Stories from the History of American Philanthropy
RE:source is a digital publication of the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC), where a team of archivists, educators, and historians share stories, photo essays, timelines, educational resources, and updates on new research in RAC collections.
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The Complicated History of American Philanthropy and Race
In the years before Brown v. Board, a philanthropic fund hoped research and data would turn the tide on attitudes toward segregation.
Delving into a century of philanthropic engagement with race, from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights era.
Applying a vast fortune to the American race problem, but with decades of false assumptions and well-intended approaches that fell short.
In 1968, the Ford Foundation began to make social investments using a new tool borrowed from the for-profit world, the Program-Related Investment.
In the early 20th century, the General Education Board was devoted to the cause of improving education throughout the United States, without distinction of race, sex, or creed.
A story recounting many accusations, from rigged elections to the meddling of big private money in grassroots organizing.
Against a backdrop of white, establishment concepts of literary excellence, one foundation struggled to appreciate Black voices.
New Research: International Friendship, Museum Director Grace Morley, Cold War West Berlin, and School Finance Reform
In this edition of the series, the authors have used the papers of Nelson A. Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller 3rd, the records of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Ford Foundation, and the Taconic Foundation, as well as archival materials from the Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller.
Foundations During Wartime
The origins and legacy of a research project conducted in the American concentration camps for Japanese Americans.
Saving scholars threatened by Nazis was not easy, but choosing which ones to save was even more difficult.
What happened to a massive agricultural development program when war broke out?
In the aftermath, Foundation staff struggled to rectify their organization’s involvement with this weapon of mass destruction.
What does it take to control the outbreak of a deadly disease?
When a friendly interaction unexpectedly emerged between American and Chinese table tennis players, one nonprofit seized the opportunity to support broader cultural diplomacy.
Encouraging cross-cultural knowledge in an interconnected postwar world by shaping new interdisciplinary programs and retooling traditional academic fields.
As the scarcity of global resources became increasingly worrisome in the 20th century, these organizations more boldly approached work in population and family planning.
What might appear to be a simple publication project came to fruition only after a decade of political upheaval, cultural repression, war, and Rockefeller Foundation support.
Women Work for Women
A massive program in nursing education extended to 53 schools across the globe. But it never became a top priority of the foundation that supported it.
Centering Women’s Rights in the Population Field: The Ford Foundation and Sexual Health in the 1990s
A 1994 meeting moved women’s empowerment front and center for grantmaking in global population.
Latest RAC Research Reports
New Research: Universal Symbols, Poland and Democracy, Science in Colonial India, and Thomas Whittemore
In this edition of the series, the authors have used the records of the Ford Foundation, the General Education Board, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, as well as archival materials from the Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller.
New Research: Math and Modernity, New Internationalisms, Philosophy Conferences, and Segregated Parks
Recently published reports draw on the records of the Ford Foundation, the International Education Board, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Simon Flexner APS microfilm collection, and the Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller, along with the papers of Laurance S. Rockefeller.
The latest installment in our series of newly-published research reports.
In this edition of the series, the authors have used the papers of Nelson A. Rockefeller, the records of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as archival materials from the Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller.