The Office

Haunted Files: The Eugenics Record Office is composed of three areas: Research, Administration, and the Library. Click on the name of the area in the toolbar to see the documents found in each.

Davenport 11592

ResearchExplore the research papers, forms, and files of the ERO. These “trait files” analyzed the inheritance of hundreds of traits – from “feeblemindedness” to “race,” creating a massive index of data that was used to shape public opinion and policy.

AdministrationThe ERO was headed by influential eugenicist Charles B. Davenport. His personal and professional correspondences, lectures, and personal effects reveal the influence and ideology of the man behind the movement. The papers of the ERO’s field workers also shed light on the Office’s daily operations.

Library: A window into major eugenics works that both influenced and were influenced by the Eugenics Record Office, including a number of books penned by ERO leaders Charles B. Davenport and Harry H. Laughlin.

Image: ERO Director Charles Davenport. Courtesy Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives and Dolan DNA Learning Center.