social sciences and beyond. Whenever you hear the phrase “paradigm shift,” you can thank Thomas Kuhn.
Available in the library stacks: Q175.K95 1970
Comments solicited by Janice Dunham.
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 6:08pm
The Library maintains an impressive collection of video materials in the form of DVDs, VHS, and streaming video. We circulate materials mostly among John Jay College faculty and students but sometimes also lend them to other CUNY schools after making special arrangements. To ensure that a video will be available for your class, please make reservations in advance. Students are allowed to use the DVD/VHS collection in-library only. We have refurbished our media room on the ground floor of the Library and a small group of students (up to 8 people) can have a viewing there.
We welcome suggestions from the faculty for future purchases. In the meantime, browse through the list of the latest video acquisitions. Descriptions are followed by the videos’ call numbers.
In American Drug War 2: Cannabis Destiny (DVD, 90 minutes) director Kevin Booth navigates through the cutting edge of cannabis research while becoming a foster parent to a child who is court ordered to take powerful, mind-altering drugs. This film uncovers the true profit motives that continue to keep marijuana inside the black market. DVD - 1280
Based on the international bestseller, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is both a gripping thriller and a fascinating look at the post-9/11 world. An interview between an American journalist and a Pakistani professor forms the spine of Mira Nair's sociopolitical character study. DVD - 1262
Dirty Wars tells about the dirty little secret of the War on Terror: all bets are off, and almost anything goes. The rules of the game and of engagement have fundamentally changed. Today drone strikes, night raids, and U.S. government targeted killings occur in corners across the globe, killing untold numbers of civilians. Investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill traces the rise of the Joint Special Operations Command, the most secret fighting force in U.S. history. DVD - 1264
When people think about World War II, wondering what it meant for the fate of museum-quality art is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Yet as the documentary The Rape Of Europa demonstrates, this is a surprisingly vast and involving topic. Written, produced and directed by Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen and Nicole Newnham and based on the authoritative book of the same name by Lynn H. Nicholas. DVD - 1261
Aileen: Life & Death of a Serial Killer. Nick Broomfield explores the life of Aileen Wuornos, the prostitute executed in Florida for killing six men. Includes examinations of her childhood, testimony at her trial by Broomfield, and a chilling speech by Wuornos herself. DVD - 240
Aileen Wurnos: The Selling of a Serial Killer. A twisted tale of murder, alleged police corruption and conniving opportunists that tracks the sensational trial and conviction of "America's First Female Serial Killer." DVD – 1299 & VHS - 995
Most Evil: The Serial Killer Matrix (3 discs). What drives someone to kill? Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Stone explores the answer to this mystery and much more with his groundbreaking ’index of depravity’ that decodes the killer’s mind, method, and motive. DVD - 1295
Killers Among Us - Portraits in Evil: 4 Disc Box Set - 20 Part Series: America's Serial Killers; Includes Columbine High School & Virginia Tech Massacre. DVD - 1297
Ted Bundy. Who was he? How was his serial killer personality formed? And how did he keep his violent nature hidden? Interviews with prosecutors, detectives, psychiatrists, forensic scientists, and Bundy's neighbors and classmates to seek answers. DVD - 1300
Twilight: Los Angeles. On March 3, 1991, an African-American man was brutally beaten by four white Los Angeles police officers who stopped him for speeding. On April 29, 1992, when the jury's "not guilty" verdict dismissed the officers on trial for the assault, the city ignited into three days of rioting, looting and violence that left neighborhoods smoldering. Twilight: Los Angeles, adapted from Anna Deavere Smith's searing one-woman play, captures this tumultuous and challenging moment in America's race relations. VHS - 1858
The Child Cases. Correspondent A.C. Thompson unearths more than 20 child death cases in which people were jailed on medical evidence that was later found unreliable. Are death investigators being properly trained for child cases? DVD - 1306
The Suicide Tourist. Do we have the right to end our lives if life itself becomes unbearable, or we are terminally ill? With unique access to Dignitas, the Swiss non-profit that has helped over one thousand people die, filmmaker John Zaritsky offers a revealing look at two couples facing the most difficult decision of their lives. DVD - 1304
Wikisecrets. Behind the leaking of more than half-a-million classified documents on the Wikileaks website stand two very different men: Julian Assange, the Internet activist and hacker who published the documents, and an Army intelligence analyst named Bradley E. Manning. DVD - 1305
Opium Brides and the Secret War. Award-winning Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi reports on the harrowing story of families torn apart and the collateral damage of the counter-narcotics effort in Afghanistan. DVD - 1303
New York Street Games captures a special time in American history. From Boxball to Ring-o-leavio to Skully, the film addresses the social and cultural importance of these games and the sense of community they engendered. DVD - 1302
The Central Park Five tells the story of a horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice. DVD - 1210
Maria Kiriakova, Interim Media Librarian (email@example.com)
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 6:04pm
In the words of Victoria Law, the editor, our recently acquired zine* series is “a collection of articles, essays, poetry and art by formerly and currently incarcerated women across the United States. Their works cover subjects like the health care (or lack of health care) system, being HIV-positive inside prison, trying to get an education while in prison, sexual harassment by prison staff and general prison conditions, and giving up children for adoption—in the U.S., if a child is in foster care for 15 of the past 22 months, the state automatically terminates the parent’s legal rights. Many women in prison have sentences far exceeding 15 months and the majority of them were single parents before entering prison” (Tenacious, 2009).
