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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 799

Papers of Dinah L. Moché, 1966-1995


Correspondence, legal documents, course schedules, exams, etc., relating to sex discrimination allegations brought against Queensborough Community College by physics professor Dinah L. Moché.


  • Creation: 1966-1995

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Dinah L. Moché is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


4.59 linear feet ((11 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 1 photograph folder)

The collection contains correspondence, legal documents, notes, course schedules, exams, etc., relating to sex discrimination allegations brought against Queensborough Community College by physics professor Dinah L. Moché. Moché's complaint was included in the class action lawsuit Melani, et al. v. Board of Higher Education, which resulted in a 1984 ruling in favor of the plaintiffs ordering the City University of New York to provide financial compensation to the plaintiffs, to end the University's sex discrimination practices, and to refrain from retaliating against the plaintiffs. In 1988, Moché filed a complaint with the Queensborough Community College Affirmative Action Committee alleging continued sex discrimination and retaliation by the college. Following a ruling by the committee that she had "been treated differently from her colleagues in the physics department," Moché resumed her legal battle against the college in Moché v. City University of New York, et al. Moché's allegations included salary discrimination, claims that Queensborough Community College was more accommodating of male colleagues' scheduling requests than hers, and that the college evaluated her by different standards than male professors. This last charge was based on a poor evaluation in which her use of multiple choice tests was cited as unsatisfactory. To prove her allegations, Moché collected salary information on her male colleagues, compiled physics department course schedules, researched the validity of multiple choice tests, and collected examples of multiple choice tests administered by her male counterparts who had received satisfactory evaluations. Documents that could be connected to a specific phase of the case are filed under the case name, which was often supplied by the archivist. Files that were used to support multiple cases are filed by folder title. Original folder headings were maintained with additional information provided by the archivist in square brackets. Files were arranged alphabetically by the archivist.


Dinah Levine Moché, daughter of Bertram A. and Mollie Levine, was born October 24, 1936. She received a BA in physics from Radcliffe College (1958), and an MA in physics (1961) and a PhD in physics, astronomy, and science education research (1976) from Columbia University. In 1955, she married Robert I. Rozen; they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Rebecca. Rozen died in 1966. Moché was a physics teaching assistant at New York University (1957) and Columbia University (1958), a physics instructor at Bronx Community College (1963-1964), and a physical science instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology (1964-1965), before joining the physics department at Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York where she was a lecturer (1965-1966), instructor (1966-1969), assistant professor (1969-1977), associate professor (1977-1979), and professor (1979-present).

The only woman ever to be a member of the Queensborough Community College physics department, Moché filed a sex discrimination suit against Queensborough Community College and City University of New York in 1976. The New York State Division of Human Rights found "probable cause" supporting Moché's complaint. She continued her struggle for equal treatment during the 1980s and 1990s. Moché is the author of over 20 books, including Astronomy: Self Teaching Guide, Astronomy Today, If You Were An Astronaut, Magic Science Tricks, My First Book About Space, and Physics in your Future. She is also a frequent contributor to scientific journals and lectures widely to lay audiences. She was a National Science Foundation Faculty Fellow (1976) and was invited to the White House for a conference on America's Future in Space (1984).

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 95-M2, 95-M45

The papers of Dinah L. Moché were given to the Schlesinger Library by Dinah L. Moché in January and April 1995.

Processing Information

Processed: June 2014

By: Johanna Carll, with assistance from Caitlin Jones.

Moché, Dinah L., 1936- . Papers of Dinah L. Moché, 1966-1995: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

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