Lloyd Sealy Library
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Collections

About our collections

Located in spacious quarters on the first two floors of Haaren Hall, the Lloyd Sealy Library houses the foremost collection of criminal justice materials in the world. Boasting more than half a million books, periodicals, microforms, films and digital collections, the Library integrates historical and contemporary materials to present a balanced view of the criminal justice field. John Jay and CUNY faculty and students use this library as well as scholars, practitioners and members of the legal community from all over the world.

The Library’s greatest strengths are in the areas of criminal justice, fire science, forensic psychology, forensic science, public administration, social sciences and related fields. Its extensive resources support the research needs of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and criminal justice agency personnel. The Library holds a number of unique special collections directly related to the mission of the College. Trial transcripts of the New York criminal courts dating from 1883–1927 provide a rich source for the study of history, sociology and law, and an extensive collection of police department annual reports from all over the United States invites quantitative and comparative studies. There is also a significant body of material dealing with alcoholism and substance abuse. The Library’s extensive media collection, which includes many rare titles and contains approximately 10,000 DVDs and streaming videos, supports classroom instruction as well as research. More than 6 million volumes of books in 20 separate CUNY libraries supplement the Library’s print resources.

The Lloyd Sealy Library maintains its own website, providing the entryway to its digital collections. These include more than 200 general and specialized databases; over 160,000 journals and newspapers, U.S. and foreign legal materials; more than 65,000 ebooks; an electronic reserve collection; and over 3,000 rare books, including the Fraud and Swindles Collection.

Collection development policy

The Lloyd Sealy Library seeks to advance the mission of John Jay College of Criminal Justice by focusing its acquisitions on the fields of criminal justice and related areas of public safety and public service. To that end, we acquire print, multimedia, and electronic material at the appropriate research level relating to criminal justice, forensic psychology, public administration, protection management and forensic science. We do this with the goal of supporting research and teaching in those areas.

We collect materials in the supporting social sciences as fully as our budget will allow. Resources in other subjects are purchased as we are able to afford them, and most of that is in the form of reference material.
 
In addition, we aim to support the curriculum as a whole in terms of specific course assignment materials, except for textbooks.
 
As part of the University consortium, we make decisions in the context of the 19 campuses that make up CUNY, and this enriches and enhances our users’ access to both print and electronic media in a wide range of subjects.