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

Lloyd Sealy Library

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Library News Blog

Old book open to the title page, which reads "Murder Will Out!..."

From the Desk of the Chief Librarian, Larry E. Sullivan

"Horrible tragedy! Jealousy, murder, arson and probable suicide. A well-known citizen murdered in cold blood! A wife strangled by her husband. A city chapter of blood and horror.” Sealy Library’s recent rare book acquisitions includes this compendium of horrific deeds committed in the “Queen City” of Cincinnati, with its vibrant culture, but also a city beset by the mayhem of the Old West. The author and compiler of Murder Will Out… by “An Old Citizen” (1867), but identified as Colonel William De Beck, chronicles numerous crimes, including child murder, lynching, spousal poisoning, riots, and other misdeeds.  His cautionary tale introduction notes that “they of both sexes will find much that they thus must avoid—the commission of the first little sin, may be the means of bringing  them to destruction.” He goes on to chronicle such incidents as the “Murder of S. Easton’s Little Son”; “Fannie French, the Cyprian, Shoots her Paramour, Devlin”; “The Notorious Maythes Family”; and many, many  others.

We in the criminal justice world are not exceptionally shocked by reading about these crimes.  But in the middle of the book we come across accounts of two murders and a riot linked to the rising populist, nativist, anti-immigrant feelings that were then spreading across the United States.  The influx of the Irish and the Germans in the 1850s gave rise to the “Know-Nothing” political party. Many cities, such as San Francisco, set up vigilance committees to fight the political control of Irish and German immigrants. New York, with half of its voting rolls populated by naturalized immigrants, formed the American Party (Know-Nothings), which advocated an exclusionary model to make it difficult if not impossible for foreigners, especially the Irish, to become naturalized citizens. Their platform included setting a long residency requirement (21 years), deporting immigrant paupers and criminals, and other measures. This rhetoric and these actions are all too familiar to our contemporary political situation, not just in America, but globally as well.

In Cincinnati, the 1855 mayoral election featuring the populist, nativist candidate for mayor, James Taylor, editor of the Cincinnati Times, delivered inflammatory attacks on the Germans, which sparked a vicious assault  by the  nativist “Americans” on the  German “Over-the Rhine” neighborhood. The Germans fought back successfully, leading to the Democratic candidate James J. Faran winning the election.    

Our author relates that the day after the election, a Know-Nothing was murdered walking down a street “in which he had no business.” To the chagrin of the “old citizen” he was given a soldier’s funeral. But shortly thereafter the American party, owing in part to its antagonism to the anti-slavery movement, largely disappeared from the political scene in Cincinnati and other cities. Our author states that “Know Nothingism was carried to such an excess, that we think few shed tears when it became extinct. Any thing [sic] which tends to alienate one part of the people from another is injurious to the public good, and ought not to be tolerated under any circumstances in this land of free speech.”

Plus ça change...


Murder Will Out... is available in the Special Collections Room, call number HV6534 .C5 D5.

More from the Fall 2018 newsletter

Posted Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 4:43pm

Person in a red diving suit walking through a dark cave

We have just started subscribing to the   Docuseek2 Complete collection.

The renowned documentary distributors Bullfrog FIlms and Icarus Films, both founded in the 1970s, joined together to create this streaming video database.  It delivers 800 documentaries on many themes, especially those concerned with justice, sustainability and the environment, broadly interpreted.   All the titles have been indexed and are discoverable in OneSearch, the library’s main discovery tool.  We hope you enjoy exploring these documentaries and sharing them in class.  Here are just a few of those 800 titles: 

Death by Design (2017).  The deadly environmental and health effects of electronic devices. 

Addiction Incorporated (2014).   The tobacco industry.

Addicted to Plastic (2008).  Plastic pollution worldwide, and its effect on the marine environment.

StIll Waters (2018), shows a Brooklyn after-school program serving immigrant children.

The American Ruling Class (2007) A 'dramatic-documentary-musical' about class, power and privilege. 

Symbiotic Earth (2018).  Scientist Lynn Margulis challenged orthodoxies by showing that symbiosis is a key driver of evolution.  Symbiotic Earth explores the implications of her research in the context of climate change and extreme capitalism.

Anthropocene (2016).  Examines whether human impact has tipped the planet into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, with all of its political, social and behavioral implications.

The Antibiotic Hunters (2015).  Scientists are hunting urgently for new antibiotics -- a challenge that is taking them to some remote and unusual places.

The Angry Heart (2001).  Explores racism as a risk factor in the epidemic of heart disease in the African-American community.  

East of Salinas (2016).  The life of an undocumented third grade child of migrant agricultural labors in California. 

A dangerous idea: eugenics, genetics and the American dream (2017).  Examines the history of the US eugenics movement and its recent resurrection. 

Affluenza (1997).  Diagnoses the 'disease' of materialism and prescribes its antidote, simple living.

Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 3:22pm

Photograph of two children

AVON (Academic Video Online)  has just arrived at John Jay!  This new streaming video database contains documentaries, performances, ethnographies, interviews, historic film clips newsreels & feature films from a large range of distributors, including Sony Picture Classics, Music Box, & Kino Lorber.  It delivers about 600,000 hours of streaming video, 63,000 titles in total.  The content comes from all over the world; non-English language films are subtitled in English.  Closed captions appear to be available for the English language content.

The Proquest interface allows easy searching; while the content plays on the Alexander Street platform.  All the titles have been indexed and are discoverable in OneSearch, the library’s main discovery tool. 

John Jay has never before had access to most of this content, in streaming, or any format; a few titles new to us include Citizen Jane, Antarctica: A Year on Ice, Hate crimes in the Heartland, The Deportation of Innocence, Patrimonio.

We hope you enjoy exploring the wonderful content of our new subscription!

Read about AVON—and get more film recommendations—from our Fall newsletter »


Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 5:48pm

Welcome back to campus! We are pleased to unveil two new study spaces for students.

Pleasant room with desks and chairs

The Silent Study Area South, located upstairs, is a quiet study zone full of natural light where no talking is allowed. (The other Silent Study Area is located in the north wing of the library, also on the upper level.)

In addition, the Reserve Room Study Area is located in a new alcove off of the Reserve Room Computer Lab. 

We are also happy to bring new furniture into the Reserve Room Computer Lab.

Many thanks to Prof. Maria Kiriakova, Prof. Jeffrey Kroessler, and Geng Lin for coordinating these projects! Thanks to everyone else who made this possible.



Posted Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 6:04pm

Hand holding New York Public Library card

When: Thursday, September 13th, and Friday, September 14th, 2018 from 1:30pm-3:00pm

Where: Kroll Atrium


Don’t have a NYPL library card yet?

As part of John Jay’s Weeks of Welcome, the New York Public Library has agreed to come to John Jay College so you can sign up for your own free library card! With your card, you gain access to over 250 NYPL databases from anywhere


Need to reactivate your existing NYPL library card?

Your NYPL library card has to be re-activated every 3 years. 

Without an activated NYPL card, you cannot access NYPL resources remotely (database collections, eBooks, and more).


Please feel free to drop by and spread the word!

Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 6:25pm

Under construction, reopening fall 2018. Overlaid on photo of Reserve Lab.

The Lloyd Sealy Library's Reserve Lab will be closed from July 30 through August 26, 2018, as it undergoes expansion and renovation work. 

The Reserve Lab will reopen for the Fall 2018 semester with additional seating and space for students. 

In the meantime, students can use the computers, printers, and scanners on the Library's upper level. To consult the Reserve Desk for textbooks and other materials on reserve, see the Circulation Desk (front desk). 


Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 3:23pm

In the wake of several of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history, HeinOnLine, a legal database of both historical and current legal content, has introduced a new collection—Gun Control and Legislation in America—bringing together more than 500 titles dealing with gun control issues.

The 2nd Amendment

Included are periodicals, federal legislative histories, congressional hearings, reports by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Supreme Court briefs, an extensive bibliography, and a selection of external resources to further research on this subject.

Use this new database to explore the many issues related to gun control including:

Browse Gun Control and Legislation in America now »

If you have questions or feedback, please send an email to marichards@jjay.cuny.edu.

Image source

Posted Monday, May 21, 2018 - 4:51pm

LexisNexis Academic has migrated to a new platform called Nexis Uni as of January 2019. Select Nexis Uni (LexisNexis) on our dropdown menu of popular databases or search our list of  databases by title.

Screenshot of Nexis Uni

Use one of the links below to learn more about the new interface.

Top 10 Nexis Uni Features to Explore (pdf)

Nexis Uni Search FAQ (pdf)

How to Search from the Home Page (YouTube)

How to Use the Advanced Search Form (YouTube)

How to Select Sources and Create Permalinks (YouTube)

How to Annotate and Share Documents (YouTube)

Navigating Your Profile Settings (YouTube)

If you have questions or feedback please contact our electronic resources librarian at marichards@jjay.cuny.edu.

Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 5:17pm

Recommended reading

Sharp book coverSharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion by Michelle Dean (2018) is not a collection of truncated biographies of celebrated writers Dorothy Parker, Rebecca West, Hannah Arendt, Zora Neale Hurston, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron, Lillian Hellman, Renata Adler, and Janet Malcolm. It’s a skillful and compulsively readable narrative of these women in relief, set against the often bumpy terrain of their time and their relationship to feminism and to each other. Dean observes elements of and relates deep-dive tales of these writers’ careers that are not written about elsewhere, at least not with such rich context. These are not odes or hagiographies, but honest portraits that cleverly reveal the breadth of the iconoclasm and humanity of the women. Rather than deliver a discrete set of linear narratives, Dean discovers surprising and telling ways their paths parallel and cross. Kathleen Collins


Gospel of Trees book cover Educated book coverTara Westover’s Educated (2018) and Apricot Irving’s The Gospel of Trees (2018) are two recent coming of age memoirs that have received a lot of critical praise. Set worlds apart—in the mountains of Idaho and in Haiti, respectively—they both feature strong-minded young women who grow up in the shadow of their charismatic fathers’ beliefs. Although Westover’s and Irving’s narratives are about leaving the father behind, they also touch on the complexity of familial love and the many transgressions it withstands. Westover’s trajectory from a scrap metal junkyard to a Cambridge Ph.D. illustrates the power of education, or learning how—not what—to think, as she puts it. Irving’s nuanced reflection on her family’s missionary tenure in Haiti, on the other hand, confronts the enduring effects of colonization, as well as the power and race inequalities that persist in its aftermath. Marta Bladek


Horse Walks into a Bar book cover

A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman.  A cocktail of  the stream of consciousness, jokes and tears in one glass. One evening of a stand-up comedy act by one man is described on almost 200 pages. Are you laughing at the man or with the man because he has no tears anymore? Did he plan this evening or is he improvising on the spot? This book is not a light reading although it is impossible to put it down until you read it all. Maria Kiriakova


Campus Rape Frenzy book coverKC Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr., The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities (2017) [Stacks LB2345.3 .R37 J65 2017]. This book is filled with horror stories of male college students falsely accused of sexual assault and how campus disciplinary procedures condemned them despite inadequate or even exculpatory evidence. The authors trace the history of how Title IX came to be weaponized in the area of sexual relations between students, and offer many examples of how the process went awry. At the same time, they do not in any way minimize the reality of the crimes of rape and sexual assault. Jeffrey Kroessler


Animal Vegetable Miracle book coverBarbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (2018) [Stacks S521.5 .A67 K56 2008]. Most of us can’t lead lives that allow us to commit to eating only locally-sourced food for a year as this family did. This book presents a new perspective on where our food comes from and offers small practical changes we can make to our diets and food shopping for a healthier planet and body. I particularly recommend the recipes for strawberry & rhubarb crisp and asparagus & mushroom bread pudding, both of which use ingredients that grow on the East Coast in April. All of the recipes and updates on the family are also available on the companion websiteEllen Belcher


Odyssey book coverAlthough reading The Odyssey might be a well-worn path for many, I nonetheless suggest reading Emily Wilson’s lively new translation (2017). What is so impressive about Wilson’s translation is her ability to use contemporary language in a way that is not distracting. The prose flows seamlessly, and Wilson’s skill as a translator shines clear. Highly recommended! Matt Murphy



Tell me a Mitzi book coverI have been reading Tell Me a Mitzi by Lore Segal to my daughter for at least 8 years. Three stories about a family with two kids, their daily routines, illnesses, seeing a President, visiting the grandmother across town. That’s all  but is unbelievably charming.  Very New York stories that bring you comfort and never get boring. If it is all imagination or reality, you can decide by yourself. Or just look at Harriet Pincus illustrations and create your own mitzi. Maria Kiriakova

Exit West book coverExit West by Mohsin Hamid (2017) is the most moving novel I’ve read this year. A meditation on immigration and human relationships, the story considers the forces that push people to leave their homes—and the hardships and pleasures they endure in new lands. Hamid portrays his characters with great tenderness as they make difficult decisions. A wonderful, touching read. Call number: Stacks PS3558.A42169 E95 2017. Robin Davis


More from the Spring 2018 newsletter »

Posted Monday, April 23, 2018 - 6:35pm

Maria Kiriakova

By the time you read this, Spring will have arrived. It will have brought sunshine and flowers and the possibility of new beginnings. Thinking about new plans, the Library would like to start an ideas list for the “library of the future.” In the last decade, many innovations in the world of academic libraries have already come to fruition on our campus: easy remote online access to the millions of library resources (databases, ebooks, full-text journals); streaming videos; getting instant help from professional librarians through email and chat; the ability to search hundreds of databases at once through the Google-like OneSearch; inserting the library toolkit (along with an embedded librarian) into a Blackboard course... Just to name a few wonders. In the library’s physical world, the books are constantly updated and shifted; the lab is equipped with new computers and is open around the clock during finals period; scanners and print stations are available on both floors; countertops have been built and high stools added for laptop users; the classroom has been upgraded with new projection screens... The list goes on.

We would like to collect data on what faculty and staff would like to see in the library of the future. Let us know about what you have experienced yourself or read about other libraries around the country and the world. Please send your thoughts to us by email or to any of the librarians at the Sealy Library. 

More from the Spring 2018 newsletter »

Posted Monday, April 23, 2018 - 6:26pm