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Louisa H. Bowen University Archives & Unique Collections: Overview

Louisa H. Bowen University Archives & Unique Collections Overview

The Louisa H. Bowen University Archives & Unique Collections department, located on the lower level of the library building, is the home for the unique materials that differentiate Lovejoy Library from all other academic libraries. Typically, such materials possess enduring informational value, require special care, and are made accessible to researchers under controlled conditions to extend their life span.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Louisa H. Bowen University Archives & Unique Collections?

This is the designation of the department that maintains the unique, non-circulating formats of primary source materials permanently preserved by Lovejoy Library.

Who was Louisa H. Bowen?

Louisa Hopkins Bowen, university archivist, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, died on Thursday, October 24, 1996, following a long struggle with pancreatic cancer. Bowen received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Skidmore College in 1972, a Master of Science degree in Library Science at Wayne State University in 1974, and a Master of Arts degree in history from New York University in 1982.

Bowen began her professional career by serving as Archivist at the Walter Reuther Library of Wayne State University from 1975 to 1976, before moving on to serve as Archivist for the National Board of the YWCA in New York City from 1976 to 1978. She next held the position of Cataloguer/Archivist at the University of Memphis from 1978 to 1980.

After relocating with her family to the St. Louis area, Ms. Bowen served for five years as Curator of Manuscripts at the Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, before assuming the position of archivist at Lovejoy Library, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. From 1991 to 1993, Ms. Bowen served as Acting Director for Undergraduate Assessment and Program Review in SIUE's Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Long active in both her profession and her community, Bowen was a member of the Society of American Archivists, the Midwest Archives Conference, and was a past president of the Association of St. Louis Area Archivists. She was a contributor to the American Archivist and to the Midwest Archivist.

To honor her memory, the university archives and special collections unit of Lovejoy Library, was renamed for Louisa Bowen at a ceremony held on January 9, 1997. In addition, the Midwest Archives Conference has named its graduate student financial award the
Louisa Bowen Graduate Scholarship.

Where is the Louisa H. Bowen University Archives & Unique Collections located?

In room LL 0013 on the lower level of Lovejoy Library. 

Who can visit the Louisa H. Bowen University Archives & Unique Collections? 

SIUE students, faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, and members of the public are welcome. 

Do I need to make an appointment?

No. You may drop in. However, due to limited staffing, and because most materials are shelved at a remote facility and must be retrieved for examination by researchers, a prior consultation with the University Archivist & Unique Collections Librarian and an appointment are recommended to save you time. 

During what hours does the Louisa H. Bowen University Archives & Unique Collections operate? 

Monday through Friday, from 9:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., when the university is open for business. 

May I borrow materials? 

No. Unique, irreplaceable materials may not be loaned or borrowed. 

May I obtain copies?

Researchers may use pencils and paper, laptops, or tablets to take notes. Researcher requests to obtain high quality digital images of materials are accepted. 

What can I bring with me when I visit?

Please come prepared to communicate your research preparation and information needs to our staff and bring only equipment necessary to take notes. Please do not bring food or liquids. SIUE is a smoke free campus. 

I am a member of the teaching faculty at SIUE. May I request permission and arrange to use unique materials in my teaching? 

Yes. We may be able to provide digitized images of items for you to use in your online teaching.  We may be able to provide use of a classroom in Lovejoy Library for your in-person teaching.  We request that you provide us with advance notice of your teaching needs so that we have adequate time to address your needs.                      

Steve Kerber

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Steve Kerber

Louisa H. Bowen