Eugenics Record Office (ERO-Galton) publications

Francis Galton created a Eugenics Record Office (ERO-Galton) at 88 Gower Street, London, England, in 1904, while developing a scheme to create for himself some research capacity in this area. ERO-Galton operated until 1907, when it was dissolved and replaced by the Francis Galton Laboratory for National Eugenics. Karl Pearson accepted directorship of ERO-Galton in 1906, while planning that significant transformation of the project. Cain discussed ERO-Galton. The best single source about ERO-Galton and its relationship to later laboratories under Pearson’s directorship is Farrall (2019 [1969]).

ERO-Galton should not be confused with Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, a department of Carnegie Institution of WashingtonERO-CIW operated between 1910-1939, developed significantly by Charles Davenport and Harry Laughlin. ERO-CIW became a substantial influence on American eugenics, especially in data generation from family trees, training and education, and advocacy around the application of Mendelian inheritance to this line of thinking. ERO-Galton and ERO-CIW were not related. ERO-Galton did not inspire ERO-CIW. In comparison, ERO-Galton was tiny and ad hoc. In many ways, the people at the heart of these independent operations kept the others at arms length (Galton and Pearson vs Davenport and Laughlin). These men disagreed over fundamental issues of theory and method.

Galton and Schuster (1906) Noteworthy Families title page element

Publications of ERO-Galton

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 Publications of the Eugenics Record Office of the University of London”.

Publications Attributable to ERO-Galton

This list of publications above is drawn from attribution on the publications themselves. After transforming ERO-Galton into the new Eugenics Laboratory, Pearson directed staff to use the in-house serials he was publishing when writing up their research. As a result, Schuster, Heron, and Bell each published additional work from their time in ERO-Galton. For a full bibliography, see:

  • Cain, Joe. 2021. Publications Produced by the Francis Galton Laboratory for National Eugenics. The Library 22: 523-548.  DOI 10.1093/library/22.4.523.