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. Our stories and images mine the archival record to bring to light events, people, innovations, and turning points from the past that have relevance for understanding the present. Subscribe to receive newly released stories in your inbox.

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Race & Social Justice

In Brief: James Baldwin’s Creative Writer’s Fellowship

How a foundation provided the final ingredient to an era-defining novel.

Recently Published

Medicine & Public Health

Philanthropy’s Fight Against Tuberculosis in World War I France

What does it take to control the outbreak of a deadly disease?

Medicine & Public Health

Funding a Sexual Revolution: The Kinsey Reports

The inside story of the study that first questioned binary sexuality and spurred outcry and controversy.

Issues in Philanthropy

From Populist Crusade to Comprehensive Regulation: the Tax Reform Act of 1969

Is private wealth an obstacle to democracy? Fifty years ago, Congress thought so.

Race & Social Justice

An Unlikely Partnership: Ted Watkins and the Rockefeller Foundation

How a charismatic community activist from Watts challenged a foundation’s civil rights strategy.

Philanthropy's Long Legacy in Health

Medicine & Public Health

The Commonwealth Fund Brings Hospice Care to America

Hospice, or non-cure-oriented care at the end of life, was a European concept. But the Commonwealth Fund boosted the US hospice movement by supporting its beginnings. The first modern American hospice opened in Branford, Connecticut in 1980, supported by Commonwealth and other foundations…

Medicine & Public Health

The Long Road to the Yellow Fever Vaccine

Rockefeller Foundation scientists, led by future Nobel Prize winner Max Theiler, developed a yellow fever vaccine in the 1930s that was later given to thousands of American and British soldiers during World War II. The serum drastically reduced the worldwide occurrence of yellow fever. Today it remains the only vaccine in use for the deadly virus. However, the road to creating the vaccine was long and bumpy…

Medicine & Public Health

Photo Essay: The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission and the South

Hookworm disease, sometimes called the “germ of laziness” for its symptoms, was widespread in the US South at the turn of the last century. Yet the science of treatment was simple. The Rockefeller Sanitary Commission battled the disease and in the process developed a new model for public health work…

Medicine & Public Health

The “Insulin Gift”

In 1923, a large donation of funds by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., helped ensure the wide distribution of the newly mass-produced treatment for diabetes, insulin. John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s gift, known as the “Insulin Gift,” also provided funds to train patients, nurses, physicians, and families to administer this new wonder treatment…

Grantee Spotlight

Arts & Culture

Timeline: Foundations and the Walker Art Center

The story of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, provides one example of how foundation involvement from mid-century to the present has enabled American cultural organizations to grow, thrive, and innovate. Investment from multiple foundations has enabled such non-profit institutions to break ground in the cultural sector…

Philanthropy and Business

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