Library News Blog
From the Spring 2015 Newsletter
We are always expanding our special collections which document criminal justice, broadly and deeply. This is a selected list of recent acquisitions.
Jennaway Pearson, Sum of our Parts: An Examination of Death Rituals in America. Washington D.C., 2014.
We recently acquired this beautiful book by the book artist Jennaway Person; the book is based on her MFA Thesis project. It exists in four copies, one in the artist’s collection and one is at the Library of Congress. This book features silkscreen, zinc plate etchings, letterpress, on handmade cotton rag paper, with audio recording in a custom built pine box inlayed with one of the zinc etching plates. Each sheet features the name and prisoner history of a selection of prisoners executed in Texas 1982-2013. An MP3 player holds recordings of each prisoner’s last words. One interesting aspect of this book is that the ink used to portray barbed wire was infused with ground glass.
Images from a recent exhibit of Sum of our Parts by Jennaway Pearson
Suringar, Willem Hendrik and Moreau-Christophe, L.M., Translator. Considerations Sur La Reclusion Individuelle Des Detenus. Precedees d’une Preface et Suivies du Resume de la Question Penitentiaire. Paris: Chez Mme Bouchard-Huzard, 1843.
A discussion on Pennsylvania’s system of separate confinement, which influenced European penology at this time. The authors were leading prison officials in Holland and France.
The Great Canals Scrip Fraud, Minutes of the proceedings and report of the evidence in the investigation of the case, by the grand jury of Sangamon County, Ill. At the April term of the court of said county, 1859. Springfield, Illinois: Daily Journal Steam Press, 1859.
This pamphlet describes the investigation into the issue and cover up of ‘canal scrip’ fraud, which implicated then Illinois Governor Matteson for larceny for using state funds to purchase these bank note substitutes. Boxes of this scrip had apparently been purchased, allegedly with state funds and then stored in the State Capital Building and discovered much later. Although the Governor was cleared of all charges, the Grand Jury voted to publish the proceedings of the trial. This item is an addition to our existing Fraud and Swindles Collection. Only eight copies are known to exist of this pamphlet, none in New York State.
Image: Illustration of a canal scrip, from John M. Lamb. (Nov. 1977) “The Great Canal Scrip Fraud.” The Magazine of Illinois 16/9: 57-60
An Illustrated Catalog of Knowles Improved Fire Pumps. New York and Boston, 1885.
This trade catalog features many illustrations and descriptions of pumps which supplied water to fire suppression systems in large buildings. According to this pamphlet and to an advertisement in American Machinist, Knowles pumps were dependable and the industry standard. This will be a great resource to those researching early urban fire prevention systems. We are now the only library on record that holds this pamphlet.
Image: Advertisement for Knowles Steam Pumps in the front pages of American Machinist 9 (1882) from Google Books
Report of special committee to the Prison Association of New York on convict labor. 1885
This report is an early criticism of the system of prisoner labor in New York State, which it characterizes as akin to slavery. Our recently digitized Annual Reports of New York State Prisons, available on the Internet Archive details what work the prisoners were assigned inside and outside the prison grounds. In just a few pages, this small pamphlet reviews an issue in corrections that still resonates today. Consider for example this statement on page two: “…on the broadest grounds of public policy, the convict’s reformation is more profitable to the State than his prison labor can be.” Only five libraries are known to have this report.
The life of Anson Bunker : “the bloody hand,” the perpetrator of no less than fifteen cold-blooded murders, amongst which were the great Nathan murder of New York City, and those of his three wives, and several others in various parts of the country: his horrible confessions and terrible doom. Philadelphia 1881.
A sensational and lurid first person account of fifteen murders committed by Anson Bunker, including all three of his wives. We are one of the few libraries that hold this edition.
Images: Two of the many illustrations in The Life of Anson Bunker from an earlier edition available digitally from Harvard Libraries
William Preston Papers — (40 linear feet) Bill Preston was professor and chair of John Jay’s History Department from 1973-1988 and the author of Aliens and Dissenters: Federal Suppression of Radicals, 1903–33. We thank Bill’s children, Michael, Margo, Evie and Lauren for donating his papers to the Lloyd Sealy Library. We will be processing this collection soon; a preliminary inventory is available from the Library’s Special Collections Subject Guide.
Records of the Town of Brookhaven Police Department (Suffolk County) — (½ linear foot) This collection is also the papers of Edward E. Bridge who organized and oversaw this town’s police force from 1937 to 1959. On January 1, 1960 Brookhaven, along with many adjacent towns, joined forces to create the Suffolk County Police Department. A finding aid is available from the Library’s Special Collections Guide.
