Library News Blog
The daily life and travails of a Boston department store detective
Jordan and Marsh began as a department store dealing with “high end” clients in the 1860s in Boston’s downtown shopping and financial district, not far from the Faneuil Marketplace of today. In 1923, Lawrence Schofield, store detective for the store, wrote in his daily diary that “Frances Wilson was in the store and was identified [as] the girl caught on the London account…” Shortly after that entry he wrote, “Got Wilson in coat room. Confessed.” This laconic entry is typical, and we can only wonder how long Frances Wilson took to confess her crime. But what crime exactly did she confess to?
Jordan and Marsh had implemented a credit system by the early 1920s and many of these diary entries were related to the fraudulent misuse of credit accounts. This type of fraud was apparently what Frances Wilson committed. In addition, since Jordan and Marsh marketed a growing number of beauty products, clothes, and other items aimed at women, we are not surprised that the shoplifters are in this demographic. A high number of “girls” were caught for shoplifting, not paying their accounts, or using somebody else’s account number. Latest published research, especially on the large department stores in New York and Chicago, also illustrates the rise in the number of middle-class women shoplifters and the department stores’ problems in dealing with detection of “inventory shrinkage” and the bad publicity of arresting “respectable” middle class women.
Without modern surveillance cameras and the like, store detectives during this period were critical for limiting shoplifting and the misuse of credit accounts. Mr. Schofield’s diary, photographed on the cover, gives a detailed listing of his daily activities, from his leaving for work to his store patrols. Sources for the detection of the growing increase in department store theft rarely include a store detective’s private diary. This important, unique item sheds light on private law enforcement techniques from the early twentieth century. We were very pleased that the Sealy Library acquired this manuscript diary over the summer. It is another example of the comprehensive collecting policy of criminal justice resources that keeps the Sealy Library the outstanding research library in our mission fields.
Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 4:33pm
Ta-Nehisi Coates, the author of Between the World and Me (winner of the National Book Award), talked about books he recommended reading at a public event in 2015 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York Public Library).
Many of the books he mentioned are available here at the Lloyd Sealy Library, and all are available through CUNY libraries. They are listed here with their call numbers and/or links to their pages in OneSearch.
- Collected Essays by James Baldwin (in particular, "The Fire Next Time")
- Stacks PS 3552 .A45 A16 1998 (OneSearch record)
- The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life, His Own by David Carr
- Stacks HV5805 .C356 A3 2008 (OneSearch record)
The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist
Stacks E441 .B337 2014 (OneSearch record)
Battle Cry of Freedom: The Era of the Civil War by James McPherson
Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago, 1940-1960 by Arnold R. Hirsch
Stacks HD 7288.72 .U52 C454 1983 (OneSearch record)
Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America by Beryl Satter
Available at York College, Baruch College, and 9 other CUNY libraries (OneSearch record)
"Confederate States of America — Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union"
Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court nomination That Changed America by Wil Haygood
Available at Hunter College, Baruch College, and 8 other CUNY libraries (OneSearch record)
American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia by Edmund S. Morgan
Available at Queens College and other CUNY libraries (OneSearch record)
Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life by Karen E. Fields and Barbara J. Fields
Available at BMCC and 3 other CUNY libraries (OneSearch record)
When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America by Paula Giddings
Stacks E185.86 .G49 1984 (OneSearch record)
Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign against Lynching by Paula J. Giddings
Stacks E185.97 .W55 G53 2008 (OneSearch record)
Out of the House of Bondage: The Transformation of the Plantation Household by Thavolia Glymph
Available at Medgar Evers and 5 other CUNY libraries (OneSearch record)
August 22, 2017
Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 4:04pm
The Library now offers Apple and Android chargers as well as a surge protector, all available for 3-hour checkouts.
To check out a charger, you'll need a library barcode on the back of your John Jay ID card. Just ask for a barcode at the Circulation Desk downstairs if you don't already have one. (What does the barcode do?)
The Lightning (iPhone/iPad) and Micro-USB (Android) chargers are available at the Reserve Desk on the Library's lower level and at the Reference Desk on the upper level.
USB-C (Android) chargers are also available at the charging table on the upper level, located near the scanners.
Happy charging! ⚡
Related: Where can I plug in?
Posted Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 4:02pm
The Lloyd Sealy Library launched an updated look for the website on August 7, 2017. We have refreshed the color scheme, improved mobile responsiveness, increased accessibility, and simplified the main search box. Once the semester is underway, you'll also see an interactive "Chat with a librarian" box on the homepage during chat reference hours.
