Stories from the History of American Philanthropy
Welcome to RE:source, the Rockefeller Archive Center‘s storytelling platform. We are a team of historians, archivists, and educators working from the idea that philanthropy has impact on everyday life, sometimes in ways that many of us don’t realize.
Subscribe to receive newly released stories in your inbox.
The latest installment in our New Research series features reports using the collections of the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council.
Toward Education Equality?
Applying a vast fortune to the American race problem, but with decades of false assumptions and well-intended approaches that fell short.
In the years before Brown v. Board, a philanthropic fund hoped research and data would turn the tide on attitudes toward segregation.
A college prep program increased admissions rates for at-risk students, but it also raised larger questions about systemic inequality.
How philanthropy helped carve out a public space for the expression of race, culture, and critical perspectives.
Epidemics, Vaccines, and Public Health
Century-old tips to prevent infection still make sense today.
An innovative nursing program gathered crucial data and brought healthcare to needy families, but ultimately lost its way.
A hundred years ago, hookworm disease was an epidemic across the US South. Northern philanthropy tried to help.
Public Spaces, Private Money
The nation’s parks, perhaps our most remarkable public resource, have a history of development through private giving.
Does philanthropy always require a perfect partnership to create something great? Peering behind the facade of The Met Cloisters museum reveals that the answer is sometimes “no.”
Stories of Field-Building
How a famous anthropologist challenged her own funder to take more risks.
Funding on levels large and small helped this new area of scientific research grow and evolve.