Judo memorabilia taken from the University’s Bowen Collection will be displayed at the Olympic Games this weekend.
Posters, programmes, photos and newspaper cuttings will form part of a spectator exhibition at the ExCeL London – the Olympic venue where Judo events will be held until August 3.
The Bowen Collection was donated to the University’s Library by Richard ‘Dickie’ Bowen in 2004. It comprises a wide range of books and archival material relating to his extensive research into the origins and history of British Judo and its early exponents.
The collection includes posters, tournament and display programmes, minutes of meetings, working drafts, correspondence and photos assembled from various sources.
University archivist Lizzie Richmond said: “It’s an honour to be able to contribute, even in a small way, to the Olympics.
“Dickie was an accomplished judoka and competed internationally at the highest level. It’s fitting that the extraordinary archive he worked so hard to assemble and preserve is used in this way.”
Dickie Bowen was born in London in 1926. After taking up Judo in January 1949 he joined the Budokwai, the UK’s oldest club, where he received expert instruction in the sport.
In 1956 he was selected to represent Britain at the first World Judo Championships and went on to spend 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 and he also became actively involved with the British Judo Association.
Since its transfer to the Library the Bowen Collection has been consulted by academics, former world and Olympic judo champions, journalists, students and researchers from Europe, Japan and Israel, with reference to sports performance, the establishment of the European Judo Union, self-defence for women in 19th-century England and the application of various coaching methods over time.