Leigh Buchanan Bienen: Works

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Title: Learning from the Past, Living in the Present: Understanding Homicide in Chicago, 1870-1930
: Leigh B. Bienen
Publisher: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology
Issue: Volume 92, Issue 3/4, pp 437-554
Excerpt: The Chicago Historical Homicide Project at Northwestern University School of Law began with the discovery and recent availability of a rich log of more than 11,000 homicides from 1870-1930, maintained consistently by the Chicago Police. The uninterrupted period of sixty years, and the fact of a single institutional record keeper, makes this an important new resource for the study of crime, homicide, urban development, and the police themselves.

There are many without whom the Chicago Historical Homicide Project would not have come into being or accomplished what it has. The Northwestern University School of Law, and Dean David Van Zandt, personally and institutionally, have offered strong support from the beginning. The Third Annual Faculty Conference, “Learning from the Past, Living in the Present: Patterns in Chicago Homicides, 1870-1930,” took place on November 17, 2000. Several of the presentations at that Conference are now incorporated in this volume:

Criminal Law




The Project gratefully acknowledges the support of the Northwestern University School of Law faculty research fund, including the Irving A. Gordon Symposium fund. Other participants will be represented in later publications of the Project. The data transcription, coding and transformation of the more than 11,000 handwritten files into a text file, and then a quantitative file was supported by a generous grant from the Gun Violence Program of the Joyce Foundation. Elizabeth Olds, formerly a staff member at the American Bar Foundation, transcribed the 11,500 handwritten case entries into a text file over the course of a year. Juan Iziary, James Anderson, and Colin Proksel provided much appreciated and necessary computer skills. The assistance of the Northwestern University School of Law Library, C. Si- moni, Librarian, and especially the tireless efforts of Marcia Lehr, Pegeen Bassett, and other staff, has been and remains invaluable. Their commitment of time, energy, and resources over time continues to be much appreciated. The Information Technology staff at Rebecca Crown Center (Morteza A. Rahimi, Vice President for Information Technology) and the IT and support staff at the School of Law (Christel Bridges, Director), provided critical technical support, as did the students and others who coded and entered data. Many other staff at the School of Law and on the Evanston campus provided valued advice and assistance. Finally, the person who deserves special recognition is Juana Haskin at the School of Law. She has shepherded all aspects of the Project from its beginning, with a commitment of time, energy, intelligence and good spirit over the years which is very much valued and appreciated…




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