June 2013


For the last nine years the New York Historical Society (NYHS) has awarded an annual prize for a book of American history. Publishers submit six copies of each book they wish to be considered for the prize. This year’s winner was Robert Caro’s The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson. After the competition, there are a lot of history books on hand. Thanks to a thoughtful St. John’s alumna and NYHS employee, for the past two years these books have been sent to our library.

When we receive the volumes, we check each book in our catalog to see if one the university’s libraries needs the title. We then distribute unneeded copies to other colleges in the NYC metropolitan area. This program that has allowed us to add a good number of books to our collection. Long may it continue.

St. John the Baptist Church

St. John the Baptist church, c. 1930 (Image from St. John’s University Archives)

The original St. John the Baptist church was built in 1868 on the plot of land in Brooklyn purchased by the Vincentians where St. John’s College would eventually open in 1870. This small wooden church quickly became too small for the needs of the parish. The cornerstone to the new St. John’s the Baptist church was laid in 1888. It was designed by the famed architect Patrick C. Keely and was based on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It took six years to build the stone structure, which was finally dedicated in 1894. Located at 75 Lewis Avenue in Brooklyn, the building still serves the parish of St. John the Baptist.