A "Preview" site was available for public testing and feedback for two weeks prior to the launch. The website's new look was also tested for usability with 19 John Jay students in Spring 2017.
Think something's missing? Have a comment or critique? Let us know what you think! We value your comments:
About the search box: The biggest change is the search box on the home page. We have simplified this search box to make finding library materials even faster and easier using OneSearch, based on the data we collected in a usability study. All search options, including CUNY+, are still available. (More about OneSearch.)
Another important update: OneSearch also has a new look in time for Fall 2017, courtesy of CUNY's Office of Library Services. John Jay implemented the new user interface on August 21, 2017.
We value all feedback about the library website from library users! Feedback form (anonymous) »
Website contact: Robin Davis, Emerging Technologies & Online Learning Librarian, Library Web Committee chair
Posted Monday, August 7, 2017 - 10:34am
"Hot off the press!" Read the most recent reports from CQ Researcher featuring issues faced by the world today.
CQ Researcher explores a single hot issue in the news in depth each week. Topics range from social issues to environment, health, education, and science/technology. Reports on international topics such as torture, nationalization of energy resources, and peacekeeping around the world are also featured. We have access to coverage from 1923 to the present.
Hot topics in CQ Researcher
- Animal Rights
- Climate Change
- College Athletics
- Crime and Policing
- Death Penalty
- Drug Abuse
- Education Policy
- Free Trade
- Gun Control
- Health Care Reform
- International Affairs
- Internet and Technology
- LGBT Rights
- Marijuana Legalization
- Student Debt
July 24, 2017
Posted Monday, July 24, 2017 - 2:44pm
We are happy to present a new database: Foreign Policy magazine, covering 1970 to present and its website. FP focuses on leading global issues in national security, technology, markets, and energy & resources.
Screenshot of FP
Posted Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 11:23am
This archive contains manuscripts, books, broadsheets, and periodicals from 1790–1920. The collection covers Europe, North America, India and the Antipodes. It includes raw data about crime, its solutions, and the popular response.
Screenshot of database
Posted Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 11:20am
We have purchased an outstanding collection of streaming video content in which criminologists describe their research in a way that is accessible to undergraduates. We have Meda Chesney-Lind talking about feminist criminology and abortion law, Robert Agnew on general strain theory, Joan Petersilia, Terrie Moffitt and many other active researchers describing their work, and other core criminal justice ideas. Students can see and hear e.g. a forensic anthropologist explaining how she identifies victims at mass crime scenes. Racial disparities, crime mapping, research methods, transnational crime, and the criminal investigation process are some of the many topics covered. Some films take us inside forensics labs, correctional facilities, and court rooms. Others show case studies, and/or connect research to policy and practice. In a few of the shorter clips, people working within the criminal justice system talk about their careers.
We hope these virtual guest speakers will be memorable for students, and help them see connections between what they are learning and the practice of research.
The collection consists of over 120 hours of film, with lectures from the University of Essex, documentaries from Passion River, the BBC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Intelecom Learning, Twofour Tights, and interviews with researchers created by OHCP. All videos are tagged with a type label; lecture, tutorial, interview, documentary, video case, in practice, or key note. Each video and video segment in the collection has been assigned a persistent URL. Users can create their own clips with unique URLs for sharing with students via Blackboard, email, etc. Rolling text transcripts accompany each video. The videos are housed on the Sage Knowledge platform, which also includes reference book content from Sage and CQ Press. Users can conduct a single search across the platform to discover both video and text content; and some cross linking connects the two. We have purchased access to the collection in perpetuity.
Show a clip during class time, or assign as homework to reinforce the concepts introduced during the day! Flip the classroom and assign a video for students to watch at home before a class discussion or exercise. Or challenge students to find a relevant clip or screenshot to embed in their e-portfolio, PowerPoint or Prezi presentation.
Please see our Media guide for more about the Library's collections of documentaries, feature films, training films, and more, in streaming and DVD formats. Please contact the librarian responsible for media, Ellen Sexton, with questions, comments, acquisition suggestions.
Posted Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 3:00pm
By Ellen Belcher
Image: Double page spread of Souvenir Photo Album of the Rouckavishnikov Correctional Institution for Young Offenders. Showing young offenders with equipment for shoe-making and black-smithing.