Journal of Kansas City Police Matrons Miss Anna W. Taggart and Elizabeth Burns 1904-1909 (one volume) — This journal records the activities of female police officers working in Progressive Era Kansas City. Daily observations and activities include arrests of prostitutes, burglars, murderers as well as interactions with abandoned infants, runaways, drug abusers, domestic violence survivors and much more.
For more information or to make an appointment to see any of these in our Special Collections Room, please contact Professor Ellen Belcher.
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 11:40am
From the Spring 2015 Newsletter
The amount of material that the library has available for both students and faculty in our collections can seem a bit overwhelming to approach. There is a plethora of information available; students in particular may be unaware of how much the library has for them or even where to begin looking. Regardless of whether you are a professor or a student, a good place to get started would be with our subject guides.
You may be wondering, what are subject guides? They are a listing of available resources put together by librarians to help users locate materials that they can use in their research and papers. Subject guides can vary but usually contain lists of suggested books, databases and journals, links, and sometimes pictures and video on whatever topic the guide is discussing. It is a roadmap of extremely helpful, relevant, and academically acceptable knowledge that a librarian constructed for users to use.
From all the guides available at the Library, the best one to recommend to somebody just beginning to learn about doing research would be our “How to Use the Library” guide. For anyone looking to improve their bibliographies and citation skills, our guide “Citing Sources: APA, MLA & Chicago Styles” may be invaluable. If you are a student having a hard time figuring out if an article or journal is academically acceptable, take a look at our “Evaluating Information Sources” guide. Anyone looking for a source of valid statistics should take a look at our Statistics guide. We also have specific guides for English 101 and Speech 113 classes in particular.
It is also never too early for students to begin to think about the types of careers that they can pursue after their time here at John Jay College, particularly in criminal justice fields. Students who are interested in career resources at the library as well as internship sources, exam study guides, and generally how John Jay College can help you launch your career should take a look at our “Careers in Criminal Justice” subject guide, as well as our “Careers in Forensic Science” subject guide.
Also as distance education has become more prevalent, subject guides have become crucial in helping faculty and students who will never actually step foot on the physical campus. The library has guides on many topics that would be helpful to those involved in distance education such as our ebook guide, available at guides.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/ebooks and our guide “Finding Legal Information: The Absolute Basics." Graduate students, who may only be able to visit the campus in the evenings, if at all, may find our “Graduate Student Resources” guide to be very useful.
Meanwhile, faculty will find our “Faculty Scholarship Resources” guide and our “Information Literacy” guide to be very helpful as they pursue their teaching and scholarship both on and off campus. And of course as part of fostering a sense of belonging to the wider John Jay College community, there is a guide on library exhibits, which allows for graduate and distance students to experience some of the many displays and materials that faculty and students who visit the physical library regularly are able to enjoy.
This academic year, we introduced several new guides for students on a variety of subjects including guides on classics, emergency management, gangsters, Shakespeare, and several history guides on events like the Holocaust and world wars, as well as eras such as Reconstruction and the Depression. We have also made major updates to existing guides such as “Corrections,” “Crime in New York 1850–1950,” “Fire Science,” and “Security Management.”
Subject guides from the Lloyd Sealy Library offer faculty and students, both on and off campus a gateway to begin their studies and improve their research. Feel free to take a look and encourage your students to take a look as well!
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 11:31am
From the Spring 2015 Newsletter
Two new Annual Review subscriptions: Statistics & its Application, and Organizational Psychology & Organizational Behavior
Our collection of Annual Review journals provides critical literature reviews of primary research in 18 disciplines including the social sciences. Most recently we have added subscriptions to the Annual Review of Organizational Psychology & Organizational Behavior, and the Annual Review of Statistics & its Application.
This is the landing page of the Annual Review of Statistics and its Application. You can browse current and past articles from this page. The single search bar on the upper right allows you to search for articles within a specific Annual Review journal or across all the Annual Review content we subscribe to.
Launched in March 2014, the Annual Review of Organizational Psychology & Organizational Behavior focuses on industrial psychology, human resource management and organizational behavior. Topics covered include motivation, leadership, gender and diversity, and research methodologies. The Annual Review of Statistics and its Application covers tools and developments in statistics such as new theories in methodologies and applications in the areas of economics, psychology and sociology among others. Both reviews can be searched by clicking on the title of these journals from the main page of Annual Reviews. Once you click on the title you can enter your keywords into the single search bar at the top, or browse current or past issues. You can also search across the 18 disciplines we subscribe to via the single search box appearing at the top of each screen or via the Advanced Search option.
