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Second Saturday Exhibition Open House
July 8, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
The Library’s exhibition galleries and the William N. Deramus III Cosmology Theater will be open 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 8. Free admission and parking. Reference, research, and circulation services are not available on Second Saturdays.
About the exhibition
High-profile murder cases and popular television programs such as CSI, Bones, and Forensics Files have brought the laboratory work of forensic scientists into mainstream popular culture. Visitors to Connecting the Dots: The Science of CSI explore the history of several disciplines within forensic science: fingerprints, chemistry, biology, firearms, photography, and trace evidence. Highlights of material on display include:
- Nehemiah Grew’s description and illustration of friction ridges on fingers published in 1684.
- Alphonse Bertillon’s identification system (known as “Bertillonage”) of the late 19th century based on body measurements and photographs (the latter became the basis for today’s mug shot).
- Francis Galton’s (a cousin of Charles Darwin) late 19th century publications on fingerprints in which he became the first to establish the uniqueness and permanence of fingerprints and to develop a classification system based on loops (patterns that curve back upon themselves), whorls (circular patterns), and arches (patterns which form no loops or circles).
- Calvin Goddard’s forensic ballistics work that gained him national prominence in the 1920s with his forensic studies in the Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti murder case in Massachusetts.
- Landmark articles on DNA, including Watson’s and Crick’s double-helix article from 1953 and British geneticist Alec Jeffrey’s publications from the mid-1980s when he became the first scientist to develop DNA fingerprinting.
Visitors will also discover two important courts cases, Frye v. United States in 1923 and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals in 1993, which have shaped how courts admit forensic science as evidence.
The East Gallery is a staged, interactive crime scene where visitors will match fingerprints, analyze DNA, compare shell casings and fibers, and weigh the evidence to “solve” the crime.
This exhibition is made possible through funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Gridley Family Foundation.