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Richard Bowen Collection


A collection of the papers, correspondence and books of Richard Bowen (1926-2005), judoka and sports historian.  

Richard (Dickie) Bowen was born in Belgravia, London in 1926. His early training was in bacteriology and, after serving in the army for nearly four years, he worked as a laboratory technician. In January 1949 he took up judo and joined the Budokwai, the UK's oldest club, where he received expert instruction from Gunji Koizumi, Percy Sekine, Trevor P. Leggett and Teizo Kawamura. In 1956 Bowen was selected to represent Britain at the 1st World Judo Championships, an open weight competition held in Japan. He subsequently spent three years training at the Kodokan in Tokyo. On his return to England, Bowen's close association with the Budokwai, both as a judoka and as a committee member and Vice-President, continued. He also became actively involved with the British Judo Association.

The collection contains a wide range of published and unpublished material relating to Bowen's extensive research into the origins and history of British judo and its early exponents in preparation for a book on the subject. It includes specialist publications, posters, tournament and display programmes, minutes of meetings, rare books and journals, correspondence and photographs assembled from various sources.

The collection was donated to the University of Bath in January 2004 by Mr Bowen. 

Size: 82 boxes of archival material and over 400 published works.

A catalogue providing full details of the archival (unpublished) contents of the Bowen Collection is available in PDF format.

Bowen B.65: Budokwai, 1922 

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Items from the Richard Bowen Collection may be consulted in the Library between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. You are strongly advised to make an appointment before you visit.

All enquiries should be directed to: Lizzie Richmond, University Archivist
The Library
University of Bath
Claverton Down
Bath BA2 7AY

E-mail: E.Richmond@bath.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 383464 (internal ext. 3464)