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Gosney, E. S. (Ezra Seymour) (Eugenics)



  • Existence: 1855 - 1942


Description: The Human Betterment Foundation was established in 1929 by Gosney to research and advocate reproductive sterilization of the socially and mentally unfit in accordance with the principles of eugenics. Upon the death of Mr. Gosney in 1942 his daughter, Lois Gosney Castle, liquidated the assets and contributed the proceeds to Caltech.


Collection Notes: Papers and Records, ca. 1920s-1943. The Gosney papers are a major source for the study of the later stages of the American Eugenics movement, as well as the history of social welfare and the legacy of the Progressive era. They also contain items relevant to the history of medicine and birth control in America as well as documents relating to the condition and treatment of the socially and mentally disadvantaged. Included is correspondence, manuscripts, research data, periodicals, pamphlets, and case histories (the latter are closed to researchers).

Collection size: 60 boxes, 20 linear ft.

Finding aid available at the Archives.

Photo of Ezra S. Gosney (PhotoNet).

Restrictions: Some files and boxes closed to researchers.

Found in 4 Collections and/or Records:

Gosney Photograph

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1989-00186

Human Betterment Foundation Records

Identifier: HBF
Scope and Contents

In 1928 Ezra S. Gosney and Paul Popenoe founded the Human Betterment Foundation to research and advocate for eugenic sterilization. This collection contains records of the research conducted by the Human Betterment Foundation and a small portion of Gosney's papers.

Dates: 1880-1945

Additional filters:

Unprocessed Material 2
Archival Object 1
Collection 1
Biology 2
Manuscript Collection 1
Photo Archive 1