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SUB-SERIES Identifier: HUG 1768.60

Papers of Dudley Allen Sargent : measurement cards from schools and organizations other than Harvard, 1880-1902


These data cards contain the anthropometric measurements of thousands of research subjects.


  • 1880-1902


Conditions on Use and Access

There are no restrictions on access to the data cards. Related materials may be restricted.

These data cards are stored in an off-site facility. Researchers are advised to contact Reference Staff of the Harvard University Archives for more information concerning retrieval of material.


41 boxes
These cards comprise a portion of the total research data collected by Dudley Allen Sargent. The research subjects from which data on these cards were collected were from institutions other than Harvard College.

Each measurement card notes detailed measurements of the subject's body and lists some genealogical and family health information as well. This information often includes the subject's birth date and place, subject's father's occupation, and both the nationalities and the causes of death of the subject's parents.

Biographical Note Relating to the Data Cards

Dudley Allen Sargent (1849-1924) was an early innovator in physical education. His long association with Harvard included his years as Director of the Hemenway Gymnasium at Harvard from 1879 to 1919. During this time, he also established and taught at the Harvard Summer School of Physical Education.

Sargent also established a private gymnasium in Cambridge, Massachusetts, known as the Sanatory Gymnasium. At the Sanatory Gymnasium, he directed an exercise program for the female Harvard students until 1892. These were students who studied in the Harvard Annex, which later became Radcliffe College.

He also conducted physical education teacher training courses, which eventually became the Sargent College of Physical Education, and was later associated with Boston University.

Sargent's academic interests went beyond teaching to include research. He went to great lengths to research the perfect proportions of the human body, using his Harvard and other connections to procure research subjects and data. He had three ways of obtaining subjects for anthropometic measurement. He recorded and/or collected sets of anthropometric measurements from his Harvard students, Sargent School pupils, and Sanatory Gymnasium clients. He also sent individuals blank data cards, on which their measurements could be recorded, and responded with an assessment or chart of their condition. Finally, Sargent's students and colleagues returned to their home institutions, found research subjects, recorded their measurements, and sent completed data cards back to Sargent.


The list below is organized alphabetically by institution. There is no apparent arrangement of the cards within the institutional groupings. There is a small number of unidentified cards listed at the end.

Acquisition Information

Accession number: 14493.

Related Material in the Harvard University Archives

  1. Records of the Dept. of Physical Education
  2. Publications by and about Dudley Allen Sargent and about the Dept. of Physical Education cataloged in HOLLIS.
To read more about the measurement process, see: Bowls, Gordon Townsend. New Types of Old Americans at Harvard and at Eastern Women's Colleges. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1932. Call number: HU 137.399 Bennett, Bruce Lanyon. The Life of Dudley Allen Sargent, M.D., and His Contributions to Physical Education. Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Michigan, 1947. Call number: HUG 1768.15.2 (microform)

Inventory update

This document last updated 2016 February 16.

Processing Information

Processed March 2002 by Barbara Meloni.
Link to catalog
Sargent, Dudley Allen, 1849-1924. Papers of Dudley Allen Sargent : measurement cards from schools and organizations other than Harvard : an inventory

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

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