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Guide to the Garrett Hardin Papers
Uarch FacPap 14  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Garrett Hardin papers
    Dates: 1938-2003
    Bulk Dates: 1970-1999
    Collection number: Uarch FacPap 14
    Creator: Hardin, Garrett James, 1915-2003
    Collection Size: 34.4 linear feet (84 document boxes)
    Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
    Santa Barbara, CA 93106
    Abstract: Comprised of 84 document boxes of Human Ecology Professor Garrett Hardin. Includes biographic and bibliographic information, correspondence, extensive subject files used in his writing, UCSB teaching files, drafts of articles and manuscripts, and photographs. Highlights include files related to his article "Tragedy of the Commons," abortion as a method of population control, his participation in the anti-immigration movement, and his opposition to foreign aid.
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Boxes 46 and 47 closed pending staff review.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    Garrett Hardin papers. Uarch FacPap 14, Department of Special Collections, University Libraries, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Multiple donations by Garrett Hardin and family, 1972-1999, 2005.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Garrett Hardin was a professor of Human Ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, from 1946 to 1978. An author and lecturer concerned with the ethics of overpopulation and population control, he is best known for his essay The Tragedy of the Commons (Science, 1968). He wrote on and publicly supported birth control and eugenics (including abortion and sterilization), conservation, ending of foreign aid, and restriction of immigration as solutions to overpopulation.
    Hardin was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1915. He contracted polio at the age of four, leaving him dependent on crutches and, in his later years, wheelchair bound. Nonetheless, he excelled in swimming, and from an early age was recognized for his success in academics as well as theater and public speaking. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Chicago in 1936 and a Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University in 1941. He worked at Stanford until 1946, when he left to take an assistant professor position at UCSB. He remained at UCSB until he retired with the title of professor emeritus in 1978. He continued to actively write at his home in Santa Barbara, authoring several new books and articles as well as revising existing titles. Hardin also remained active in the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
    Hardin's publications began with a textbook entitled Biology: Its Human Implications (1949-1978). His best known writings on overpopulation include: Nature and Man's Fate (1959), Population, Evolution and Birth Control (1964), and Managing the Commons (1977). Hardin also wrote about the ethics of birth control and abortion in books such as: Birth Control (1970), Exploring New Ethics for Survival (1972), Stalking the Wild Taboo (1973), Mandatory Motherhood: The True Meaning of "Right to Life" (1974), The Limits of Altruism (1977), and Promethean Ethics: Living with Death, Competition and Triage (1980). Other titles published after his retirement include Filters against Folly (1985), Living Within Limits (1993), The Immigration Dilemma (1995), and The Ostrich Factor (1999). At the time of his death Hardin was also working on two additional monographs: Saved by Reason and another unidentified monograph.
    Garrett Hardin's many awards include the UCSB Faculty Research Lectureship (1968), the Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award (1997) for outstanding scholarly work after retirement, and many honorary degrees. He was a visiting professor at many universities across the country, including the University of California Berkeley, Cornell University, and the University of Notre Dame.
    Garrett Hardin died in September 2003 at age 88 in Santa Barbara, California.
    The Garrett Hardin Society maintains a webpage with extensive information about Hardin, his life, career, and a bibliography of his writings. Go to: http://www.garretthardinsociety.org/

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains the following series:
    I. General. Includes biographical and bibliographical information. Also includes oral history from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
    II. Correspondence. Mainly arranged by year. Some files for particular correspondents are separated. Correspondents include: Paul Ehrlich, Joseph Fletcher, Dan McKinley, Gerry Mackey, Cordelia May, John Tanton, and Walter Youngquist.
    III. Subject Files. Divided into numbered (by Hardin) and unnumbered files. Unnumbered files include significant files on Abortion and the Environmental Fund. Numbered subject files were created and organized by Hardin, including essays, correspondence, and notes, covering a wide range of topics about which he wrote.
    IV. Teaching Files. From Biology 123 at UCSB, 1965-1977. Also see numbered subject file for 57.Education.
    V. Writings. Handwritten and typewritten drafts, proofs, correspondence, and reviews of monographs. Also includes drafts of articles, written versions of addresses, speeches, statements at hearings, sermons given at the Unitarian Church. Other shorter pieces include book reviews, editorials, forewords, open letters, and letters to editors.
    VI. Chronological Files. "Works In Progress", mainly unidentified manuscript drafts of articles and chapters of books, arranged roughly chronologically; usually handwritten, with notes to the typist; some correspondence also interspersed, ca. 1963-2003.
    VII. Notebooks. Includes notebooks starting from Hardin's Stanford years extending through the 1980s. Includes research notes and writing drafts. Early notebooks include lecture notes and early contemplations on ethics and population.
    VIII. Photographs. Primarily personal and publicity photos.
    Monographs, chapters in anthologies, and other printed works are cataloged under the title of the work and can be searched on Pegasus, the UCSB Libraries online catalog. Articles and book reviews can be search through our databases, such as Expanded Academic ASAP and JSTOR.


    Correspondence is primarily arranged chronologically and then alphabetically, except where Hardin had separated specific files for particular correspondents. Hardin's arrangement is preserved in his subject files. His writing files are arranged alphabetically by title.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Hardin, Garrett James, 1915-2003
    Federation for American Immigration Reform
    Immigration opponents
    Immigration issues in the United States
    Human ecology.
    Birth control.

    Related Material

    In UCSB Special Collections:
    American Religions Collection, esp. groups dealing with issues such as abortion. ARC Mss 1.
    Cloud [Preston] Papers, esp. regarding with natural resources and population control. UArch FacP 5.
    Darwin/Evolution Collection. Mss 22.
    Hardin Oral History (1983). OH 46
    Stopes [Marie] / Birth Control Collection. Mss 122.
    Public Information Office Biographical Files. UArch 11
    Special Collection also has a number of books on subjects such as Darwin, evolution, population growth, the environment, birth control, and abortion; a number of these were donated by Garrett Hardin. Several of Hardin's books are also available in the circulating stacks.