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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 858

Additional papers of Helen Brewster Owens, 1882-1958


Correspondence and memoir re: suffrage campaign in Kansas, writings re: women in science and mathematics by suffragist and mathematician Helen Brewster Owens and others.


  • Creation: 1882-1958

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Helen Brewster Owens as well as 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.


.21 linear feet ((1/2 file box) plus 1 folio+ folder)

Collection consists largely of correspondence, a memoir, typescripts, and flyers documenting her suffrage work, mostly in Kansas. Also included are writings by Owens and others (some are fellow members of Sigma Delta Epsilon) on women's education and women in mathematics and the sciences.


Suffragist and mathematician, Helen Barten (Brewster) Owens was born on April 2, 1881, in Pleasanton, Kansas, the daughter of Clara (Linton) and Robert Edward Brewster. Her mother, a teacher, was president of the Linn County Women's Suffrage Association, and in 1893 Owens, then a young girl, helped her distribute suffrage literature at the county fair. In 1910 Owens received her Ph.D. in mathematics from Cornell University, where her husband, Frederick William Owens, was a professor of mathematics. She served as chair of the Resolutions Committee for the New York State Woman Suffrage Association (1910), organized the College Equal Suffrage League at Cornell (1911) and was a paid organizer and chair of the Sixth Judicial District for the Empire State Campaign Committee (1913-1916). She also campaigned for suffrage in Kansas (1911-1912). Owens taught math at Wells College in Aurora, New York (1914-1917) and at Cornell (1917-1922). She was associate editor of American Mathematical Monthly and conducted research on women in mathematics and sciences.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2006-M192

These additional papers of Helen Brewster Owens were given to the Schlesinger Library in November 2006 by her great granddaughter, Susan Aitcheson.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Helen Brewster Owens Papers, 1867-1948 (A-147).

Processing Information

Processed: March 2016

By: Anne Engelhart

Owens, Helen Brewster, 1881-1968. Additional papers of Helen Brewster Owens, 1882-1958: 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

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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