As of June 2022 - in person appointments are now available on a limited basis for consulting the collections listed below. Please contact the Special collections two weeks in advance of your appointment request. We are still offering remote consultations via zoom for those unable to travel to NYC. libspcoll @ jjay.cuny.edu Please also check our Digital Collections
THOMAS COXON ACTON PAPERS (1861-1895)
These 110 letters written by Acton document his career as a member (1860-63), and president (1863-69) of the Board of Police Commissioners of the City of New York.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL Chapter 251 [John Jay Chapter 1981 - 1985]
These documents record the successful advocacy conducted by this A.I. chapter to free political prisoner Tariq Ahsam from Pakistan prisons. The chapter was chaired by former chief librarian, Eileen Rowland.
AINSLEY C. ARMSTRONG COLLECTION (1896-1934)
These papers document the 41 year career of Ainsley Armstrong in the Boston Police Department.
LOUIS ANEMONE COLLECTION
Materials produced and collected by Chief Louis Anemone during his 35 year career with the the NYPD.
DAVID BERKOWITZ COLLECTION
Letters received by David Berkowitz [aka Son of Sam] while incarcerated in prison written by various correspondents.
COMMISSIONER JAMES BOLAN PAPERS
Documents in this collections mainly date to Bolan's short term as NYPD Police Commissioner in 1933, but some date to the succeeding terms Commissioners O’Ryan and Valentine. . Materials include typescripts of various radio addresses and speeches by Bolan and others. Particularly interesting are reports describing the work of various police bureaus, most undated, but presumably dating to 1933 or 1934. A finding aid is available.
HORATIO BOTTOMLEY PAPERS
Correspondence and ephemera by and about Horatio Bottomley, an English swindler, politician and newspaper man as collected by Julan Symonds, his biographer. This collection is part of our Fraud and Swindles Collection, the publications are cataloged in CUNY+.
BROOKHAVEN POLICE DEPARTMENT RECORDS (1937-1959)
Records of The Town of Brookhaven, Long Island, New York Police Department, from its inception until it was merged into the Suffolk County Police Department. These are also the professional papers of Chief Edward E. Bridge, who oversaw the agency during this entire time. A Finding Aid is Available.
CENTER FOR KNOWLEDGE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE PLANNING RECORDS (1975-1978) (Martinson Collection)
These records document the work of a grant-funded project to study the impact of intervention on recidivism, by Robert Martinson and technical consultant Judith Wilkes. More information is available on this collection. | A finding aid is available.
EUGENE CANEVARI PAPERS
These papers document 25 years (1927-1952) of investigative work by Canevari who was an NYPD detective in the Manhattan Homicide Squad, Waterfront Squad, Bomb Squad and Radical Squad. A finding aid is available.
RECORDS OF CONCERNED CITIZENS FOR A FAIR AND EFFECTIVE JUSTICE
Meeting minutes, speeches, correspondence, press releases and newsclippings created and collected by a neighborhood group active during the 1970s-1980s with a mission to "To find out why our criminal justice system is ineffective and to dispel the myth that the public is apathetic in combating crime." A preliminary inventory is available.
ALBERT DE SALVO PAPERS (claimed to be the Boston Strangler)
Correspondence of prisoner Albert De Salvo, mainly with the members of the Bailey family. Also included are gifts sent to the family of jewelry and leather-work made by him in prison. Thought by some to have been the 'Boston Stranger', De Salvo was murdered while incarcerated . A finding aid is available.
COMMISSIONER RICHARD E. ENRIGHT COLLECTION
20 oversized items, mostly photographs, probably dating to the 1920s and 1930s documenting Richard Enright’s professional and social activities while NYPD Police Commissioner (1918-1925) and after his retirement. A finding aid is available
WILLIAM C. DODGE SCRAPBOOKS (1933-1937)
These scrapbooks created by William Copeland Dodge document his career and professional interests. Dodge was elected New York District Attorney in 1933 and was defeated by Thomas E. Dewey in 1937. Included in the collection are materials related to his campaign and clippings from all New York City newspapers that document crime in New York City at the time.
