Skip to Main Content
Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Special Collections - Lloyd Sealy Library: Trial Transcript Bibliography

This is a guide to the Manuscript Collections, Rare Books and John Jay College Archives in the Special Collections at the Lloyd Sealy Library of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Primary resources related to our Trial Transcripts Collection

Papers of Lewis E. Lawes 1883 – 1947, Warden of Sing Sing Prison, 1920 – 1941. Lloyd Sealy Library, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Many of those convicted of serious criminal offenses in these and other NY State courts were sent to Sing-Sing Prison.  Some ended up on death row; their photographs are now available online at
Court Records 1684-1966: Indictments, case files, docket books.  Municipal Archives of the City of New York.
A guide to the records of the Courts of New York is available here:
Records Relating to Criminal Trials, Appeals, and Pardons: Information Leaflet #9. New York State Archives, Albany New York
This leaflet serves as a guide to the New York State court documents held by the state archives and elsewhere. Available online at:

General Books on NYC Crime and Criminal Courts

General Resources on the History of New York City                                                       
Jackson, K., ed. (1993) Encyclopedia of New York City.  New York: Yale University Press.
Useful for concise articles on a variety of NYC history subjects.  Particularly recommended are the articles on Crime and Courts. Reference – E128.7 G64
New York Times Historical Index: Accessible via the John Jay Library webpage, under shortcuts to popular databases provides online access The New York Times from 1851 – 5 years ago.
A Selection of Books about the History of New York City Crime:                                 
Abelson, E. S. (1992). When Ladies Go a-Thieving: Middle-Class Shoplifters in the Victorian Department Store.  New York: Oxford University Press. Stacks - HV 6658 .A24 1992
Alexander, R. M. (1995) The girl problem:  female sexual delinquency in New York, 1900-1930.  Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1995. Stacks - HV 9105 .N7 A67 1995
Arnold, M. H. (1989). “The Life of a Citizen in the Hands of a Woman: Sexual Assault in New York City, 1790–1820.” In , K. Peiss and C. Simmons eds. Passion and Power: Sexuality in History Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Stacks – HQ18 U5 P37 1989
Crapsey, E. (1872). The Nether Side of New York. Montclair, N.J., Patterson Smith.
Stacks - HV6795.N5 C8 1969
Fried, A. (1980). The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Gangster in America. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Stacks - HV6194 .J4 F74
Gilfoyle, T. J. A pickpocket's tale:  the underworld of nineteenth-century New York.
Stacks - HV6653 .A66 G55 2006
Gilfoyle, T. J. (1992). City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and theCommercialization of Sex, 1820-1920. New York, N.Y.: W.W. Norton  Stacks - HQ 146 .N7 .G55 1992
Monkkonen, E. H. (2001). Murder in New York City. Berkeley: University of California Press.  Stacks - HV 6534 .N5 M65 2001
Odem, M. E (1995) Delinquent daughters: protecting and policing adolescent female sexuality in the United States, 1885-1920.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
 Stacks - HQ 27.5 .O34 1995 (available as e-book from our CUNY+ Catalog)
Reagan, L. J. (1997) When abortion was a crime:  women, medicine, and law in the United States, 1867-1973.  This study utilized the Chicago Coroner’s records and court transcripts. See:
Stacks & Reserve - HQ 767.5 .U5 R378 1997 (available as e-book from CUNY+ Catalog)
Sante, L. (1992). Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York. New York: Vintage Books Stacks - F128.47 .S23 1992
Robertson, S. (1998): "Signs, Marks and Private Parts: Doctors, Legal Discourses and Evidence of Rape in the United States, 1823-1930," Journal of the History of Sexuality 8/3: 372-385.
Schatzberg, R. (1993). Black organized crime in Harlem, 1920-1930. New York : Garland Pub. Stacks - HV 6452 .N7 S34 1993
Sutton, C. (1973). The New York Tombs: Its Secrets and Its Mysteries. Montclair, N.J., Patterson Smith. Stacks - HV9481.N62 T68 1973
Tappan, P. W. (1969). Delinquent girls in court; a study of the Wayward Minor.  Montclair, N.J., Patterson Smith. Stacks - KFX 2007.35 .T3 1969


