@ THE LIBRARY
have always been known for their innovation and creativity. Staying
in tune with this tradition, the Sealy Library was one of the first
in CUNY to start adding electronic editions of books to its collection.
Having e-versions of the books is advantageous for the library:
valuable shelf space can be saved, books cannot get lost or mutilated,
readers can read the books without coming to the library. All you
need to gain access to these books online is a valid John Jay College
Reading a book online is for some people a new experience.
Many portions of the book (table of content, index) are linkable and
readers can jump from one portion to another
with a matter of a mouse click. One can also search for a word or phrase occurring
within the text of the book. Most of the e-versions are mirror images of their
printed counterparts, which eases the problem of reference or citation.
of the library electronic books are cataloged in the online catalog
CUNY+: after clicking on the title of a book you will be prompted to
the URL for the e-version.
Others can be accessed through a specific collection.
These are some of the database collections that include full-text electronic
NetLibrary – a huge collection of books in a variety
of subject areas. The majority accessible through the Library address
the fields of law enforcement and sociology.
FORENSICNetbase – almost
all titles in forensic sciences and related disciplines are published
by the CRC Press.
Oxford Reference Online – over 100 dictionaries
and other reference works from Oxford University Press.
Dissertation Abstracts – full-text of dissertations from
North America and some European countries starting from 1997.
Current Research @ CUNY – full-text of CUNY dissertations
for the last two years.
These are just some examples of the wonders
provided by the library. For more information explore the description
of all library electronic
information databases at http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/infosources/resources.cfm?letter=All
or send an e-mail to a reference librarian at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE UMANSKY BOOK
We recently acquired several thousand books from
the estate of the late Howard Umansky, formerly of the History Department.
Most of these titles are in the areas of American history, literature,
and culture and reflect Howard’s many intellectual interests.
The books are in the process of being processed and catalogued for
JOURNALS IN LAW
AND THE HUMANITIES
Finding journals that are possible conduits for one’s
own research, or that are of potential value for browsing purposes,
is not always the easiest matter. In the growing field of law and literature,
two journals have emerged as leaders in the field: the Yale journal
of law and the humanities (1988- ), and Law and literature (earlier
entitled Cardozo studies in law and literature) 1989- . Both are available
in the Library in hard copy. Both are also available full-text online:
the first through Lexis-Nexis and the second through JSTOR and EBSCOhost
These leaders of the field aside, there a number
of ways articles on one’s
topic (or journals that may be suitable as publishers of one’s own work)
may be found. The first of these is through Lexis-Nexis. This database covers a
range of sources and is all full-text. A number of the journals included in the “law
reviews” subset of it do show some appreciation of the intersection between
law and literature. When I searched for references to Bleak House (from “guided
search,” I changed the range of searching to “all available dates”),
I found six articles which mentioned the book in their titles. When I changed the
field of search to identify articles which mentioned the book in their texts at
least three times, I found 55. In HeinOnline, which covers law reviews going back
mid-19th century, I identified ten articles mentioning the book in their titles
and over one thousand in their texts. On bringing these last up in reverse chronological
order, I found two articles from 1852 which mentioned Bleak House in passing as
was then being serialized in Household Words!
Other databases of interest to this
sample search would, of course, include the MLA Bibliography. (In searching for
Bleak House, I would probably qualify the search
with the terms “law or legal,” to make the results manageable). Others
might be Historical Abstracts, which includes a great deal of material relevant
to literature. (This covers European history. Its companion, America: History
covers the Americas as a whole). The Essay and General Literature Index is useful
for locating essays published in collections.
Identifying particular journals
in the field, whether for browsing or as possible publishers, is not easy as
the titles of these are not very accessible through
standard subject searches in library catalogs. Apart from the two principal
above, a few others come to mind:
- Criminal Justice History. 1980-1994. Ref. HV 6001 C754. This
annual is useful for its extensive literature reviews and its occasional
articles on literary themes. An early volume, for example, includes
a consideration of the real-life mutiny in the U.S. Navy on which Billy
Budd was based. CJH was replaced by collections of essays grouped around
particular themes and published irregularly. These can be located in
the catalog under the series entry “Criminal Justice History.”
Law, Culture & the Humanities. 2005- . On order at John Jay. A
new journal emphasizing theoretical approaches to “interpretation,
identities and values, authority, obligation, speech, justice and power.”
Studies Forum. 1985- . Per. K1 M3 (also available through EBSCOhost
Academic). This journal at one time focused on legal education. It
is now largely devoted to the humanities and its choice of articles
is idiosyncratic. The last two issues focused on poetry by and about
lawyers and the “true crime” writing of Albert Borowitz.
1994- . Available in hard copy at the CUNY Law School and on Lexis-Nexis
since 2000. “Examines the textual forms in
which law circulates within cultures worldwide and the many texts and
topics that law touches upon.”