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Record Group II: Eugenics Record Office, 1908 - 2003

 Record Group

Scope and Content

From the Collection:

The Eugenics Record Office Collection was established in 1910 at the Carnegie Institute of Washington (Cold Spring Harbor, NY) and closed in 1939. succeeded by the Department of Genetics. The collection contains administrative papers, photographs, publications and supporting materials, family pedigree charts, and requests for information, as well as materials related to and accrued by superintendent Harry H. Laughlin. Prior to joining the Eugenics Record Office, Laughlin was highly knowledgeable about breeding experiments, especially the breeding of thoroughbred horses. In addition to some of his materials related to thoroughbred horses, the collection also contains one of the few remaining copies in the world of H. Laughlin’s 1939 book on the Eugenics Records Office and a collection of photographs of ERO Field Workers’ Training Classes.

These are only a small portion of the original Eugenics Record Office materials. In 1948, the bulk of the records were donated to the University of Minnesota for use by the Dight Institute of Human Genetics. When the Dight Institute closed in 1991, the material was dispersed between the Genealogical Society of Utah, the Center for Human Genetics, and the American Philosophical Society. The Eugenics Record Office Collection is what remained at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

The collection is organized into two record groups:

Record Group I: Harry H. Laughlin, 1907-1970

From the Collection:
  1. Biographical Files, 1943-1970
  2. Correspondence, 1907-1938
  3. Publications, 1912-1940
  4. Thoroughbred Horse Studies, 1908-1950

Record Group II: Eugenics Record Office, 1908-1999

From the Collection:
  1. Administrative Files, 1908-1973
  2. Forms & Pedigree Charts, 1908-1940
  3. Information Requests, 1935-1977
  4. Eugenics Research Association, 1919-1937
  5. Publications, Other Sources, 1909-1953
  6. Images, 1910-1999
  7. International Congresses, 1912-1932


  • Creation: 1908 - 2003


Language of Materials

From the Collection:


Access Restrictions

Some restrictions apply, see Archivist for details. Access is given only by appointment, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Digital Access

Some material from the Eugenics Record Office has been digitized as is viewable courtesy of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center's Eugenics Image Archive

The Eugenics Image Archive is a conglomerate of digital items from the following institutions: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; American Philosophical Society; Truman State University; Rockefeller Archive Center/Rockefeller University; University of Albany, State University of New York; National Park Service, Statue of Liberty National Monument; University College, London; International Center of Photography; Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin-Dahlem; and Special Collections, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Please contact the institution listed under “Source” in the image viewer to request image permissions/rights.


From the Collection: 23 Boxes : 16 linear feet

Repository Details

Part of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives Repository

Library & Archives
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
One Bungtown Rd
Cold Spring Harbor NY 11724 USA