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The careful study of original documents is key to all historical investigations. Digital libraries offer many primary sources associated with the history and legacy of eugenics.


In the Legacies Digital Library, we provide material we find otherwise difficult to locate. These are available as open access, free to download pdf files under CC-BY-NC license.




Publication of this material online is done strictly for historical and academic reasons. The work of eugenicists was pervaded by racial, ethnic, gender, and ableist prejudice. Readers must be alert to these biases in this material.


Reproduction of this work here is not an endorsement or promotion of the views expressed or eugenics in general. Quite the reverse. All articles are published in full, except where necessary to protect individual privacy. We believe there is a clear academic interest in making this historical material more widely available.

Legacies Digital Library Now Launched

As part of the Legacies of Eugenics project, funded by UCL’s Office of the President and Provost, we’ve developed the Legacies Digital Library. This digital library aims to provide a central hub for quickly accessing More…

Pearson (1909) The Groundwork of Eugenics

Eugenics Laboratory Lectures number 2: Pearson, Karl. 1909. The Groundwork of Eugenics (London: Dulau and Co.). 39 pp. Second edition is 1912. Eugenics Laboratory Lectures number 2 Pearson, Karl. 1909. The Groundwork of Eugenics (external More…

Galton and Schuster (1906) Noteworthy Families

Francis Galton and Edgar Schuster. 1906. Noteworthy Families: An Index to Kinships in Near Degrees Between Persons Whose Achievements are Honourable, and Have Been Publicly Recorded (London: John Murray). Identified as “Volume 1 of the More…

Pearson (1927) The Right of the Unborn Child

Eugenics Laboratory Lectures number 14: Pearson, Karl. 1927. The Right of the Unborn Child; Being a Lecture Delivered on November 13, 1926 to Teaching from the London County Council Schools (London: Cambridge University Press). 26 More…

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