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.


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.

Philanthropy, Race, and Racism

Issues in Philanthropy

Funding a Social Movement: The Ford Foundation and Civil Rights, 1965-1970

A story recounting many accusations, from rigged elections to the meddling of big private money in grassroots organizing.

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.

History of Philanthropy

Timeline: A Century of American Philanthropy’s Engagement with Race and Racism

Delving into a century of philanthropic engagement with race, from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights era.

Race & Social Justice

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

A foundation struggled to make one of America’s oldest youth organizations more racially inclusive. But it only got so far under Jim Crow.

Newly Published Research Reports

New Research

New Research: Performing Arts, Family Planning in East Pakistan, Scientific Neutrality, and Planning in India

Four recently published RAC Research Reports draw on the archives of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Population Council.

New Research

New Research: Public Health in Haiti, the Green Revolution, US-China Relations, and Law of the Sea

This edition of our monthly series features new work on the history of agribusiness, international law, diplomatic relations, and tropical disease control.

New Research

New Research: Nutrition Science, a Foundation in Greece, Polish Social Scientists, and Animal Testing

Our first 2021 edition of the New Research series presents four recently published RAC Research Reports drawing on diverse archival material from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and Population Council.

New Research

New Research: Early Work-Relief Program, Urban Planning, Educational Broadcasting, and International Studies in the 1930s

Four new research reports delve into unique stories drawn from the history of the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.