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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Just Published

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

New Research: Community Action, Hungarian Refugees, Korean Studies, and Yellow Fever Vaccines

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?

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.

Stories of Field-Building

Arts & Culture

Margaret Mead’s Call for Less “Orthodox” Grantmaking

How a famous anthropologist challenged her own funder to take more risks.

Issues in Philanthropy

The Fairy Godmothers of Women’s Studies

Moving scholarship by and about women from margin to center.

Issues in Philanthropy

Philanthropy and Oceanography: An Episode in Field-Building

Funding on levels large and small helped this new area of scientific research grow and evolve.

Issues in Philanthropy

How Philanthropy Helped History Go Public

What began as an attempt to find more job opportunities for historians went further and launched a new field.

Soft Diplomacy