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Today we are launching a monthly feature, New Research, which spotlights our most recent additions to Research Reports, a Rockefeller Archive Center publication. These works are created by recipients of our research stipend program and others who have conducted research in our collections.

We hope this new monthly showcase will provide another entry point to the study of the history and impact of organized philanthropy, and a window into what questions can be asked and what evidence illuminated through research in archives of philanthropy. Our growing cache of reports, which to date total almost 450 in number, are delivered via Candid’s free and open-source knowledge hub, IssueLab.

The first installment of the New Research series features four reports:

Elizabeth Cancelli wrote a research report on the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Latin American Program. In “Brazil: Transition and Reconciliation, a Cold War Strategy,” Dr. Cancelli, a historian at the Universidade de São Paulo, looks at philanthropic support from the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations for the Center’s program in the late 1970s to convene social scientists to discuss pathways and obstacles to Latin American transitions from authoritarian rule to democracy. 

Ben Offiler’s research report, “The Origins of the Near East Foundation’s Iran Programmes, 1943-1950” focuses on the NEF’s support for agrarian development in Iran in the shadow of the Cold War.  A lecturer in history from Sheffield Hallam University, he highlights one important aspect of a broader engagement by the NEF throughout the Middle East. 

Rashna Darius Nicholson, from the University of Hong Kong, has written “The Ford Foundation and Post-Independence Indian Theatre.”  In it, she presents the Ford Foundation’s changing strategies for assisting Indian cultural enterprises, particularly theatres.  In her report, Dr. Nicholson makes extensive use of the Ford Foundation archives’ catalogued reports. 

Kristoffer Smemo discusses “Rockefeller Republicanism” in his research report, “A New Dealized Grand Old Party: Labor, Civil Rights, and the Remaking of American Liberalism, 1935-1973.”  Drawing on the Nelson A. Rockefeller papers, Dr. Smemo, a lecturer in history at Washington University in St. Louis, argues that liberal Republicanism, as epitomized by Nelson Rockefeller’s politics, is rooted in the readiness of that wing of the party to engage with the working class and address its concerns. 

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Senior Research Associate, Rockefeller Archive Center