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.


Recently Published

Arts & Culture

War of the Worlds: Rockefeller Philanthropies, Disinformation, and Media Literacy in the 1930s

Orson Welles’s 1938 radio performance of The War of the Worlds prompted a foundation to explore issues of media literacy and fake news.

Philanthropy and Political Discord

Global Engagement

“Distasteful Regimes”: Authoritarianism, the Ford Foundation, and Social Sciences in Brazil

When the restrictive military regime that had taken power in Brazil in 1964 became even more repressive by 1969, staffers at the Ford Foundation found themselves facing a conundrum.

Global Engagement

The Rockefeller and Ford Foundations Navigate Civil War in Nigeria

What happened to a massive agricultural development program when war broke out?

Global Engagement

Ping-Pong Diplomacy: NGOs and International Relations

When a friendly interaction unexpectedly emerged between American and Chinese table tennis players, one nonprofit seized the opportunity to support broader cultural diplomacy.

Photo of Hillcrest, the home of the Rockefeller Archive Center
New Research

New Research: Economic Research, Grantmaking in Colombia, Feeding India, and Near East Rural Education

In this month’s edition of the series, the authors have used the records of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller, and the Near East Foundation.

Toward Education Equality?

Race & Social Justice

Black Education and Rockefeller Philanthropy from the Jim Crow South 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.

elementaChildren of diverse ethnic backgrounds get ready to go inside their school, two hold hands
Race & Social Justice

Can Data Drive Social Change? Tackling School Segregation with Numbers

In the years before Brown v. Board, a philanthropic fund hoped research and data would turn the tide on attitudes toward segregation.

Race & Social Justice

The Rockefeller Foundation Confronts School Inequality

A college prep program increased admissions rates for at-risk students, but it also raised larger questions about systemic inequality.

Arts & Culture

Programming for the People: Diversity in Early Public Television

How philanthropy helped carve out a public space for the expression of race, culture, and critical perspectives.

Epidemics, Vaccines, and Public Health

Medicine & Public Health

Cover Your Mouth: Controlling an Epidemic Through Hygiene

Century-old tips to prevent infection still make sense today.

Medicine & Public Health

The Long Road to the Yellow Fever Vaccine

The yellow fever vaccine developed in the 1930s has been used worldwide ever since. Creating it took years and cost several lives. Some thought it would never happen.

Issues in Philanthropy

Success and Failure in Community-Based Healthcare: The East Harlem Health Center

An innovative nursing program gathered crucial data and brought healthcare to needy families, but ultimately lost its way.

Medicine & Public Health

Public Health: How the Fight Against Hookworm Helped Build a System

A hundred years ago, hookworm disease was an epidemic across the US South. Northern philanthropy tried to help.

Public Spaces, Private Money

Environment

The Rockefellers, National Parks, and Public Lands

The nation’s parks, perhaps our most remarkable public resource, have a history of development through private giving.

Arts & Culture

Photo Essay: A Mother, a Son, and Modern Art

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller’s passion for modern art influenced her children, especially her son Nelson Rockefeller, and continues to reach the public through the museum she co-founded.

Arts & Culture

The Met Cloisters: An Unlikely Pair Makes a Home for Medieval Art in New York City

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.”

Arts & Culture

Timeline: Foundations and the Walker Art Center

Decades of foundation involvement has helped this American cultural organization to grow, thrive, and innovate.