Law founded Tenacious in 2003 in response to a request from incarcerated women in Oregon who could find no outlet for their work. It is produced in print format only. As access to the internet is extremely limited within prisons, an “open access” publishing model would be of no benefit whatsoever to the majority of the zine’s incarcerated readers. Law handles distribution herself, mailing issues to women prisoners free of charge, and covering her costs by asking readers on the outside to pay $3 per issue.
*What’s a zine? It’s a DIY-style publication of original work, usually with a small circulation.
- Tenacious: Art and writing from women in prison: An interview with Vikki Law from New York, United States. 2/13/2009.
- Law, Victoria. (2007). Incarcerated women create their own media (available online to John Jay community). Off our backs 37(1): 37-42.
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 5:58pm
Obasgogie, Osagie K. Blinded by sight : seeing race through the eyes of the blind. Stanford, CA. : Stanford Law Books, 2014. E184.A1 O19 2014
Goodwin, Doris Kearns. The bully pulpit : Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of journalism. New York : Simon & Schuster, 2013. E757.G66 2013b
Gates, Robert M. Duty : memoirs of a Secretary at war. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2014. E897.4.G37 A3 2014
Varga, Joseph J. Hell’s Kitchen and the battle for urban space : class struggle and progressive reform in New York City, 1894-1914. New York : Monthly Review Press, c2013. F128.68.H45 V37 2013
Trimbur, Lucia. Come out swinging : the changing world of boxing in Gleason’s gym. Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2013. GV1125 .T75 2013
LeBor, Adam. Tower of Basel : the shadowy history of the secret bank that runs the world. New York : Public Affairs, c2013. HG3881.5.B38 L43 2013
Reavill, Gil. Mafia summit : J. Edgar Hoover, the Kennedy brothers, and the meeting that unmasked the mob. New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2013. HV6446 .R43 2013
Levin, Yuval. The great debate : Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the birth of right and left. New York : Basic Books, 2014. JK275 .L5 2014
Ripley, Amanda. The smartest kids in the world: and how they got that way. New York : Simon & Schuster, 2013. LB43 .R625 2013
Dawkins, Marcia Alesan. Eminem: the real Slim Shady. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2013. ML420.E56 D38 2013
Shteyngart, Gary. Little failure: a memoir. New York: Random House, 2014. PS3619.H79 Z46 2014
Epstein, David J. The sports gene: inside the science of extraordinary athletic performance. New York: Current, 2013. RC1235.E58 2013
Clarke, Robert Connell. Cannabis: evolution and ethnobotany. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013. SB295.C35 C54 2013
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 5:55pm
Professors and students discussing research
On March 10, more than 30 students attended a session on Research Across Majors. A part of the Majors & Minors campaign, this student-faculty lunch was co-organized by Shelley Germana from SASP and Marta Bladek from the Library, who received the Faculty Student Engagement grant to provide pizza and refreshments. John Jay faculty, Professors Teresa Booker (Africana Studies), Ric Curtis (Anthropology), Samantha Majic (Political Science) and Dante Tawfeeq (Mathematics and Computer Science) shared their thoughts on doing research in and beyond the disciplines. Students deciding on a major or minor learned how research and its methods differ across fields and how the research skills they hone in college relate to their lives as aspiring professionals, engaged community members, and everyday consumers of information.
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 5:49pm
Photo: Reception for the Brownsville Boys exhibit
Associate Dean and Chief Librarian Larry E. Sullivan published the book The Brownsville Boys: Jewish Gangsters of Murder, Inc. (library record) in December 2013 with the Two Ponds Press. The book, with all its plates, framed, is on exhibition in the President’s Gallery through May 30 and was featured in the New York Times on March 20. His co-authored (with Brenda Vogel) article, “Reachin’ Behind Bars: Library Outreach to Prisoners, 1798-2000,” first published in 2003 and then again in 2009, has been reprinted in John Kleinig and Charles Sturts’ edited volume Prisoners’ Rights (Ashgate 2014). In January, Sullivan spoke on the importance of Special Collections for criminal justice libraries at the American Librarian Association Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the recently published (April 2014) Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Annual: Global Perspectives (library record), to which Ellen Sexton and Maria Kiriakova contributed articles.
