Guide to the Research Collections



About 25,000 volumes comprise the holdings in this subject field. The collecting policy is generally comprehensive.

The holdings of journals, publications of associations, and reports of congresses are outstanding; most important files, both American and European, are substantially complete. This is especially true of English, German, and Italian language publications. These materials range from scholarly studies of the criminal nature to radical reform programs of little-known organizations.

There is a fairly extensive collection of periodicals, with a wide geographical range, although it is difficult to estimate the full extent of the holdings, since material is classed under many different headings: criminology, criminal law, criminals, juvenile prisons, police, etc. General magazines received include the International Review of Criminal Policy (1952-), the Revue internationale de criminologie et de police technique (Geneva, 1953-), the Revista penal y penitenciaria (Buenos Aires, 1936-), and the Archiv für Kriminologie (1898-). A number of titles relate to police forces--perhaps the most extensive run is that of the well-known National Police Gazette (1845-, incomplete); the library also has the New York City Spring 3100; A Monthly Magazine of-by-for New York's Finest (1930-) and from Canada the Royal Mounted Police Quarterly (Ottawa, 1933-) with journals from England, India, Italy, Poland, Sweden, and other countries. Convict publications are also received from institutions in the United States, among them the Rikers Review (1937-) from the New York State Penitentiary at Rikers Island.

Holdings related to juvenile delinquency and female criminals are strong. The first group is supplemented by materials on children (Billings class mark SO), and the second by materials on prostitution (Billings class mark SNY).

Special materials include a large collection of separately published reports of national, state, and municipal bureaus dealing with criminals. Compilations of laws and criminal codes are strong and are supplemented by associated resources in law and public documents. Statistical reports on crime are comprehensive. A good collection of printed criminal trials is included, the nucleus of which came with the Tilden collection. The library of A. Oakley Hall, district attorney and mayor of New York City, was given by his daughter, Miss Josephine B. Hall, in 1924. It includes the original error books and argument copies used by the district attorney in trials which he prosecuted.10 In 1938 the library purchased the Edmund L. Pearson collection of about 2,000 volumes, of which some 1,200 were devoted to crime, criminology, trials, detective stories, and similar subjects. The George Kennan collection of books, pamphlets, and manuscripts refers to the Russian penal system of the latter nineteenth century, especially in Siberia.11