Oxford Bibliographies in African Studies, Latino Studies, and Psychology
The Library now subscribes to the African Studies, Latino Studies, and Psychology subject collections of Oxford Bibliographies. They provide annotated citations and introductory overviews for a range of topics, including authors (e.g., Chinua Achebe in the African Studies collection) and concepts (e.g., borderlands from the Latino Studies collection and lie detection from the Psychology collection). The annotated sources include books, journal articles, websites, data sets and archives. Each citation can be saved to a personal account and emailed or exported to a citation management program (e.g., RefWorks). Citations also include a convenient link to the CUNY+ catalog and WorldCat, both of which allow users to search for the availability of the item at John Jay or other libraries. Some citations also include a link to Google Books.
Sample citation from the Lie Detection in a Forensic Context bibliography. Each citation can be saved and exported. Links to the CUNY+ catalog, WorldCat, and Google Books are provided.
Oxford Bibliographies provide a range of search features. Researchers can browse bibliographies in each subject collection by an alphabetical title listing or search across subject collections via the single search box at the top of each page or through the advanced search. The advanced search options also allow researchers to limit searches to specific types of citations, for example primary documents or multimedia sources.
From the main page of a subject collection, you can browse bibliographies by title, or you can search for bibliography topics using the search bar at the top.
Researchers who are new to a field and are looking for key sources to start their research will find these bibliographies to be useful.
aggregates research related to online marketing and e-commerce by drawing data from over 4,000 sources, including companies, research firms, consulting companies, universities and government agencies. Although the marketing and e-commerce focus of this database may not seem relevant to research agendas at John Jay, students and professors may be interested in the Internet and mobile adoption data made available by eMarketer. The database provides forecasts up to 2019 for topics such as the number of mobile phone users, broadband households and Internet users in different countries. Other topics include social media usage by specific groups such as millennials in the United States, the number of mobile phone users by race and ethnicity, as well as data about digital privacy and security. Search results can be filtered by format and source types such as charts, reports and industry articles.
The image on the right is a chart from eMarketer illustrating the demographic profile of mobile phone owners in Peru, 2013. Charts can be emailed and downloaded as a PDF, JPEG or Excel file.
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 11:22am
Paola Rojas, from the library to border patrol
From the Spring 2015 Newsletter
Paola Rojas was one of Saundra’s favorite “babies.” Paola worked six years as a Sealy Library College Assistant, graduating with a BS in Criminal Justice in 1998.
After graduation, the sweet-faced, Spanish-speaking Paola was hired by the United States Border Patrol to carry a gun and enforce the Arizona border. She did her new job with the same good cheer and competence she displayed while working for the library. Although the western style grew on her, Paola was happy to move back to friends and family in New York three years ago. You might find her now at one of the airports as an investigator for Customs, or at a New York Yankees game.
Though Paola keeps up with Saundra Dancy and the college assistants she worked with years ago, the rest of the library staff were happy to catch up with her again at Mrs. Dancy’s retirement party.
Ed. note: We misspelled Paola's name in the print newsletter. We regret the error.
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 11:06am
From the Spring 2015 Newsletter
Saundra Dancy, the Sealy Library Circulation Supervisor, celebrated her birthday on March 30 by retiring from John Jay College. She was aided and abetted in this decision by her husband, Darryl Dancy, who retired from John Jay’s Facilities Department during the previous month. While we wish them both well in their spring bower in Pennsylvania, the College will surely miss them.
Saundra arrived at the Library nearly twenty-five years ago upon the high recommendation of Margaret Schultze, for whom she had worked in Human Resources. Saundra’s bright spirit, ready smile and quick intelligence was immediately apparent. It wasn’t long before she had mastered the arcane details of library circulation: “unlinked item records,” “pick list,” “Aleph conversions,” “library stops,” “local patron,” “global records,” and so many others. Where Saundra always shined the brightest, however, was in her management skills.
The Library has a revolving crew of fifteen college assistants and four or five work-study students who zip in to work for a few hours between classes. Our students are subject to the vagaries of student life everywhere, plus dependent families, no previous work experience, and special immigrant status. At the center of the maelstrom, Saundra dependably orchestrated crises and continuity, going well beyond work responsibilities to mentor, cajole, encourage and help our John Jay students one after another. An indication of the influence she had on so many young lives was the number who flocked lovingly to her retirement party on March 20. Their tributes to Saundra Dancy and how she changed their lives were reminiscent of the things we usually hear at faculty retirements. The role Saundra played in the College was in the best spirit of our educational enterprise. We are grateful for her presence among us.