Criminal justice, broadly defined
The Special Collections has recently acquired a number of new pamphlets and other publications, following our mission to collect broadly and deeply on the topic of criminal justice, broadly defined. The selected titles listed below (organized by date of publication) illustrate very well how broadly criminal justice is defined in our collecting. Many of them record divergent opinions of the causes and solutions for criminal behavior; others record grisly crimes and murders (see image below). We acquired an early publication on fire suppression, as well as a few titles on reform and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders (see image above). All of these are available in our Special Collections Room by appointment, and some of them are available digitally on various platforms. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to read any of these.
Image: Life and confession of Reuben A. Dunbar, convicted and executed for the murder of Stephen V. and David L. Lester (aged 8 and 10 years). Page 24.
1564, Pius IV (Pope). A papal brief on homicide [in Latin]
1784, Edinburgh. Young. Observations upon fire: with a view to the best and most expeditious methods of extinguishing it, upon a new plan, with or without water.
1808, London(?). A comparative statement of the number of criminal offenders committed to several gaols in England and Wales…
1842, Boston. Sue(?) Fialto, or The chain of crime: a tale of guilt and passion. PQ2446 .M32 1843
1847, London. Neilson. Statistics of crime in England and Wales for the years 1834–1844.
1851, Albany. Life and confession of Reuben A. Dunbar, convicted and executed for the murder of Stephen V. and David L. Lester, (aged 8 and 10 years,) in Westerlo, Albany County, September 20, 1850. See image at right.
1853, Philadelphia. Opinion of Horace Binney, Esq., upon the jurisdiction of the coroner. KFP526 .C65 B565 1853
1858, London. Reformatories and ragged schools: Their comparative economy: A paper read Thursday, October 13, 1858.
1870, New York. The Third Annual Report of the Midnight Mission.
1871, Tallack. Humanity and humanitarianism: with special reference to the prison systems of Great Britain and the United States, the question of criminal lunacy, and capital punishment. HV8982 .T3
1876, Tatlock. The church’s duty in reference to the criminal classes: a sermon preached in St. John’s Church, Stamford, in aid of the Stamford Association Auxiliary to the Prisoners Friends’ Corporation of Connecticut. BV4464.7 .T38 1876
1886, Boston. Stetson. Literacy and crime in Massachusetts; and, the necessity for moral and industrial training in the public schools. HV6166 .S74 1886
1890, Moscow. Photographie Française. Souvenir de la Visite de Mrs les Members de IV Congrès Pénitentiaire International de St. Petersbourg, Asile Urbain Roukavichnikoff á Moscou. [Souvenir Photo Album of the Rouckavishnikov Correctional Institution for Young Offenders. Distributed at the IV Congrès Pénitentiaire International, St. Petersburg] See image at top of page
1900, Gettysburg, PA. How to Hypnotize in Court and Jury-Memory Systems-Fluency of Mind, Tongue and Pen.
1908, London. Hollander. Crime and responsibility: Presidential address delivered before the Ethological Society. HV6028 .H64 1908
1916, Stearns. What recent investigations have shown to be the relation between mental defect and crime.
1924, Chicago. Yarrow. William Hale Thompson and certain stag party. HQ146 .C4 Y37 1924
Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter
Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 4:36pm
By Karen Okamoto
GrantForward is an extensive database of funding opportunities from over 9000 sponsors including government, foundations, academic institutions and corporations. The Library’s one year subscription to GrantForward provided by CUNY Central, valid until the end of 2017, allows you to search for opportunities and save them in a personal account or profile. New users must use their John Jay email address to register for a free institutional account. By registering for an account, you can save your grant searches and create alerts for new funding opportunities. Once you create your profile, GrantForward will suggest funding sources that match your areas of research. You can manually enter your research areas into your profile or you can upload a CV or list a webpage containing your publications and GrantForward will automatically generate a list of recommended funding opportunities. As an added social media-type feature, you can conduct a profile search to find other researchers registered with GrantForward who share similar research interests.
GrantForward provides advanced search filters to help narrow your results, and offers tools to manage and organize your findings. Advanced search filters include deadlines for grants, grant type (e.g., training or research purposes), and funding amounts. Funding information can be downloaded onto your computer, shared with others, and saved in your GrantForward account which neatly organizes your saved grants according to deadlines.
For instructional tutorials and webinar recordings on how to use this database, visit GrantForward’s YouTube page. Be sure to use GrantForward before the trial expires at the end of 2017.
Read more from the Spring 2017 issue of Classified Information, the Library's newsletter
Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 4:32pm