RICHARD LOUIS DUGDALE PAPERS
These documents describe the preparatory reading and circumstances which led to Dugdale’s conclusions about the relation of family history to crime and poverty published in his book The Jukes. The collection consists of worksheets, tables, and correspondence. Included are the large worksheets containing raw data on over 800 individuals from which Dugdale compiled tables for his studies and the handwritten preface to an early edition of The Jukes.
ENGLISH CRIMINAL BIOGRAPHIES (1651-1722) (Robert R. Singleton Collection)
Robert R. Singleton gathered this material from various libraries including the British Museum, the Library of Congress, and many public and university libraries for his dissertation, Defoe and Criminal Biography (John Jay Stacks PR 3408 .P6 S55 1969a). 58 volumes, some microfilm reels. A Checklist is available in the special collections room.
JOYCE "ROCKY" FLINT COLLECTION ON JEFFREY DAHMER
Materials collected by Rocky Flint, mother of Jeffrey Dahmer in collaboration with Dr. Kathleen Fitzgerald in preparation for a book which was never completed or published. A finding aid is available.
RECORDS OF THE FORTUNE SOCIETY
The records of the Fortune Society were donated to the library in the 2015/16 academic year. We are accessioning the collection now and have arranged a nearly full run of Fortune News (1969-present) as well as historical correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, publications and photographs from many of the agency’s offices, programs and events. This collection is not yet processed, but a full run of Fortune News is available in Periodicals - HV7231 .F7 .
MARVIN E. FRANKEL PAPERS
The Frankel Papers contain correspondence, writings, speeches, legal documents, opinion books, media and ephemera documenting the career of federal judge, lawyer, law professor and human rights advocate, Marvin Frankel. Frankel was an influential legal scholar who proposed reform in such areas as criminal sentencing, the justice system, the grand jury, and the accessibility of legal services. A finding aid is available
LEONHARD FELIX FULD COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF INTERNATIONAL POLICE UNIFORMS
These photos of international police uniforms likely date to the 1920s-1930s. Middle Eastern, Caribbean, South American Asian and European police uniforms are represented. A finding aid is available. | This collection is fully digitized
JAMES FYFE PAPERS
These papers document the professional work of James Fyfe, who was an expert on police training and excessive force. Fyfe worked for the NYPD, Temple University and was a professor at John Jay College and was an expert witness in many excessive force legal cases. A finding aid is available. [Access to this collection is limited due to moving of the Special Collections in 2022]
GARY, INDIANA POLICE RECORDS (1931-1951)
One box of documents created by the Gary, Indiana Police Department. Included are memoranda, reports, correspondence, investigative notes. Also in this collection are mug shots, arrest records, crime scene photos. One folder contains records of the Fraternal Order of Police, Gary Lodge no. 61. A finding aid is available.
INSPECTOR ALLYN GRAY DIARIES (1942-59, 1970)
These volumes document the daily work of Allyn B.Gray, who was an inspector and later an area supervisor for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in the New York City area in the 1940s and 1950s. A finding aid available.
GRONDIN DETECTIVE AGENCY RECORDS
These records, mostly dating from the 1920s-1950s, include administrative papers, correspondence, case reports, scrapbooks, publications, and artifacts created and collected mainly by Cornelius H. Grondin, Sr. as well as Cornelius H. Grondin Jr., both owners of the Grondin Detective Agency & Security Services in Middlesex County, New Jersey. The records end with the closing of the Agency in 2003. A Finding Aid is available.
LAWRENCE W. GUNNISON COLLECTION (1920s)
One box of photographs taken by law enforcement response to prohibition era bootlegging and narcotic investigations in New York State.
RICHARD ORB HANKEY PAPERS (1915-1979)
These papers document the academic career and professional interests of Richard O. Hankey. Starting as a member of the Berkeley Police Department (1939 - 44), Hankey went on to academic positions at the College of the Sequoias (1948-57), California State College at Los Angeles, 1957-71), and Linn Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon (1971-79). He also served as president of the American Society of Criminology, and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. A finding aid is available.
