Special Request On-site Photography Request Abstract The American Eugenics Society Records is a small, selective collection offering information on various periods of the Society's development, including correspondence, membership records, and formal and informal material on its history. Of particular interest are the records of the Society's numerous committees, including the Executive Education, Population Genetics Research, Legislative, and local and state committees, and documentation of AES educational initiatives at state fairs and eugenic health exhibits and contests, especially the Fitter Family Contests. A scrapbook containing 97 images of Fitter Family and eugenic health exhibits,provides valuable visual information of AES activities. One series in the collection relates to the numerous Princeton Conferences and to a genealogical survey of the populations of Shutesbury and Leverett, Massachusetts, and there is also material on the Population Council.
A scrapbook containing 97 images of Fitter Family and eugenic health exhibits,provides valuable visual information of AES activities. One series in the collection American eugenics society to the numerous Princeton Conferences and to a genealogical survey of the populations of Shutesbury and Leverett, Massachusetts, and there is also material on the Population Council.
The collection largely revolves around Frederick Osborn, the moving force in the Society for most of its later history, and it includes approximately papers written or delivered by Osborn concerning eugenics, genetics, or population related topics.
Although the eugenics movement had been gaining strength in the United States for over a decade, there was at the time no formal organization through which to pursue its broader political and educational agenda. As a result, a group of prominent eugenicists founded the Eugenics Committee of the U.
From its base in New Haven, Connecticut, the AES soon attracted the support of nearly every major American eugenicist and for the first decade of its existence, at least, was very successful at promoting eugenic ideas to the American public.
More an advocacy group than a scientific organization, the AES promoted its ideals of racial betterment, eugenic health, and genetic education through public lectures, conferences, publications, and exhibits at county and state fairs.
Beginning in the s, the AES began a slow transformation into a less programmatic organization. This figure most often credited American eugenics society bringing about this shift was Frederick Osborn, Secretary of the Society from until Osborn had a clear impact on the reformulation of AES policies and a greater focus on issues of population control, genetics, and, later, medical genetics.
They remained active in promoting scientific investigation into eugenic topics, sponsoring five conferences at Princeton University between and on population genetics and demography, and drawing an international cast of scientists.
Scope and content The Records of the American Eugenics Society document the varied promotional activities of the foremost organization for eugenic education and advocacy in the United States during the s and s.
Consisting of 9 linear feet of administrative records, correspondence, and formal and informal histories of the Society, the Records span the entire history of the organization from throughthough weighted rather heavily toward the years before the Second World War.
The main body of records includes routine correspondence relating to AES activities and membership, including membership records from the beginning of the Society, correspondence relative to publications and orders for publications.
At the end of the collection is a file of 4x6" index cards representing a eugenic study of Shutesbury, Massachusetts, a town selected for eugenic study due to its visible decline over the previous decades and for the suspected high proportion of "degenerate" residents.
Between andthe AES held contests for the best sermon preached on the subject of eugenics.
In addition to the nine folders labeled AES Sermon Contest, the collection includes 45 submissions filed under the name of the minister, preached before Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational, Baptist, Unitarian, and Jewish congregations across the country.
A particularly valuable part of the collection is the series of scrapbooks maintained by the Society. Fairchild, as well as most of the members of the AES Board of Directors over the years, and a number of images of winners of fitter family contests. The other three scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings of articles of eugenic interest, reflecting the AES effort to stay abreast of public perceptions of the field.
Many of the photographs in the scrapbook from Series II.
Links to the digital versions of the images are included in the inventory. You may also view a gallery of all images here. Links to these materials are provided with context in the inventory of this finding aid. A general listing of digital objects may also be found here. Preferred citation Cite as: Separated material Books and journals materials transferred to Printed Materials, including: African American History Note Eugenics was inevitably entangled in many aspects of American social and political life, and particularly in setting and supporting national policy with regard to immigration and the treatment of ethnic and racial minorities.
The records in this collection may prove useful to students of African American history in this regard.The American eugenics movement was rooted in the biological determinist ideas of Sir Francis Galton, which originated in the s.
represented under progressive banners of improvement and were made to seem like plausible courses of action to better American society. Leon Whitney, executive secretary of the American Eugenics Society declared of Nazism, "While we were pussy-footing around the Germans were calling a spade a spade.".
The American Eugenics Society Records is a small, selective collection offering information on various periods of the Society's development, including correspondence, membership records, and formal and informal material on its history.
Discusses attempts to further eugenics in the United States through national immigration and naturalization policy.“Controlling Heredity: The American Eugenics Crusade, ” provides an overview of the eugenics movement in the United States and in Missouri.
The American Eugenics Society (AES) was established in , as a result of the Second International Conference on Eugenics that took place in New York in (Curators, ). Founding members include Madison Grant, Harry H.
Laughlin, Irving Fisher, Henry Fairfield Osborn, and Henry Crampton (Curators, ).
Prominent members and . The American Eugenics Society (AES) served to promote a popular education program for eugenics in the United States. Following the success of the Second International Congress of Eugenics held in New York in , a Eugenics Committee of the United States was established that ultimately led to the.