Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie

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Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie (born 1936) is an American historian of science known especially for her work on the history of women in science. She taught at Oklahoma Baptist University before becoming curator of the History of Science Collections and professor at the University of Oklahoma. She is currently Curator Emeritus, History of Science Collections and Professor Emeritus, Department of the History of Science at the university.

Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie
Marilyn Ogilvie.jpg
Ogilvie in 2007
Alma materUniversity of Oklahoma
Baker University
University of Kansas
Spouse(s)Philip W. Ogilvie (divorced)
Scientific career
FieldsHistorian of Science
InstitutionsUniversity of Oklahoma


Dr. Ogilvie earned an A.B. degree in Biology from Baker University (1957), an M.A. in Zoology from the University of Kansas (1959), plus a Ph.D. in the History of Science (1973) and an M.A. in Library Science (1983) from the University of Oklahoma.[1]

After working as an associate professor and division chair at Oklahoma Baptist University from 1979 to 1991, Dr. Ogilvie returned to the University of Oklahoma as the Curator of the History of Science Collections. As curator, she expanded the holdings of the collection from 79,000 to 94,000 volumes. After her retirement in 2008, a fellowship for graduate studies in the History of Science was established in her name.[2] She is currently Curator Emeritus, History of Science Collections, and Professor Emeritus, Department of the History of Science, at the university.[1]

Dr. Ogilvie's books reflect her interest in the history of women in science. In addition to biographical dictionaries, she has written biographies of biologist Alice Middleton Boring, physicist and chemist Marie Curie, astronomer Caroline Herschel and ornithologist Margaret Morse Nice.

In 1998, her book Women in Science: Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century was listed in the American Library Association Outstanding Reference Sources. The book, which contains profiles of 186 women, was described by Chet Raymo of The Boston Globe as follows: "What comes across is the great love of doing science that many women have shared with men. What is also apparent are the formidable barriers that have been thrown up against them."[3]

This theme was taken up again in Marie Curie: A Biography (2004; paperback edition 2011), in which Dr. Ogilvie discusses Marie Curie's partnership with her husband Pierre. She also describes their individual contributions to the discoveries for which they jointly received the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics, and Marie received the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.[4]

Dr. Ogilvie's books are currently held by hundreds of libraries around the world.[5]

She was honored on the occasion of her 80th birthday at the Annual Meeting of the History of Science Society in November 2016 as a "leading historian of women in science." According to her colleague Pnina G. Abir-Am of the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, Dr. Ogilvie, through her work on biographical dictionaries of women in science, was instrumental in drawing attention to the sheer number of women in scientific fields throughout history.[6]

Dr. Ogilvie was married to Philip W. Ogilvie, who taught zoology at the University of Oklahoma and served as director of the Oklahoma City Zoo and other zoos. The couple co-authored at least one scholarly article.[7] They had three children and later divorced.[8]


The following is a selection of Ogilvie's publications:

  • Ogilvie, Marilyn Bailey (2018). For the Birds: American Ornithologist Margaret Morse Nice. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 978-0-8061-6069-6
  • Ogilvie, Marilyn B. (2008). Searching the Stars: The Story of Caroline Herschel. Gloucestershire, UK: The History Press. ISBN 978-0752442778
  • Ogilvie, Marilyn Bailey (2004). Marie Curie: A Biography. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-32529-8.
  • Ogilvie, Marilyn; Harvey, Joy (2000). The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: Pioneering Lives from Ancient Times to the mid-20th Century. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-92038-4.
  • Ogilvie, Marilyn Bailey (1999). A Dame Full of Vim and Vigor: A Biography of Alice Middleton Boring, Biologist in China. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic. ISBN 978-90-5702-575-4.
  • Ogilvie, Marilyn (1986). Women in Science: Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century: A Biographical Dictionary with Annotated Bibliography. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-15031-6.


  1. ^ a b "Marilyn B. Ogilvie". The University of Oklahoma, Department of History of Science.
  2. ^ Livesey, Steven. "Marilyn B. Ogilvie Alumni Graduate Fellowship". Archived from the original on May 24, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  3. ^ Seajay, Carol (December 1, 1990). "Zone Books: Women in Science". Feminist Bookstore News. 13 (4): 127 – via JSTOR.
  4. ^ Harris, Martha (March 2012). "Book Reviews Modern (Nineteenth Century to 1950) Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie. Marie Curie: A Biography. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2011. (paper)". Isis: A Journal of the History of Science Society. 103 (1): 200. doi:10.1086/666438.
  5. ^ The biographical dictionary of women in science : pioneering lives from ancient times to the mid-20th century. OCLC 434302053.
  6. ^ Abir-Am, Pnina G. (January 2018). "The Making of a Historian of Women in Science: Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie at 80!" (PDF). History of Science Society Newsletter. 47 (1): 22–25.
  7. ^ Ogilvie, Philip W.; Ogilvie, Marilyn Bailey (May 1964). "Observations of a Roost of Yellow or Giant Fruit-Eating Bats, Eidolon helvum". Journal of Mammalogy. 45 (2): 309–311. doi:10.2307/1377005. JSTOR 1377005.
  8. ^ Bernstein, Adam (September 6, 2002). "Philip W. Ogilvie, 70". The Washington Post.

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