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 11:05am
From the Spring 2015 Newsletter
This loving couple, Nadyia Middleton and Miguel Onativia, both John Jay graduates, met, courted, and exchanged their first Valentine’s Day gifts in the Sealy Library.
When Miguel wanted to surprise Nadyia and ask her to marry him, of course it had to be in the Library. With the help of Jerylle Kemp, Director of Alumni Relations, and the fond participation of everyone present in the Sealy Library on December 13, Miguel and Nadyia became engaged (please notice the ring). In July they will married. (But not in the Library.)
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 11:02am
From the Spring 2015 Newsletter
Larry Sullivan’s review of the Morgan Library and Museum’s exhibition, “Gatsby to Garp: Modern Masterpieces from the Carter Burden Collection” was published in the Spring 2015 newsletter of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP). His book review of Ruth Ahnert’s The Rise of Prison Literature in the Sixteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2013) was published in the same issue of the SHARP newsletter. He also gave the lecture “The Brownsville Boys: Jewish Gangsters of Murder, Inc.” in the Jewish Experience series at The Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center on March 27.
Kathleen Collins had a chapter entitled “The Rise of the ‘Foodie’ and the Role of Mass Media” published in The Routledge History of Food edited by Carol Helstosky (New York: Routledge, 2015).
Robin Davis presented “Taking Care of Digital Efforts: A Multiplanar View of Project Afterlives” at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention in Vancouver in January. She presented “The Internet is your business card” in April as part of the “Social Media: Finding a Platform” workshop organized by the Office for the Advancement of Research (OAR), as well as presenting “Who does the Internet think you are?” at the 2015 LACUNY Institute.
Marta Bladek was a presenter in the “Altmetrics: New Measures of Scholarly Impact” workshop organized by OAR in May.
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 10:58am
From the Spring 2015 Newsletter
In a 1916 Atlantic Monthly article, Samuel Crothers coined the term “bibliotherapy.” In 1970s America the use of books as therapy for prisoners became fashionable among rehabilitationists. Reading is always good, but researchers carried out few studies for outcomes. From the 1980s affective bibliotherapy caught on, especially among cognitive behavioralists, who based their practice mainly on the reading of moral fiction and self-help books with stories or models that could improve behavior among prisoners, the mentally ill, addicts, and others. In truth, the concept of reading for therapeutic behavioral modification reached back at least to the Middle Ages and even beyond.
A recent addition to Sealy Library’s Special Collections offers a prime example of bibliotherapy in early 19th century France. In 1819, French King Louis XVIII founded the Society for the Improvement of Prisoners. One of the Society’s first actions was to hold a competition for authors to write edifying fictional literature to distribute among prisoners. An anonymous donor provided 1000 francs as a prize for the winning novel. In 1821, the contest ended with a mere ten books passing the first cut. After further examination, only two novels were in competition: Antoine et Maurice (Paris, 1821) by Laurent de Jussieu (nephew of the famous French botanist) and Laurent, ou les Prisonniers by Jean-Marie Achard-James (Paris, 1821). Jussieu’s novel won the prize, perhaps because the protagonists in the novel were not already incarcerated, but received the light and reformed before their criminal behavior put them in prison. In Laurent, however, the protagonist was a convicted criminal and his moral actions while behind bars had an ameliorating effect on his imprisoned colleagues.
We were fortunate to obtain a first edition of Laurent, the only copy outside of France where one resides in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and another in the Bibliothèque de Lyon. This most rare book once again showcases our international reputation for criminal justice materials.
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 10:51am
The Library’s first floor (Niederhoffer Lounge and Reserve Lab*) will be open continuously from 8:30am on May 11 until 6pm on May 23, 2015.
That's 250+ straight hours of open study space!
We wish you success on your finals.
Brought to you by your Student Council, your Library, and Public Safety.
* Please note that the stacks (bookshelves) and the second floor will not be open late outside of the posted hours (in bold on our Hours page). Books cannot be checked out outside of these hours.
Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 2:45pm
CUNY is building an institutional repository, CUNY Academic Works, dedicated to collecting and providing free access to the research, scholarship and creative work of the University. Faculty are encouraged to post their works here. Details of publishers’ self-archiving policies may be found on the SHERPA-RoMEO or in your publisher’s contract. In service to CUNY’s mission as a public university, content in Academic Works is freely available to all.
Visit CUNY Academic Works »
Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 11:27am