COMMISSIONER MARTIN HORN PAPERS
Documenting the professional work of Commissioner Horn from 1974 to 2019, these papers include correspondence, memoranda, reports, newsclippings, photographs and artifacts. These papers document his long career with many different criminal justice, governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations for which he worked and consulted. A finding aid is available
SCOTT HOVEY PAPERS
These papers document Scott Hovey’s administrative and programming work on emergency response systems which integrate all first responder agencies and immediately identify a caller’s location, a concept he called “Enhanced 911” or “E- 911”. These files document the implementation of E-911 for the City of Saint Louis, MO and Alameda County in California.
RECORDS OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN POLICE (IAWP)
These papers document the activities of IAWP and include minutes of annual meetings, correspondence, newsletters and publications. A finding aid is available.
SUPPLEMENTARY COLLECTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN POLICE (IAWP)
These papers document the activities of Lois Higgins, (IAWP President from 1956 to 1964), mainly related to her career with the Chicago Police Department. Also included are the papers of IAWP President Felicia Shpritzer (IAWP President, 1972-76) related to her career in the NYPD. A finding aid is available.
NORMAN BRUCE JOHNSTON COLLECTION OF PRISON PLANS
This collection of architectural plans of prisons around the world was collected by Dr. Norman Bruce Johnston, a sociologist who has studied and written about prison architecture. Dr. Johnston assembled the collection over many years, and some of the plans have been reprinted in his books. A finding aid is available.
KANSAS CITY METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICE OF THE MATRON BLOTTER (1904-1909)
Manuscript log book recording crimes, arrests, investigations by the Women's division during the early years of the Kansas City, MO Police Department.
ARTHUR KAPLAN PAPERS
This collection includes the working papers of the former Assistant Counsel to Robert F. Kennedy, who served as Chief Counsel of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in Labor and Management (May 1957-Nov. 1959). A finding aid is available.
MIRIAM KAPROW PAPERS
The office papers of Mimi Kaprow, a professor at John Jay College who conducted research on the FDNY. A finding aid is available.
WHITMAN KNAPP PAPERS
Papers collected by Whitman Knapp, mainly regarding the Commission to Investigate Alleged Police Corruption, popularly known as the Knapp Commission. Other materials are present in the papers. A Finding Aid is Available.
KNAPP COMMISSION RECORDS
The records of the Knapp Commission document the work of the Commission to Investigate Alleged Police Corruption (in the NYPD). These records were collected by Michael Armstrong, Chief Counsel for the Commission. The report from this investigation was released in 1973. An inventory is available.
GRAHAM KNOWLES PAPERS
The professional papers of Graham Knowles, who was a professor at John Jay College and security and explosives expert.
CHARLES H. KREMER PAPERS
These papers document the life-long work of Dr. Charles Kremer to bring Nazi war criminal Archbishop Valerian Trifa to justice. Kremer was also for many years president of the United Romanian Jews of America, later called the Rumanian Jewish Federation of America, Inc, the Committee to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice in U.S.A, Inc. A finding aid is available.
These papers document the NYPD investigation of the 1952 murder of Arnold Schuster, who informed the police on location of Willie Sutton. A Finding Aid is Available
LEWIS E. LAWES PAPERS (1883-1947)
These papers document the life and work of Lewis E Lawes, who was Warden of Sing Sing Prison from 1920 to 1941.
More information. | A finding aid is available. | Photographs from this collection are available here
GEORGE TYLER MAIRS FINGERPRINTING COLLECTION
Compiled by Mairs who was a fingerprint examiner of the Brooklyn Magistrate’s Court, this collection contains 8x10 glass slides, charts, photographs and clippings relating to dactyloscopy and criminal identification by fingerprints.
