CIW Station for Experimental Evolution 1904-1921

In 1903 the Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW) approved a plan, put forward by Charles Davenport, to establish a biological experiment station to study evolution at Cold Spring Harbor. While he was already directing the neighboring Bio lab, he was named the first director (1904-1934) of the CIW’s Department of Genetics. It was originally named the Station for Experimental Evolution (SEE), and had formally opened on June 11, 1904, in Cold Spring Harbor, to study heredity and evolution through breeding experiments with plants and animals. In 1910, while Davenport was directing both operations, Mrs. E. H. Harriman established the Eugenics Record Office (ERO) at Cold Spring Harbor for him to head, as well. The ERO eventually became part of the Department of Genetics. (The CSHL Archives contains collections for BIAS Bio Lab, LIBA Bio Lab, and ERO.) Pictured below is the “Opening Day” of the Main Building of the CIW Station for Experimental Evolution, since renamed the Carnegie Building and home to the CSHL Library & Archives.