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.

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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.

Confronting Racism: Changing Structures or Treating Symptoms?

Race & Social Justice

Who Belongs in the Boy Scouts? Philanthropy’s Support for Black Scouting

How a new foundation helped one of America’s oldest youth organizations become more racially inclusive.

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

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

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

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 Health Systems

Medicine & Public Health

Philanthropy’s Search for an HIV Vaccine: Building Public-Private Partnerships in a Global Pandemic

How a meeting of scientists and health experts sparked a new international campaign to find a way to prevent AIDS.

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.

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.

Medicine & Public Health

Cover Your Mouth: Controlling an Epidemic Through Hygiene

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

Philanthropy, Justice, and Social Movements

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

Supporting Economic Justice? Ford’s 1968 PRI Experiment

How the largest US foundation began supporting market-based projects in the late 1960s.

Race & Social Justice

Ted Watkins and the Rockefeller Foundation: An Unlikely Partnership

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

Race & Social Justice

Photo Essay: Supporting Minority Enterprise in the late 1960s

In 1968, the Ford Foundation began to make social investments using a new tool borrowed from the for-profit world, the Program-Related Investment.

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