Bibliography of works related to our Trial Transcript Collection

Books and Articles resulting from research in our Criminal Trial Transcripts of New York County Collection :
Arons, Ron (2008) The Jews of Sing Sing: Gotham Gangsters and Gonuvim. Fort Lee: Barricade Books. Stacks and Special Collections Room - HV6194 .J4 A76 2008
Bromberg W and Thompson C. (1937) “The relation of psychosis, mental defect and personality types to crime.” Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology; 28/1 pp. 70-89.
Presents the findings resulting from the study of 9958 prisoners, conducted for four years in the Psychiatric Clinic of the Court of General Sessions.
Chauncey, G. (1994) Gay New York:  gender, urban culture, and the making of the gay male world, 1890-1940.  New York: Basic Books. Reserve - HQ 76.2 .U52 N53 1994. & Available as an e-book
Used sodomy cases related to bath houses in the Court of General Sessions Transcripts at John Jay as a resource for this book.
Donovan, B. (2005), “Gender Inequality and Criminal Seduction: Prosecuting Sexual Coercion in the Early-20th Century.” Law and Social Inquiry, 30 pp. 61–88.
Analyzes narratives of sexual consent and coercion in 15 criminal seduction cases as recorded in transcripts in the John Jay Collection.
Donovan, B. (2006) White slave crusades : race, gender, and anti-vice activism, 1887-1917. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Stacks ; HQ144 .D57 2006 (also available as an e-book)
Utilized several abortion trial transcripts in our collection as well as related Manhattan DA indictment files at the Municipal Archives, NYPD Annual reports and other primary and secondary sources to present an early history of  investigative roles for policewomen in the NYPD.
Faber, E.and Rowland, E. (1989). Trial transcripts of the County of New York, 1883-1927: a historical introduction with an index to the microfilm collection. New York: John Jay Press. available as an ebook
Arsenic and clam chowder: murder in gilded age New York. Albany : Excelsior Editions, State University of New York Press, 2010. Stacks - HV6534 .N5 L58 2010
Detailed account of a murder for inheritance in a famous NYC family, and the trial (our trial number 70).
Messinger, Emanuel and  Apfelberg, Benjamin C. (1961) “A Quarter Century of Court Psychiatry.” Crime & Delinquency, 7/4, pp. 343-362
This study surveys a quarter of a century of continuous operation of the Psychiatric Clinic of the Court of General Sessions of New York County
Mcillwain, Jeffrey Scott (March 1997) “From tong war to organized crime: Revising the historical perception of violence in Chinatown.” Justice Quarterly  14, 1 pp. 25-52.
Used the Court of General Sessions, New York County transcripts amongst other primary and secondary documents in this study.
Murphy, Cait (2010) Scoundrels in law: the trials of Howe & Hummel, lawyers to the gangsters, cops, starlets, and rakes who made the Gilded Age. New York, N.Y.: Smithsonian Books Stacks-KF355 .N4 M87 2010
This law firm regularly and famously represented defendants in the Court of General Sessions and many other NYC Courts.  Many of our transcripts were used as reference for this book.
Robertson, S. (2002), “Making Right a Girl's Ruin: Working-Class Legal Cultures and Forced Marriage in New York City, 1890–1950.” Journal of American Studies 36: pp. 199-230
___________(2002) Age of Consent Law and the Making of Modern Childhood in New York City, 1886—1921 Journal of Social History 35.4 pp. 781-798.
Used several transcripts in the John Jay Collection as material for these and forthcoming studies.
Towne, A. (July,1922) "Young Girl Marriages in Criminal and Juvenile Courts,"
Journal of Social Hygiene, 8 pp. 297-306.
Refers to certain cases heard in the Court of General Sessions and other Courts.
Underwood, Richard H. Gaslight lawyers: criminal trials & exploits in gilded age New York. Lexington, Kentucky : Shadelandhouse Modern Press, LLC Stacks - KF355.N4 U53 2017
Used several of our criminal trial transcripts amongst other library resources researching this book, which is dedicated to Lloyd Sealy Librarians.