In January, Marta Bladek presented a paper, “From Russia, with Ambivalence: Young Women Immigrants in Recent Russian American Fiction” at the annual Modern Language Association convention in Chicago. She wrote about “DORA: The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment” for the Scholarly Communication Column in College & Research Libraries News (75.4:191-93). With Karen Okamoto, she published “What’s Theory Got to Do with It? Applying Educational Theory and Research to Revamp Freshman Library Workshops” in College & Undergraduate Libraries (21.1:19-36).
Robin Davis presented “Mug Shots, Rap Sheets, & Oral Histories: Building the Digital Collections at John Jay” in January at at METROcon, the annual conference of the Metropolitan New York Library Council. With Marta Bladek, she presented a poster, “Murder Mystery Challenge!”, at the CUNY games festival in January.
Janice Dunham reviewed the following titles for Library Journal: Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability, Vols 7-10 [Country Studies] (6/1/2013, p.136) and The Pocket Legal Guide to Patents (4/1/2014, p.110).
Jeffrey Kroessler published “Beyond the Bridge: the Unfinished Staten Island Parkways of Robert Moses and the Preservation of the Greenbelt” in New York History (Winter/Spring 2013) and “Preserving the Historic Garden Suburb: Case Studies from London and New York” in Suburban Sustainability (2.1 2014). He also had op-eds published in the New York Observer and the Daily News in defense of historic preservation in New York. Justice in New York: An Oral History, in which he interviewed major figures in criminal justice, is now published online in full in the Lloyd Sealy Library Digital Collections.
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 5:45pm
On February 19, 2014, the College commemorated the 30th anniversary of the appointment of Benjamin Ward as the first African American New York City Police Commissioner. This was marked by a special Lloyd Sealy colloquium, moderated by Sam Roberts of the New York Times, with panelists David Scott, former chief of department at the NYPD, Herbert Sturz of the Vera Institute, and Martin Horn of John Jay College. It was preceded by opening remarks by New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton, President Jeremy Travis, Chief Librarian Larry E. Sullivan, noble’s Vice President Gregory Thomas, and Mary Ward-Markane, the daughter of Benjamin Ward. Larry E. Sullivan highlighted the Benjamin Ward Papers, a collection first donated to the Library in 2009 and later expanded in 2011 and 2012. A selection of these materials was exhibited, including letters to Ward from Governor Carey, Mayors Lindsay and Koch, commemorative photo albums of noble and NAACP events, and numerous photographs of Ward at different stages of his illustrious career. Apart from correspondence, photographs, articles and speeches by Ward, the Benjamin Ward Papers include the manuscript of Ward’s memoir Top Cop and a transcript of an interview with Ward by the Columbia University Oral History Office. Benjamin Ward, it must be recalled, assumed command of the NYPD during a period of heightened crime which he confronted with a vigorous campaign of drug-, prostitution- and gambling-related arrests. He came to national attention for his emphasis on community policing, which at the time was embraced across the country as a better approach to policing. His career was not without controversy as evidenced in the notorious 1988 Tompkins Park Square Riot that took place under his watch as Commissioner and his handling of a highly charged 1972 Harlem Mosque incident that occurred while he was the Deputy Commissioner of Community Affairs.
A selection of the Benjamin Ward Papers remains on display in the Niederhoffer Lounge of the Library.
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 5:42pm
Opium “does more honour to medicine to any other remedy whatever.” Charles Alston, professor of Botany and Materia Medica at Edinburgh University, wrote this statement in a 1742 article. Alston was the first person in England to grow poppies for his experiments and lauded in print all the beneficial effects of the flower. He did not, however, mention its addictive properties. A fellow Edinbourgeois, the surgeon Charles Young wrote one of the first treatises on opium partly in response to Alston’s uncritical praise of the drug. In the preface to his 1743 Treatise on Opium, Young said that “opium is a poison by which great numbers are daily destroyed.” Although Young was correct in his mention of opiate addiction, it didn’t stop him from using it or prescribing it to treat coughing, diarrhea, toothache, prolapsed hemorrhoids, and many other ailments. Most particularly, he advocated opium to alleviate “lowness of Spirits” and melancholia. Indeed so.
Young was an outstanding surgeon during the period of the Scottish Enlightenment. He was the only surgeon elected to the prestigious and very intellectual Ranken Club. He did not have a medical degree, but that was not unusual at the time. His medical practice and his philosophy were based in empiricism, which should be expected of a contemporary of David Hume. This empirical viewpoint is illustrated in the title of the book, where Young says his study is “founded Upon Practical Observations.”
The Sealy Library recently acquired Young’s important treatise on a drug used and abused for centuries. John Jay is one of three libraries in New York City to own this book, and the only non-medical library. Once again, we must emphasize the importance of such historical works to the study of our discipline.
Larry E. Sullivan, Chief Librarian
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 5:38pm