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

Lloyd Sealy Library

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Library News Blog

EBSCOhost, the vendor for Academic Search Complete, PsycINFO, and others of our most popular databases, now provides an interface specifically for mobile devices like iPhones, Blackberries, and some Palm devices.  Access any of the EBSCOhost databases through the separate mobile device page and select the database you want to search.  Then search for articles (and in many cases read them) from anywhere you and your mobile device can access the Internet.

Posted Monday, November 9, 2009 - 1:35pm

The Lloyd Sealy Library will be open its regular hours this weekend, despite the bed bug treatment of other areas of Haaren Hall.

Saturday, Oct. 10 open 10am-6pm

Sunday, Oct. 11 open noon-5pm

Monday, Oct. 12, Columbus Day, closed

Posted Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 10:58am

We welcome our New Reference/Freshman Services librarian Marta Bladek, and congratulate her on successfully defending her English dissertation at the CUNY Graduate Center the day before she started!

Thanks to the Chancellor's Textbook Initiative, the Library now has a textbook collection of over 360 distinct titles, many in multiple copies. All volumes in the textbook collection are being cataloged and listed in the library catalog, CUNY+, and shelved behind the Reserve Desk on the lower floor of the Library. Textbooks can be borrowed for up to 3 hours, for use within the Library.

Check out the blog entries below for news about the Library’s “film noir” video tour and our experimental federated search (more news about that to come later!).

Posted Friday, September 4, 2009 - 2:14pm

Our exciting new movie!

Written and produced by Karen Okamoto. Directed, shot and edited by Amala Lane . Starring Jiaying Wang. Featuring Bethany Davis, Quantae D. Davis, Imran Siddiqui, Kathleen Collins, Larry Sullivan. And introducing Kimberly Teets, Paulo Pinho, Vivian Lake. Camera assistants: Anoah Levine, Dan Gallagher. Special effects by Dan Gallagher.

This has been a collaboration between the Lloyd Sealy Library and the Audio Visual Services of John Jay College.

Posted Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 3:53pm

Listen to Chief Librarian & Associate Dean Larry Sullivan talk about the library’s recently acquired Fraud and Swindles Collection, which includes an unpublished manuscript tell-all biography by William McMasters, Charles Ponzi’s press agent. Broadcast in a segment entitled ‘Books on Crooks’ on CUNY radio.

Posted Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 9:22am

Do you want to search across all our databases? Or all databases for a subject area, e.g criminal justice or history? Try our new 360 Federated Search !

How federated search works:
A Federated Search searches across multiple library databases in one go. In the default basic search option, our federated search looks in the title field of each article (magazine, journal and newspaper articles) for the words you type in the search box. You can use the advanced search to search within the fulltext of the article, or in the subject headings, or in any other fields. The searching by subject enables searching across databases that specialize in certain disciplines, e.g. all our history databases, or all our criminal justice databases.

Is federated search a substitute for searching individual databases?
No, we don't think so! But it’s a good starting point. Individual databases allow you to control your search far more than federated search does. If you use only the federated search, you may miss important articles.

Do you like federated search?
Email your thoughts to libinfo at jjay dot cuny dot edu

Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2009 - 1:23pm

Any of the 3,200 examples in our Trial Transcripts Collection is sure to be an interesting read, including the few we have so far digitized.


In May, 2009 Newsday reporter Anthony DeStefano came in to the Lloyd Sealy Library to read one interesting transcript in which the defendants are charged and convicted of kidnapping and murder of 5 year old Joseph Varotta. Further research shows that they were linked by newspaper accounts to the famous "Black Hand".

DeStefano's article in Newsday today reports on the case based on his Transcript Research, but also mentions the New York Times reporting on the story.


As with most transcripts, the crime, investigation, trial and aftermath is further illuminated by these articles, as well as the fact that consistency in spelling of names was not a priority at that time. As DeStefano reports, research in the New York Times online archives or New York Times Historical File shows that the case was not over when the trial ended, and it's no surprise that it still resonates today:

Jun 12, 1921. FIND BODY IN RIVER GARBED IN CLOTHES VEROTTA BOY WORE; Father Identifies Apparel on Child Discovered by Boatman Off Piermont. DISCREPANCY IN HEIGHT Body Is Reported to Be Eight Inches Taller Than Victim of Kidnappers.WAS BURIED AT ONCE New Black Hand Letter Threatens Parent and Detective Fiaschetti With Death. New Black Hand Threat. Prays for Son's Return. BODY IN RIVER HAD LOST BOY'S CLOTHES Five in Tombs Silent. Will Exhume Body Today.

