Eugenical News was the central publication of the American eugenics movement from 1916 until 1953. It was the most influential eugenics periodical throughout the world from the time of its founding until the start of the Second World War. It served as a newsletter for eugenical events and activity in the United States. Increasingly it included news and editorials from European eugenicists and organizations, especially those from Germany.
The first several volumes were published by the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. Publication was then taken over by the Carnegie Institution of Washington from 1918 to 1920. Subsequent publication was by the American Eugenics Association and other successor organizations. In 1938 the Carnegie Institution disengaged itself completely from Eugenical News, due to increasing concern that eugenics was not a viable science and that it was being used in Europe for political ends.
Loss of financial support from the Carnegie shifted publication back to the American Eugenics Society and, ultimately, lead to the closing of the ERO. In 1954 the publication became Eugenics Quarterly. Due to the word “eugenics” being out of fashion, the journal was renamed Social Biology in 1969.
The column, “Accessions to Archives,” reported the types and quantities of family data sent to the ERO. Data was collected that it might be “furnished to students for scientific inquiry, to those contemplating marriage, and even, in some cases, to state officials, to whom organized society has a right to look for the care of its broadest interests.” [Davenport, The Family-History Book, ERO Bulletin No. 7]