Keith Dowden ’49

Keith Dowden ’49 died on June 12, 2005, in Lafayette, Indiana.

Born on May 26, 1920, in Bristol, England, he prepared for college at Stuyvesant High School in New York City, from which he graduated in 1936. He worked at the National City Bank in New York and studied at New York University before serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces from 1942 to 1945 during World War II, attaining rank of sergeant. After the war, he entered Bowdoin and became a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. Following his graduation in 1949 summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, he received a master of science degree in 1950 from the Columbia University School of Library Service and worked there for a year as a reference assistant. In 1951, he joined the Purdue University Libraries in West Lafayette, IN, where he served successively as a reference assistant, head of reference services, assistant director of reader services, assistant director of resources and reference, and assistant director of special collections. He retired in 1986. He was a member of the American Library Association, the Special Libraries Association, and the Society of American Archivists. Surviving are his wife, Ruth Kenny Dowden, whom he married in 1946; a son, Christopher Dowden of Vero Beach, FL; two daughters, Dr. Carolina W. Bourdon of Argos, IN, and Margaret Wayne of Evansville, IN; and three grandchildren.