Collection Scope and Content Summary
Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine
Title: Lynn M. Osen papers
Osen, Lynn M.
Identifier/Call Number: MS.R.130
0.8 Linear Feet
Date (inclusive): 1952-2000
Date (bulk): 1969-1995
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).
Language of Material:
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. Date accessed.
For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information
about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder
descriptions, and box/folder locations.
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,
(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
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
Architectural Digest, Psychonomic Science, Rangefinder
Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Mathematics Newsletter,
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
|1950 May 20
||Married Donald Shotwell Osen.
||Supervised Statistics Division, Industrial Relations Department, U.S.
||Gave birth to son, Frank Sanford Osen.
||Obtained charter and organized first Orange County chapter of the League of Women
||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,
||Reciprocal Bibliographical Citations of Ten Psychological Journals.
||Planned, coordinated, and taught Women's Studies courses at the University of
||The Feminine Mathtique
||Named "Outstanding Alumna," University of California.
||Women in Mathematics
||World Who's Who of Women
|2003 September 01
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
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.
Osen, Lynn M.
Women in Mathematics. Cambridge, MA:
MIT Press, 1974.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Ephemera -- 20th century
California -- History -- Sources
Women mathematicians -- California -- Irvine.
Women -- Education -- United States -- 20th century.
Women's studies -- United States -- 20th century
Feminism -- United States -- 20th century.
Fliers (Printed matter) -- California -- Irvine -- 20th
Clippings -- California -- Irvine -- 20th century.
Letters -- California -- Irvine -- 20th century.
University of California, Irvine. Women's Studies Program --
University of California, Irvine -- Archives
Osen, Lynn M. -- Archives