Special Collections and Archives

Borowitz Collection: Borowitz Biography

Biography of Albert Borowitz and Helen Osterman Borowitz

Albert and Helen Borowitz have been collecting in the area of true crime literature for many years. Albert Borowitz started collecting at the age of 12 when he asked his father, prominent book collector David Borowitz, to buy an edition of the complete Sherlock Holmes stories for him. Arising from the shared interest of father and son, the fiction of Arthur Conan Doyle is now one of the many high points of the Borowitz Collection at Kent State University. Albert Borowitz is a graduate of Harvard University with a B.A. in classics, an M.A. in Chinese regional studies, and a J.D. He is the author of numerous books and articles on true crime, including The Bermondsey Horror (1989), a nominee for the Gold Dagger award for true crime given by the Crime Writers' Association. Other true crime books written by Borowitz include Innocence and Arsenic: Studies in Crime and Literature (1977), A Gallery of Sinister Perspectives: Ten Crimes and a Scandal (1982),and The Thurtell-Hunt Murder Case: Dark Mirror to Regency England (1987). He coined the now commonly-used phrase, "psychological kidnapping," in his article "Psychological Kidnapping in Italy: the Case of Aldo Braibanti" in the American Bar Association Journal 57 (Oct. 1971): 990-995. Borowitz has also collaborated with his wife, Helen Osterman Borowitz, on book projects, including Pawnshop and Palaces: the Fall and Rise of the Campana Art Museum (1991). He is a retired partner of the international law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. Albert Borowitz's personal and professional papers are included in the collection.

Helen Osterman Borowitz (1929-2012), an art historian with literary interests, was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Radcliffe College and of Case Western Reserve University. She was formerly associate curator of the Department of Art History and Education at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Her articles have appeared in Art Journal, Criticism, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, and Modern Fiction Studies, among others. She authored several books, including The Impact of Art on French Literature: from Scudéry to Proust (1985). 

Albert Borowitz's book, Blood & Ink: An International Guide to Fact-Based Crime Literature (2002) is an annotated bibliography which describes some of the items in the Borowitz Collection. The Borowitzes began donating their extensive collection to Kent State University in 1989.