Latest News

The Murray Bowen Archives Project: A Summer of Transitions

Since the founding of The Murray Bowen Archives Project/Leaders for Tomorrow in 2008, President Joanne Bowen and Vice-President Pat Comella have faithfully led the efforts to preserve and make Murray Bowen's legacy available to the world. The past summer, both resigned from their positions as officers and are looking forward to being able to focus on specific areas of the archives project. Upon her end of the year retirement as Senior Curator of Environmental Collections at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Joanne Bowen will apply her professional background of researching, archiving and curating records to take the lead in archiving the Williamsburg Collection. The Board of Directors thanks Joanne Bowen and Pat Comella for their work and contributions over the past eight years. Their dedication, energy, and commitment to the work of Dr. Bowen have made inestimable contributions – and without them, little could have been accomplished. Watch for the Project Update later this fall to learn more about their contributions, and their future plans. Judith Ball and Priscilla Friesen have been elected to fill the positions of President and Vice-President.

Leaders for Tomorrow is now, legally, The Murray Bowen Archives Project

When Andrea Schara graciously offered her non-profit organization, "Leaders for Tomorrow," to be used for the work of the Murray Bowen Archives, the original name was retained. Recently, the name of the organization was legally changed to The Murray Bowen Archives Project. Treasurer Bill Dwyer, requests that all donations be made payable to The Murray Bowen Archives Project. We are no longer able to accept checks made payable to Leaders for Tomorrow. Thank you.

"The New and Improved" Murray Bowen Archives Website is almost ready to launch!

Due to come online at the beginning of November, in conjunction with the Symposium at The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, the new website will feature an ever-growing overview of Dr. Bowen's life and work, as well as photographs, excerpts of letters and papers, Oral History interviews, the first online videos of Dr. Bowen, and a serialized edition of Clarence Boyd's book, Commitment to Principles: The Letters of Dr. Murray Bowen. The website will continue to expand and grow as additional materials are developed. Watch for the email announcement.

Murray Bowen Videos Available to Borrow or Purchase through the National Library of Medicine

We recently learned that it is possible to borrow or purchase videotapes in the Bowen Collection at the National Library of Medicine. (Thank you, Catherine Rakow!)

If you are interested, this is the process to follow:

Contact John Rees, Archivist, at reesj@nlm.nih.gov for a listing of available videotapes for borrowing or purchasing. You will need this information to fill out the forms listed below.

To borrow videos through interlibrary loan from the National Library of Medicine you must go through a library with DOCLINE. For additional information on interlibrary loan borrowing go to: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/ill.html

If you wish to purchase any of the videos on the listing sheets sent to by Mr. Rees go to: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/collections/films/index.html#A4

You will have to complete the user agreement and restrictions PDF and then choose a vendor.

Fill out the forms and then send to NLM c/o Ms. Sarah Eilers at eilerss@mail.nih.gov

Then choose one of the two approved vendors–Colorlab or Bono, contact info for both is on the Vendor Info sheet—and speak with them about the format the original is in, and the format you want it duplicated to (a DVD or a digital file or whatever you need).

They’ll give you a price estimate.

Open House and Board of Directors Meeting, October 2015

The Board of Directors of The Murray Bowen Archives Project met in Williamsburg October 30–31 to set goals and develop strategies for the work of the project. Three new Board members were welcomed: Judith Ball, Ed Henley, and Kent Webb. Energy and enthusiasm are high and we anticipate great progress in the coming year.

The new office was celebrated with an Open House on Saturday, October 31. The office provides a dedicated space for processing and scanning the Williamsburg Collection, for welcoming friends and donors interested in learning more about the collection, and for centralization of administrative work. The office is located in Williamsburg, VA.

On Saturday, November 17, over 50 people attended The Murray Bowen Archives Project luncheon held during the Bowen Symposium, in Rockville, MD. Although president Joanne Bowen was unable to attend due to the death of her paternal aunt, Frances Bowen Hutchison, her presentation on the archives was given by Pat Comella. Due to the generous challenge of John Cammack, pledges of support for the project were made totaling over $12,000. Thank you!

How You Can Help

Donate

Please include The Murray Bowen Archives Project in your year-end giving. We anticipate an operating budget of $100,000 for 2016. This will support processing of the Williamsburg Collection, ongoing work in the Oral History Project, continued development of the website (www.murraybowenarchives.org), continued development of Meta-Murray–our database, and operational expenses. A major gift of $20,000 will allow us to purchase an archival grade scanner, which will significantly reduce the time needed for processing and allow us to move ahead more quickly in our plans to make digitized copies of Dr. Bowen’s documents available online. In the near future, we will begin raising funds to restore and preserve the AV collection, housed at the National Library of Medicine.

Volunteer: Two Opportunities

You can volunteer to help with the “Who’s Who? Photo ID Project” without ever leaving your home! The Williamsburg Collection includes many, many photographs taken over the years at events Dr. Bowen led and attended. Although Dr. Bowen is easily identifiable, others in the photographs may not be. Volunteers for this project will be given access to photographs online, and asked to fill out as much information as possible about the images. Directions are clear, and include a training video. Please contact Carol Jeunnette, Executive Director, if you are interested in learning more.

