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Ollie Tucker Osborne Papers

Collection 93

Osborne, Ollie Tucker (1911-1994).  Papers, 1927-1985

22 feet

Ollie Tucker Osborne's papers detail the activities of one of Louisiana's leading advocates of women's rights during the 1970s. Osborne was extremely active in the League of Women Voters and the Evangeline ERA coalition. She attended conferences and workshops throughout the South. She was appointed to the 1977 state women's convention in Baton Rouge and was elected a state delegate to the national convention in Houston. She helped organize and coordinate a number of workshops and conferences in Louisiana on women's rights. Much of this often-frenetic activity can be seen through her papers.

Osborne was born in Northern Louisiana and educated at Whitmore College and Louisiana State University.  Just before graduation, she married Louis Birk, a salesman for McGraw-Hill & Company, and moved to New York. After several false starts, Osborne launched a career in public relations and advertising which she pursued for twenty years. This included some pioneering work in television advertising. Following the sudden death of Birk in 1952, Osborne returned to Louisiana where she met and married Robert Osborne, an English professor at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). During the next two decades, she was busy as president of Birk & Company, a publisher of reading rack pamphlets.

Osborne's introduction to politics at the state level was as an official League of Women Voters observer of the 1973 Constitutional Convention.  Early in the year, she determined that some on-going communication link was necessary to allay voter fear and apathy about the new constitution. Osborne was also deeply involved in the campaign to ratify the new constitution.

This experience introduced Osborne to the Equal Rights Amendment, which she decided to support. She became coordinator of the local ERA coalition and deeply involved with the state effort. In addition, she worked for or supported women's conferences and organizations, which shared or explicated her goals such as National Organization of Women; Women's Political Caucus; Louisiana Women's Conference; Conference on Louisiana Women and others.

The papers reflect Osborne's activities in the women's movement and her career in advertising. There are several scrapbooks concerning her years in New York. The largest series contains League of Women Voters records of the local and state levels. The collection includes memos, correspondence, publicity materials (a great interest of Osborne's) and, often, photographs. Her photographs of delegates to the 1973 Constitutional Convention are probably one of the better visual sources on its participants.

Ollie Tucker Osborne donated the papers as part of the Women in Louisiana Collection.

Series:

I. Personal
  A. 1927-1952 Box 1; Box 47; Box 48
  B. 1953-  
    1. Personal  
      a. Correspondence 2-01 thru 2-11
      b. Miscellaneous 2-12 thru 2-19
      c. Photographs 2-20 and 2-21
    2. Birk and Company Records, 1953-1971 Box 3
    3. Organizations 4-01 thru 5-09
    4. Police Jury Campaign 5-10 thru 5-15; 48-01
    5. Women's Movement  
      a. Judicial Selections 5-16 thru 5-18
      b. Discrimination Cases 5-19 thru 6-02
      c. General and Miscellaneous 6-03 thru 6-08; Box 47, Tape 9
II. League of Women Voters (LWV)
  A. Lafayette, Louisiana (LWV-Lafayette)
    1. Organizational Records 6-09 thru 7-18
    2. Subject File 7-19 thru 8-10; Box 47
    3. Photographs 8-11 and 8-12
  B. Other Leagues in Louisiana 8-13 thru 9-13; Box 47
  C. Louisiana [State] (LWV-La)
    1. Records  
      a. General 9-14 thru 11-06
      b. Ollie Osborne (mainly as publicity chair) 11-07 thru 12-20; 49-02, 49-03; Map Case 24-02
      c. Workshops, etc. 12-21 thru 13-08; 49-04; Box 47
    2. Subject files 13-09 thru 13-24; Box 47
    3. Task Force Records 14-01 thru 14-09
    4. Miscellaneous 14-10 thru 14-19
    5. Photographs 14-20 thru 15-15; 49-04
  D. United States (LWV-US)  
    1. General Publications and Memoranda 15-16 thru 16-08
    2. Subject Specific Publications and Memoranda 16-09 thru 17-04; Box 47
    3. Miscellaneous 17-05 thru 17-11
  E. Constitutional Convention, 1973 (CC/73)
    1. Ollie Osborne's Newspaper Articles & Other Writings
      a. Records 17-12 thru 17-21
      b. Publications 17-22 thru 19-35
    2. League of Women Voters-Louisiana and Constitutional Convention/1973 19-36 thru 20-06
    3. Ollie Osborne Miscellaneous 20-07 thru 20-15; Box 47, Tape 2
    4. Clippings 20-16 thru 22-05
    5. Official Documents 22-06 thru 23-19
    6. Miscellaneous 23-20 thru 24-04
    7. Ratification  
      a. League of Women Voter's Role 24-05 thru 25-16; 49-05
      b. General (Clippings) 25-17 thru 26-03
    8. Photographs 26-04 thru 27-05
III. Women Conferences and Organizations
  A. Conference on Louisiana Women (1975) 27-06 thru 28-05
  B. Louisiana Women's Conference (1977)
    1. Coordinating Committee 28-06 thru 29-10; 49-06, 49-07, 49-v.1
    2. Women and Law Workshop 29-11 thru 30-01
    3. Final Report 30-02 thru 30-13
      a. Photographs Box 31
  C. National Women's Conference 32-01 thru 33-12
  D. Others 34-01 thru 35-02
  E. Organizations  
    1. Women's Political Caucus 35-03 thru 35-24
    2. National Organization of Women (NOW) 35-25 thru 36-04
    3. Louisiana Bureau on the Status of Women 36-05 thru 36-12
    4. Others 36-13 thru 36-16
IV. Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
  A. Evangeline ERA Coalition 36-17 thru 37-19; 49-08, 49-09
  B. ERA United 37-20 thru 38-23
  C. Other Groups 39-01 thru 40-13; Box 47, Tape 1
  D. Research Materials 40-14 thru 41-10; Box 47, Tape 6
  E. Opposition 41-11 thru 42-04; 46-21; 47-01 thru 47-5; 49-08
V. Miscellaneous
  A. Lafayette and Louisiana 42-05 thru 43-02
  B. Women 43-03 thru 43-10
  C. Miscellaneous 43-11 thru 43-16
  D. Clippings (mainly from 1970s) 44-01 thru 47-05
  E. Media Box 47
VI. Oversize Box 48; Box 49; Box 50; Map Case 24-02

Inventory:

Osborne, Ollie Tucker (1911-1994).  Papers, 1927-1985