Guide to
Membership Database

Source of members' names:

A list of members as of 1925 is deposited in the American Philosophical Library in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1925 list); a list of members of the Advisory Council appeared in Eugenics, Feb., 1929 (Eugenics, Feb. 1929); a list of members as of 1930 is in the Margaret Sanger papers, Library of Congress, Container 62-63, Reel 41, "American Eugenics Society Feb. 1928 - May 1936"; a list of members appeared in the Eugenics Quarterly 1956 (EQ 1956); Frederick Osborn wrote to congratulate new members as they joined the Society and these letters, with other letters to and from members, are deposited in the American Philosophical Society Library's American Eugenics Society collection (AESC + date); Richard Osborne, editor of Social Biology, prepared a list of members for the officers and directors of the Society in 1974 (Osborne list); Barry Mehler compiled a table of the terms served by members of the Advisory Council and the Board of Directors from 1923 to 1940 which he published in his PhD thesis, A History of the American Eugenics Society 1921-1940, UMI Dissertation Services, 1988 (Mehler + page number); other sources as specified.

In addition to membership, dates for attendance at International Eugenics Congresses and for work done for Social Biology, the journal of the Society, are sometimes listed in the area in which membership dates are listed in order to give an indication of the length of time during which the member has been connected with eugenics. The key to symbols indicating the type of writing for Social Biology is given below:

BR = Book Review
R = Report
C = Communication
M = article or symposium paper
MR = Manuscript Review, Referee
D = Discussion
O = Obit

Sources of information on members:
More information on members came from Who Was Who In America (WWWIA) than from any other single source. Other sources are specified in individual articles, except that many titles of books and articles by members were obtained from Books In Print, Science Citation Index, library catalogues and other similar non listed sources.

Notes on Some Members

  • Advisory Council. Advisory Council members were not necessarily dues paying members of the Society. But they have been placed on the members list for two reasons First, many of them are known to be members, and, second, as Advisory Council members, they allowed the prestige of their name to be used to enhance the Society and the Society used them as a sort of focus group.
  • Historians. In studying these lists it must be kept in mind that, in the case of historians, an individual historian of eugenics might have joined the Society as a formality because the Society required membership in order to access files.