Harvard Faculty Research:

Gerald James Holton personal archive, 1919-2015 and undated Harvard University Archives call # HUM 132, VII. Research Project Files Subseries F. Second Wave project files, 1999-2011

Gerald Holton (born 1922) is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Professor of the History of Science (Emeritus, 1992) at Harvard University. Holton's research has focused on the physics of matter at high pressure, the history and philosophy of science, the role of science in contemporary America, and science education. Holton's Second Wave project was a study of the factors which contributed to the socioeconomic success of young refugees, mostly Jewish children, who came to the United States in the 1930s and 1940s. Holton's research was published in 2006 (with co-author Gerhard Sonnert) as What Happened to the Children and is also available online (please note that you will need to login with your HarvardKey credentials to access the digital content.)


My Life in Germany Contest Papers, 1940.   (Held at Houghton Library)

Prize competition held in 1940, on theme "My Life in Germany before and after January 30, 1933." Contest was sponsored by Harvard University; judges included faculty members Gordon Allport, Sidney B. Fay, and Edward Y. Hartshorne. Narratives were used for a study on effects of National Socialism on German society and on German people.  Contains circa 254 autobiographies (mainly in German) submitted in the 1940 competition. Some of the typescripts are accompanied by correspondence and judges' analysis of the entries (in English). Many of the narratives are written by well educated German Jewish men and women of upper class backgrounds living in exile in England, the U.S., and Palestine. Also includes the printed brochure announcement of the prize competition.

For additional information on the "My Life in Germany before and after January 30, 1933" contest and collection see:

For an example of a contemporary research article using the interviews see: