Guide to the Lynn M. Osen Papers
Processed by Cyndi Shein; machine-readable finding aid created by Cyndi Shein
Special Collections and Archives
The UCI Libraries
P.O. Box 19557
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Phone: (949) 824-3947
Fax: (949) 824-2472
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Title: Lynn M. Osen papers
Date (bulk): bulk 1969-1995
Collection Number: MS-R130
Osen, Lynn M.
0.8 linear feet
Languages: The collection is in English.
University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives.
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Abstract: This collection comprises the papers of Lynn Moses Osen, who helped develop the Women's Studies program at the University
of California, Irvine and actively spoke on behalf of women's education. The papers document Osen's teaching career at the
University of California, Irvine and her speaking engagements at high schools, colleges, workshops, churches, and women's
events throughout Southern California. The collection includes correspondence, awards, academic papers, resumés, course proposals
and syllabi, clippings, fliers, and a signed copy of Osen's book,
Women in Mathematics (1974).
Important Information for Researchers
The collection is open for research.
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and
their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Lynn M. Osen papers. MS-R130. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California.
Gift of Frank Osen, 2006.
Processed by Cyndi Shein, 2007.
Author and lecturer Lynn Moses Osen was an energetic spokesperson for women's rights throughout Southern California in the
latter half of the 20th century. She actively participated in many professional and community organizations including the
Orange County League of Women Voters and the Orange County Commission on the Status of Women. As an instructor at the University
of California, Irvine (UCI), Osen was instrumental in the development of the Women's Opportunities Center and the Women's
Studies Program and taught courses in mathematics, statistics, psychology, and women's issues.
During World War II young Lynn Moses received the U.S. Navy Department's Civilian Service Award for her original work in systems
analysis. She continued working for the Navy after she married Don Osen in 1950 at the age of 30. In the 1960s and 1970s,
Osen earned bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology.
Osen was known for her tireless efforts to promote women's equal education and employment. She was a driving force behind
the establishment of the Orange County League of Women Voters in 1957 and was later the founding chairperson of the Orange
County Commission on the Status of Women. She also served as head of the speakers' bureau for the National Organization for
Women (NOW) in Orange County.
In addition to her work in female psychology, Osen was an accomplished statistician and mathematician and a member of the
American Association of Women in Mathematics. Combining her interests in women's studies and mathematics, Osen wrote a well-received
paper entitled "The Feminine Mathtique" (1971) and a widely translated book,
Women in Mathematics (1974). She described the "feminine mathtique" as a myth that "encourages the notion that to enjoy mathematics in its many
forms is to be, in some obscure way, at variance with one's womanhood" (Osen, 1974, p. 11); during her lifetime Osen devoted
much of her time and energy to dispelling that myth among her contemporaries. To this end she designed and taught courses
at UCI and presented workshops and lectures for various colleges, high schools, businesses, churches, and women's organizations
throughout Southern California.
Osen's interests and activities expanded beyond women's issues to include memberships in organizations such as the Newport
Harbor Art Museum, Orange County Museum of Art, California State Central Committee, Author's Guild (Author's League of America),
Mental Health Advisory Board of Orange County, and the Western Psychological Association. Osen also contributed articles
Architectural Digest, Psychonomic Science, Rangefinder Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Mathematics Newsletter, and
In later years, Osen spent time traveling and writing; she contributed articles to magazines such as
Asia, China Tourism Press, and
Hong Kong Tatler. Osen continued to live in Laguna Beach, California and participate in women's organizations and the local Orange County
community until her death in 2003.
|1920 November 13
||Born in Alabama. (Father: William B. Moses.)
||Received U.S. Navy Department Civilian Service Award for original work in systems analysis.
|1950 May 20
||Married Donald Shotwell Osen.
||Supervised Statistics Division, Industrial Relations Department, U.S. Navy.
||Gave birth to son, Frank Sanford Osen.
||Obtained charter and organized first Orange County chapter of the League of Women Voters.
||Volunteer for State Central Committee, Democratic Party.
||Attended the University of California, Berkeley.
||Vice President of Osen-Ojeda Development Corporation.
||Received Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine.
||Received Master of Science in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton; thesis title:
Reciprocal Bibliographical Citations of Ten Psychological Journals.
||Planned, coordinated, and taught Women's Studies courses at the University of California, Irvine.
Multi-Dimensional Scaling (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press).
The Feminine Mathtique (KNOW, INC.).
||Named "Outstanding Alumna," University of California.
Women in Mathematics (MIT Press).
World Who's Who of Women (1974, p.930).
||Named one of
Dawn Magazine's "Women of Achievement."
|2003 September 01
Osen, Lynn M.
Women in Mathematics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1974.
Collection Scope and Content Summary
This collection comprises the papers of Lynn M. Osen, who helped develop the Women's Studies program at the University of
California, Irvine and actively spoke on behalf of women's education. The papers document Osen's teaching career at the University
of California, Irvine and her speaking engagements at high schools, colleges, workshops, churches, and women's events throughout
Southern California. The collection includes correspondence, awards, academic papers, resumés, course proposals and syllabi,
clippings, fliers, and a signed copy of Osen's book,
Women in Mathematics (1974).
Although Osen was an active member of feminist and civic organizations throughout Orange County, California, the papers do
not reflect these memberships or activities.
This collection is arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Materials concerning Osen's research on female pirates and her travel writings on the Orient were not retained.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Osen, Lynn M. -- Archives.
University of California, Irvine -- Curricula.
University of California, Irvine -- Women's Studies Program -- Archives.
University of California, Irvine -- Archives.
Feminism -- United States -- 20th century.
Women's studies -- United States -- 20th century.
Women -- Education -- United States -- 20th century.
Women mathematicians -- California -- Irvine.
California -- Archives.
Genres and Formats of Materials
Letters -- California -- Orange County -- Irvine -- 20th century.
Clippings -- California -- Orange County -- Irvine -- 20th century.
Ephemera -- 20th century.
Fliers (Printed matter) -- California -- Orange County -- Irvine -- 20th century.
Women in mathematics.
Box : Folder 1 : 2
Transcripts and master's degree
Box : Folder 1 : 3
Articles about Lynn Osen
Box : Folder 1 : 4
Articles authored by Lynn Osen
Box : Folder 1 : 5
Awards, resumés and biographical information
Box : Folder 1 : 7
Regarding Osen's political and community concerns
Program and course proposals
Box : Folder 1 : 8
Planned by Osen at UCI
Box : Folder 1 : 9
Planned by other colleges
Presentations and speaking engagements
Box : Folder 2 : 2
Book reviews and promotional material
Box : Folder 2 : 3
Box : Folder 2 : 4
Concerning rights and permissions
Box : Folder 2 : 5
Box : Folder 2 : 6
Box : Folder 2 : 7
With publisher, MIT
Box : Folder 2 : 8
Notes and references