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Eugene A. Foster DNA Study Archive

Identifier: 19


The Eugene A. Foster DNA Study Archive was created during the course of Dr. Eugene Foster’s study of the Jefferson, Carr, Randolph, Hemings and Woodson Y-Chromosome pattern. The study began in 1997 and culminated with the publication of an article in NATURE magazine on November 5, 1998. The collection includes correspondence that Dr. Foster undertook during the project with colleagues and participants as well as subsequent commentary and correspondence that was generated by the NATURE publication.


  • Creation: 1997-2004


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Conditions Governing Access:

The Eugene A. Foster DNA Study Archive is available on request by researchers for on-site use.  Portions of the Study Archive are restricted as noted, and available only to Dr. Foster’s family members until 2057.  After 30 November 2057, these restrictions will be lifted, and all portions of the Archive will be available to the public.  Photocopying of the contents in the Archive is permitted for research purposes and only upon receipt of approval from the Foundation Librarian.

Conditions Governing Use:

Special permission may be granted from the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Inc., for duplicating material found within the notebooks and papers, or for reproducing certain images in the collection.  Approved use requires printing the following acknowledgement with each citation or image: “From the Eugene A. Foster DNA Study Archive, Jefferson Library, courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc.”

Administrative History:

The Archive was transferred to the Jefferson Library at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation on November 30, 2006 in two separate Deeds of Gift.  The first Deed transferred the DNA samples from the participants; the second Deed transferred the rest of the Archive.  Due to confidentiality agreements taken on by Dr. Eugene Foster, access to portions of the Study Archive is restricted and available only to his family members until 2057.  Processing of the archive began in April 2007, and was completed in May 2008.

Eugene A. Foster received his A.B. and M.D. from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.  He was a Pathologist and Professor of Pathology at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, from 1959-1976.  From 1976-1990, he was Professor of Pathology at Tufts University and Senior Pathologist at New England Medical Center Hospitals, Boston, Massachusetts.  Up till his death in July 2008, Dr. Foster was Professor Emeritus of Pathology, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts.  His full Curriculum Vitae (CV) can be found in Box 3/11.  Dr. Foster died on July 21, 2008 in Charlottesville, Virginia at the age of 81.


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Arrangement of Materials:

The Eugene A. Foster DNA Study Archive is organized into eleven boxes of files, and includes a scrapbook, and a box of videos and audio recordings.  Any information added to the collection for organizational purposes is on yellow paper.  All other materials are from the original collection.

Guide to the Eugene A. Foster DNA Study Archive
Elizabeth L. Jones
May 2008
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Repository Details

Part of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Archives Repository

Jefferson Library, Thomas Jefferson Foundation
Post Office Box 316
Charlottesville VA 22902
(434) 984-7543