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Sir Francis Galton Correspondence (MS 81)

Identifier: MS 81

Scope and Content

The Sir Francis Galton correspondence includes manuscript, signed cards and letters to written to Mrs. Maud Clark Gardiner between 1894 and 1907. The letters are chiefly concerned with the new subject of finger-printing, particularly in regard to the fingerprinting of children and infants. Also included is a short clipping on the subject written by Galton. A letter from Dr. Francis Ramaley of the University of Colorado, Department of Biology, dated August 14, 1936, reviews the contents and donor.


  • Creation: 1894-1936
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1894-1907

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Sir Francis Galton (1822–1911), born in Birmingham, England, was an early human geneticist and eugenicist, the term "eugenics" coined by him in 1883. He laid the foundation for the science of biostatistics through his studies on the inheritance of mental traits. Galton was first cousin to Charles Darwin and influenced by Darwin's Origin of the Species , published in 1859. He began to publish on heredity in 1865; in 1889, he published Natural Inheritance , a summary of his work on the subject. Galton was knighted in 1909 and, in 1910, received the Copley medal from the Royal Society.

Mrs. Maud Clark Gardiner was the wife of John Gardiner, the first professor of Biology at the University of Colorado. Both Mrs. Gardiner and her daughter Dorothy (the donor) are graduates of the University of Colorado. Dorothy Gardiner was the first baby ever to be fingerprinted. Her fingerprints are still housed at the Fingerprint Museum at Scotland Yard. Dorothy Gardiner authored The Golden Lady , The Great Betrayal , Lion in Wait , The Transatlantic Ghost , West of the River , and other works.


1 folder


The Sir Francis Galton Collection includes letters written by Galton to Mrs. Maud Clark Gardiner.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Dorothy Gardiner, daughter of M.C.G., with an explanatory letter from Prof. Francis Ramaley.

Related Material

For related material on Dorothy Gardiner, see the Dorothy Gardiner Collection (MS 30), which holds typescripts, correspondence, photographs, and drawings.

Processing Information

Machine-readable finding aid created by Susan Guinn-Chipman, March, 2008.

Guide to the Sir Francis Galton Correspondence (MS 81), 1894-1936
Edited Full Draft
© 2008
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States