GARY MCGIVERN AND MARGUERITE CULP PAPERS 1967 -2003
This collection documents the life of Gary McGivern, who was a prisoner at Green Haven and other NY State prisons. It also documents clemency campaigns for his release, organized by Marguerite Culp. Other prisoners, prison reform programs, organizers and activists are also documented. A finding aid is available.
SERGEANT HENRY V. MCCAFFERTY PAPERS (1950-1972)
Henry V. McCafferty was a NYPD patrolman and a member of mounted unit and a Sergeant in Manhattan and the Bronx. This collection consists mainly of the small 'memo books' recording his daily duties, and occurrences while on his post. Photographs and other objects are also part of this collection. A finding aid is available.
PHILIP MCGUIRE PAPERS
These are the professional papers of Philip McGuire, documenting his twenty-seven year career with the NYPD. He was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Programs and Policies in 1995 and specialized in crime analysis. An inventory is available.
MOLLEN COMMISSION TRANSCRIPTS AND VIDEOTAPES
These VHS videotapes and typewritten transcripts document the hearings (September-October 1993) of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Police Corruption and the Anti-Corruption Procedures of the Police Department. A finding aid is available.
PATRICK V. MURPHY PAPERS
Personal papers of former NYC Police Commissioner, and a John Jay College Professor. A finding Aid is available.
NYPD POLICE BLOTTERS (1916-1930s)
These daybooks of personnel kept by various Manhattan precincts are useful as examples of early NYPD recordkeeping. Blotters are available for study in the lower level stacks arranged by precinct and date.
NYPD 19th CENTURY MUGSHOTS COLLECTIONS
Approximately 100 mugshots, dating from 1885 to 1898, of arrestees charged with crimes such as theft, burglary, swindling, forgery, pick-pocketing, and other non-violent crimes. A finding aid is available
NEW YORK STATE GOVERNOR'S TASK FORCE ON BIAS RELATED VIOLENCE, RECORDS
These records document the work of this task force, which was formed in 1987 and issued a final report in 1988. A preliminary inventory of these records is available.
NEW YORK WOMEN IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE
These records document the history of this organization, including meeting minutes, publications and other files. A finding aid is available.
P.O.M.C.O.N.Y.S. (Parents of Murdered Children of New York State)
These papers document the activities and administration of POMCONYS in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
PILSBURY SCRAPBOOK (1872-1879)
One volume documents the lives and careers of Amos Pilsbury and his son Louis Dwight Pilsbury. They both served as prison guards and administrators in New Hampshire, New York and Connecticut. Amos Pilsbury was also general superintendent of the NYPD. A finding aid available.
PRISON NEWSPAPERS COLLECTION
Sample issues of prison newspapers collected by James McGrath Morris for his 2002 book Jailhouse Journalism: The Fourth Estate. \ A list is available. | see also: List of Prison Newspapers at the Lloyd Sealy Library
JOSEPH P. RICCIO JR. COLLECTION OF HISTORICAL POLICE IMAGES
This collection features 19th and 20th century imagery of police from various sources. Most of the images are dated circa 1860-1950 and mainly depict NYPD officers, cartoons and caricatures. A finding aid is available | This Collection is fully digitized
JOSEPH "SPECS" RUSSELL PAPERS (1931-1935)
Correspondence and writings of Joseph Russell, incarcerated in the Ohio Penitentiary, including an account of a famous fire there in 1930. Read a Library Newsletter article on this collection
FLORA RHETA SCHREIBER PAPERS (1916-1988)
These papers document the life and career of Prof. Schreiber, the author of Sybil and The Shoemaker. Schreiber taught at John Jay College for many years, was a prolific writer and correspondent, and retained all of her papers. A finding aid is available.
HERMAN AND JULIA SCHWENDINGER PAPERS
These papers documents the life and careers of Herman and Julia Schwendinger who founded the sub-discipline of Radical Criminology which is now known as Critical Criminology. A finding aid is available
LLOYD GEORGE SEALY PAPERS
These papers document the professional life of Lloyd Sealy who was the first black precinct sergeant in the NYPD, and later became a professor at John Jay College. We dedicated the Library to Lloyd Sealy, on that occasion an appreciation of Lloyd Sealy was written. A finding aid is available.