Jun 24, 1921. VAROTTA'S LIFE MENACED.; Black Hand Letter Is Sant to Father of Murdered Boy.


Jun 25, 1921 KIDNAPPING BEFORE JURY.; First-Degree Indictments Are Asked Against Five Varotta Suspects.


Aug 6, 1921. Varotta Murder Trial Tuesday.


Aug 18, 1921. VAROTTA IDENTIFIES KIDNAPPER IN COURT; Declares Raffaele Is One of Band That Demanded $500 Ransom. JUDGE CLEARS COURTROOM Precaution Taken to Protect Witness From Self-StyledBlack Handers.


Aug 19, 1921. DENIES VAROTTA CHARGES.; Raffaele Repudiates Confession in Kidnapping Case.


Aug 20, 1921. VAROTTA KIDNAPPER GUILTY OF MURDER; Jury Returns a First Degree Verdict After Considering Case for Seven Hours. PRAISED BY JUDGE TALLEY Decision Against Raffaele Is Reached After Jury Sees Photograph--Other Trials to Follow. Ransom of $500 Offered. Jury Considers Case 7 Hours.


Aug 23, 1921. VAROTTA KIDNAPPER SENTENCED TO DIE; Roberto Raffaele, First of the Band Tried for Murder of Boy, Protests Innocence. TO BE EXECUTED IN OCTOBER Prisoner, Half Blinded by Cataracts, Is Led by the Hand from Court Room to Cell.


Apr 17, 1922.  ...Varotta Kidnapping Recalled. (bottom of article)


Apr 17, 1922. VEROTTA GETS NEW BLACK HAND THREAT; Warned Against Carving Details of Crime on Monument to His Murdered Son.


Jun 16, 1922. WOMAN FRIES EGGS TO TRAIL MARINO; Mrs. Nicoletti, Police Aid, Says He Promised Return of Boy Afterward Slain.


Jun 26, 1922. VAROTTA GETS ONLY $500; Father of Kidnapped and Drowned Boy Settles $25,000 Award.


Nov 30, 1922. PUTS OFF DEATH SENTENCES; Governor Reprieves Two Until March --One Is Varotta Boy Slayer.

Jun 29, 1923 VEROTTA KIDNAPPERS RECEIVE DEATH STAY; Marino and Cusamano Get Three Months' Respite -- Slayer Gets Last-Minute Reprieve.


Posted Thursday, June 11, 2009 - 3:11pm

Elaine Carey, Lloyd Sealy Library Fellow (and of St. John’s University) will be presenting her research Selling is the habit: Women and drug trafficking in North America, 1900 to 1970.
This Lloyd Sealy Library Fellow Lecture will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2009, at 3:30 p.m. Location is Room 630T, followed by a reception.

Selling is the habit

Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009 - 11:19am

An unpublished biography of high-flying financial fraudster Charles Ponzi caught the eye of New York Times journalist Ralph Blumenthal, as he searched through the Lloyd Sealy Library's Special Collections. Blumenthal's article Lost manuscript unmasks details of original Ponzi has now been published in the New York Times. The mysterious manuscript was written by the man Ponzi hired to be his publicist, William McNasters - a spectacularly bad hiring decision, as McMasters decided to expose the criminal mastermind. Blumenthals's article has all the details...

Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2009 - 12:38pm

Reserve librarian Kathleen Collin's new book Watching what we eat has just been published! Kathleen will be reading this evening at Book Court in Brooklyn. "Collins scours the archives to show how cooking programs throughout the decades reflect America’s changing cultural mores. From James Beard to Rachael Ray, TV cooking hosts have brought this intimate brand of entertainment into the home, moving from educating the general public on the finer points of home economics to coaching us on developing our inner creativity."

Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2009 - 12:09pm