- Identify Relevant Research Materials. The collection is extensive. Currently, it is organized in
the boxes in which items were originally delivered to NLM. All boxes in a single delivery
comprise an "accession." Each accession is identified by a number that begins with the year
the accession was acquired by NLM. (Example: Acc. 2006 was acquired in 2006.) Each
accession (including PHI restrictions, if applicable) is described
briefly at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/manuscripts/accessions.html#b
- If you know there is a specific item that does not contain PHI (such as a set of published articles or
videos not from the Clinical Conference series), it is not necessary to complete the PHI access
application process. For access, please contact John Rees, Archivist, at
- Apply. Because of the presence of PHI and other sensitive materials in the collection, access to
it requires approval from the History of Medicine Division of NLM. The "Access to Health
Information of Individuals" (https://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/manuscripts/phi.pdf) outlines the
process for application. The request can be sent to John Rees at the email address above. Allow
time for the application to be processed. Approval letters will be mailed to users and must
be present during research visits.
In addition to the accession descriptions available online, the majority of the accessions have lists
of folder titles for each box. If needed, once application for research has been made and
approved, users can request these lists be emailed to them.
A detailed, cross-indexed annotated catalog of each item in the NIMH study portion of
the collection (Accession 2006-003), created by Catherine Rakow, is available. In this
catalog she also briefly describes topics in the other accessions, including 1) identification
of files where Dr. Bowen’s papers (including drafts and original copies used for
presentations) from that time period can be found, and 2) identification of files where
information on research families can be found (requires PHI approval). To request this
catalog, or make inquiries about the NLM collection and its contents,
contact John Rees at email@example.com.
- Physical Access to Materials. The Murray Bowen collection is sizable. Most of it is located at
the History of Medicine’s offsite storage facility in Baltimore, MD. Once specific boxes
containing relevant research materials have been identified, users must request the retrieval
of those boxes for use at NLM in Bethesda. Retrievals are made the last Friday of each
month. Requests must be made before the close of business on the last Thursday of
the month. Casual “drop-ins” to NLM to browse through the collection are not
possible. For planning purposes—the vehicle capacity used for retrieval is 20
boxes. Email the list of requested boxes to John Rees, Archivist at
- Audio and Video Recordings. Dr. Bowen was a pioneer in the use of audio-visual equipment to
record presentations, clinical sessions, and teaching. These recordings are part of the collection
at the NLM. To view AV materials:
- Using the accession descriptions (see above), identify the tape(s) you would like to view.
- Contact John Rees, Archivist at firstname.lastname@example.org with
information on the tapes you wish to view, and when you plan to be at NLM.
- Within limits, low-resolution reference DVDs can be made from unrestricted video materials. If the
quality of the DVD content does not meet your needs, higher-quality duplication of unrestricted video
content can be arranged through film laboratories approved by NLM. Fees for this service are
negotiated independently between the customer and vendor, not through NLM. See
the “Historical Audiovisuals Program: User Agreement” of NLM for
more information: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/help/reference/forms/films_agreement.pdf.
- Because of PHI restrictions, clinical tapes (with the exception of videos of three subject families
who have signed releases) can be viewed only by those users approved for PHI access. No
reproductions of these tapes are allowed, and viewing must happen onsite at NLM.
» PDF: Accessing the Bowen Archives Collection at NLM