The Russell J. Bowen Fund was established in 1993 with a bequest from Mr. Bowen. It supports the Russell J. Bowen Collection on Intelligence, Security and Covert Activities, held in the Special Collections Research Center of the Library.
The Bowen Collection, assembled by Col. Bowen and donated to Georgetown in 1989, is a remarkable collection of books on the subjects of intelligence, spying, covert activities, and related fields. The collection of more than 17,500 titles includes works on cryptography, signal intelligence, tradecraft of all kinds, and the application of modern technology to intelligence gathering. The separately maintained Bowen Spy Fiction Collection contains more than 3,500 titles in the spy fiction genre.
Col. Bowen was born and grew up in the Boston area. He held an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from M.I.T. and received additional training in advanced mathematics and nuclear physics from M.I.T. and Northeastern University. He died in 1992.
During 20 years with Arthur D. Little, Inc., he was involved in process engineering, weapons development, foreign technology and intelligence-related activities. He went on to spend five years with Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., where he developed a program in intelligence analysis methodology. Following a year of active duty at the Defense Intelligence Agency, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency as a senior foreign technology analyst in the areas of non-nuclear energy and illegal technology transfer. He retired from the CIA after 11 years but remained a part-time consultant.
Col. Bowen served six years of active military duty during and immediately after WWII and retired from the Army reserves in 1980 after 38 years. He served on the board of the National Historical Intelligence Museum in Arlington and the National Intelligence Study Center in Washington. He was a contributing editor to the National Intelligence Book Center in Washington and a life member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He was also a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists and a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.