Volunteers are needed to assist with the processing of the Williamsburg Collection. Ideally, volunteers will be able to work for several days at a time and return several time a year. This is much to ask, but the hope is that with this level of commitment, we will be able to complete the processing of the Williamsburg Collection within two years. During each session, there will be a “read-in” time to allow volunteers to do personal research. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Carol Jeunnette, Executive Director.

The Murray Bowen Archives Project Luncheon, Saturday, November 14

You are invited to learn more about the archives project at a luncheon on Nov. 14, the second day of the Annual Symposium of the Bowen Center. We will begin at 12:15 sharp, in Room 207 of Gilchrist Hall, the Montgomery County Campus of Johns Hopkins University, and finish up at 1:15. Dr. Joanne Bowen, President of LFT/The Murray Bowen Archives Project, will offer a glimpse into the archives – both the professional collection already at the National Library of Medicine, and the Williamsburg Collection, currently being processed in Williamsburg, Virginia.

As well, she will talk about the breadth of work being done and to be done in the future with Dr. Bowen’s “gift to the world.” Carol Jeunnette, Executive Director of LFT/The Murray Bowen Archives Project will describe ways you might volunteer and get involved.

Team named to update website

Websites are crucial forms of communication. We are pleased to relaunch our website, which was originally developed by Deborah Gray Design and Ann Jones, LFT’s former Board member and Secretary. During the past few months, a talented website team has been assembled, including: Barbara LeBlanc, a communications and marketing specialist and long-time participant in the New England Seminar on Bowen Theory; Jean Harrison, a graphic designer and recently retired Chief of the Division of Visitor Services of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Greg Brown, a free-lance website designer/content specialist specializing in historical and scholarly web sites; Patricia Comella, a long-time student of Bowen theory across a broad range of applications, who has been involved in the Project from inception to the present; Joanne Bowen, who has served as content expert, family representative, and archivist; and Murray Bowen's heirs, Joanne Bowen, Susan Manne, Kathleen Noer, and Charles Bowen, who each assisted in the selection and review of Murray Bowen's letters.

You may already notice some changes and over the next few months, you will see more updates to the logo, structure, and content. The overall goal is to develop a dynamic website that is able to communicate well to those already committed to The Murray Bowen Archives Project, and to those who are newly introduced to this work. During the transitions necessary to reach this overall goal, every effort will be made to maintain the basic information and usability of the site.

Carol Jeunnette is first executive director

In December, 2014, the LFT board voted to appoint the Rev. Dr. Carol P. Jeunnette as its first Executive Director. Moving forward with this restructuring of LFT is a momentous step in achieving our mission of giving Bowen Theory to the world.

As a pastor and licensed counselor, Carol brings an exceptional background and experience to her position. First introduced to Bowen theory in 1996 by Rabbi Edwin Friedman, she has been a student of Bowen theory ever since, including a 5-year stint in the Bowen Center’s Special Post-Graduate Program.

Since her introduction to LFT and The Murray Bowen Archives Project early in 2013, Carol has helped with the Williamsburg Collection and served as an editor of LFT’s first Project Update issued in March, 2014. Glimpses of the “Treasure Trove” convinced Carol of the importance of the Archives Project on multiple levels.

As she describes it,

“First, the Archives allow insight into a theory that is rooted, tested and developed in the complex, messy realities of life. Seeing the contexts from which concepts grew brings them to life – allowing greater depth, breadth and understanding.

Second, Dr. Bowen was a real person who developed the theory as he tried to live it in the midst of a real family, real work situations, with real patients and clients. The letters of the Williamsburg Collection record this reality.

Third, Dr. Bowen knew it would take decades for this theory to be recognized and accepted. As that happens, the availability of this much larger body of work becomes more and more important—both as an historical record, and an aid to deeper understanding and ongoing development of the theory.

Fourth, as many who have spent time in the Williamsburg Collection will attest, just reading through boxes seems to settle anxiety and promote clear-headedness – it is something about being in the presence of one working on differentiation, even if that presence comes through the written word.

And fifth, (definitely not last), in an increasingly complex, anxious, and reactive world, Bowen theory offers a way of thinking that shapes a way of being that is on the side of life. Opening the Murray Bowen Archives is one way of increasing exposure and accessibility to what truly can be a gift to the world.”

Carol and her husband, John, plan to relocate to Williamsburg during the summer or fall of 2015. In the meantime, much of her work will be from her home in New Hampshire.

Contact Carol at caroljeunnette@murraybowenarchives.org

NLM Bowen Collection open to researchers

The Murray Bowen Collection in the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine was reopened to researchers in 2014. Although the larger goal of opening the collection (physically and digitally) to the public is years in the future, having this collection accessible to researchers is a significant step, and offers new opportunities to Bowen scholars.

Because the collection is still unprocessed and contains sensitive information, researchers are required to apply for and receive approval from the History of Medicine Division of the NLM.

For general visitor information for NLM, please visit http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/about/visitus.html and http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/informationfor/scholars.html.

The Murray Bowen Collection is stored offsite and must be transferred to the library in Bethesda. Once approval has been received, allow 30 days for your requested materials to be transferred to NLM.