These papers, dating to 1892-1911, mainly document the work of Fred and Edward Shibels, NYPD police detectives. Some papers pertain to other family members. A finding aid is available
STATE OF NEW YORK, QUEENS COUNTY vs OLIVER DOXEY (1850)
Manuscripts of Coroner Recognizance (May 27, 1850); Jury Finding (April 9, 1850) and Coroner Inquisition (April 11, 1850) of the trial of Oliver Doxey for the murder of Peter Pearsall in Rockaway, NY.
THEATRE FOR THE FORGOTTEN
Videotapes, press clippings and additional materials document the work of this organization which was formed to teach theatre to incarcerated and at-risk youth. A list of this collection is available.
RICHARD TOMLINSON COURTROOM DRAWINGS COLLECTION
Hundreds of original drawings of NYC area newsworthy courtroom proceedings in 75 portfolios produced by courtroom artist Richard Tomlinson, mainly for WNEW Television News in the 1970s-1990s. A finding aid is available.
TRIAL OF THE DETECTIVES (Turf Fraud Scandal) – 1 volume, Scrapbook:
A scrapbook recording the Trial of the Detectives or the “Turf Fraud Scandal” involving bribery charges and trials of Scotland Yard detectives. Contains clippings and other popular press accounts of the investigation and trial.CRIMINAL TRIAL TRANSCRIPTS COLLECTION 1883-1927
These 425 microfilm reels are of typewritten verbatim trial transcripts. An index of trial listed by case number with supplemental indexes of defendants, attorneys, judges and charges is available from the reference desk. Reels are also available by interlibrary loan. Online Index is available. | | approximately 800 digitized transcripts are in our Digital Collections
BURTON B. TURKUS PAPERS
The author of Murder, Inc., Turkus was an attorney and district attorney in Brooklyn. These files and scrapbooks document parts of his professional life and interests. A Finding aid is available. | A selection of materials from this collection is available on our Digital Collections
DOUGLAS VALENTINE COLLECTION
Documenting organized crime and narcotics trafficking investigation and drug enforcement mainly in the 1960s, but includes materials dating from the 1920s-1970s. These materials were collected in the course of the career of Anthony Mangiaracina, an agent who worked for various U.S. drug enforcement agencies. A finding aid is available.
WALLACE COLLECTION ON FIRES IN NYC
This collection represents materials collected and produced by Deborah and Rodrick Wallace in the course of their research on fires in NYC in the 1970-1980s under their Public Interest Scientific Consulting Service. A finding aid is available.
JEROME WASHINGTON PAPERS
These papers consist of correspondence mainly related to the publication of Bright Spot in the Yard by Washington, which is a compilation of his writings while in prison. A finding aid is available.
BENJAMIN WARD PAPERS
The personal papers of Benjamin Ward, former NYC Corrections Commissioner and NYPD Commissioner A finding aid is available Selections from this collection are available on our Digital Collections
CORA WEISS COLLECTION
The Cora Weiss Collection consists of materials relating to Vietnam and the US-Vietnamese war and related conflicts. These materials were collected by Cora Weiss during her involvement in the war resistance and peace activism movements. The collection consists of books, pamphlets, periodicals, ephemera and manuscripts as well as Vietnamese cultural objects and Art. A finding aid is available.
ELIZABETH WILLIAMS COLLECTION OF COURTROOM DRAWINGS -
This collection of 61 drawings of The Sean Bell Trial (2008) is the result of the work of Elizabeth Williams, courtroom artist during the trial of three police officers charged with the shooting death of Sean Bell in Queens in November, 2006. Also included is a DVD of a short film featuring these drawings and clippings and printouts of news stories. A 2017 addition to the collection of drawings from other trials was made in conjunction with The Rogues Gallery exhibit of courtroom drawings. A finding aid is available