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   Leo H. Downes papers, 1789-2014 [Bulk: 1950s-2014]

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Leo Downes Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#1749
Bib ID:11359941 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Downes, Leo H.
Title:Leo H. Downes papers, 1789-2014 [Bulk: 1950s-2014]
Physical description:20 linear ft. (34 cassette boxes; 12 document boxes).
Language(s):In English
Access: This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. The Rare Book and Manuscript Library ia unable to allow patrons access to audio cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes, film, analog records, and videotapes. If you need access to this type of material, please contact Access Services to discuss the possibility of having the material digitally reformatted.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in three series:

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Description

Scope and Content

The collection compises 753 cassette tapes; 2 videotapes, and 12 boxes of papers

Series I: Black History

Series II: Medical

Series III: Subject Files

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Using the Collection

Offsite

Access Restrictions

 This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

      offsite requestMore information and link to off-site request form

The Rare Book and Manuscript Library ia unable to allow patrons access to audio cassettes, reel-to-reel tapes, film, analog records, and videotapes. If you need access to this type of material, please contact Access Services to discuss the possibility of having the material digitally reformatted.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Leo Downes Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers Processed, 7/20/2017 PTL and

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion July 22, 2017 Finding aid written in English.
    2017-07-22 File created.

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
GenrePortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
African American intellectuals.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Afrocentrism.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Alzheimer's disease.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Baldwin, James, 1924-1987.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Ben-Jochannan, Yosef.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Biological psychiatry.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Black nationalism.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Black power.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Blacks--America--History.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Blacks--Politics and government.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Bodybuilding.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Carruthers, Jacob H.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Chomsky, Noam.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Clarke, John Henrik, 1915-1998.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Downes, Leo.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Epilepsy.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Farrakhan, Louis.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hilliard, Asa G.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Jeffries, Leonard.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Molecular genetics.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Neurology.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Neurosciences.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New York State Psychiatric Institute.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
OccupationPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Psychiatry.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Psychoanalysis.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Psychopharmacology.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Race relations.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Scobie, Edward.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Slave narratives.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Slavery--United States--History.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Van Sertima, Ivan.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
West, Cornel.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Wilson, Amos.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Leo H. Downes was an independent and provocative intellectual based in Harlem. His interests covered a wide range of topics, including African-American history, neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, philosophy, art, music, culture, sociology, theology, athletics, and education.

Downes was born July 15, 1933 in Coffee Gully, The Parish of St. Joseph on the island of Barbados. He was the only child of William Lionel Blackman and Adeline Ione Downes. His father was an engineer and, overseer. Leo graduated from St. Leonard's Boy's School in St. Michael Barbados West Indies in 1955. He attended the New School of Social Research in New York City from 1967 to 1970. He attended Columbia University School of General Studies from 1972 to 1974. He then attended New York Institute of Technology in Psychology in Westbury, New York.

Downes directed the Youth Opportunity Program for the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) located in the Washington Heights neighborhood for 32 years, from 1971 to 2003. The YOP program was designed as a pairing of high school adolescents with doctors as mentors for 15 to 20 hours per week to work in each doctor's respective area of research. It was a valuable and critically successful support system that worked well for both the doctors and students. Downes received numerous awards for this outstanding work. A teacher, counselor and, rehabilitator, he worked with children and adults in the Reality Halfway House, Cornell's Children's Services, and New York City Model Cities Program. He worked one to one, with small groups and, large groups as needed. He taught ex-cons, ex-addicts, dropouts and, High School Equivalency Programs.

Downes had an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and consistently asked the most challenging questions of anyone on any given topic. Others sought him out frequently to attend their classes, lectures, discussion groups and, movies because, they knew he would come up with the best questions. For 35 years he moderated a monthly study group of the Society for the Study of African Philosophy. He was a part of the Institute for Research in African American Studies program at Columbia University from its beginning in 1993.

Downes was a member of the Harlem YMCA for 55 years. He was a competitive body builder from 1950 to 1974. He died on April 28, 2014 at the age of 80.

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