The Penn Libraries criminology collection began with modern criminology itself, guided by Professor Thorsten Sellin and his successor Professor Marvin Wolfgang. Generously supported by the Lipman Criminology Library Fund since 1985 and benefiting from the 1996 donation of Dr Sellin's books and journals, the criminology collection continues as a strength of the Penn Libraries social sciences collections.
A good historical overview of the Penn's academic program is provided in "Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania", in The Origins of American Criminology / Francis T Cullen et al., eds. (Advances in Criminological Theory vol. 16 (2011): 159-220.
Reference works make excellent starting points for research; they provide concise articles on key topics by scholars of the field, often accompanied by suggestions for further reading. The sources listed below are print volumes shelved in the Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks, on the first floor of Van Pelt, unless otherwise noted.