In this installment of our New Research series, we feature four recently-published reports. They draw on archival records from several Rockefeller Archive Center collections, including the Rockefeller Family and Rockefeller Foundation records, and the holdings of the Asia Society and Spelman Fund of New York. The subject areas that these reports discuss span continents, disciplines, and eras.
J. Eva Meharry’s research report is on Afghanistan’s use of archaeology as a tool for cultural diplomacy during the era following the country’s emergence from British control. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cambridge. Her report makes use of the Asia Society Exhibition Files – one of the first RAC researchers to study these archival records.
In “Hookworm Eradication in Brazil and Beyond,” Daniel W. Franken analyzes the activities of the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Health Board fighting hookworm disease. A member of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen, Netherlands, he places the IHB’s work in Brazil in a broader context of similar campaigns in other parts of the world. Dr. Franken also makes the point that the hookworm-related archival records will be very valuable not only for historians of public health and economics, but will also provide important insight to researchers interested in documentation on early twentieth-century rural life and poverty.
Jesse Tarbert, an independent scholar, has written extensively about efforts at reforming government administration. In his research report, “Building Administrative Capacity in the National Government: The Role of Rockefeller-Funded Initiatives, 1910–1930,” he explores John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s involvement with a group of elite reformers aiming to improve government efficiency and effectiveness. Dr. Tarbert’s report includes citations for materials from the Rockefeller Family archives, the Rockefeller Foundation archives, and the archival records of the Spelman Fund of New York.
Jiayi Tao writes about the fact-finding commission that the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) sent to China in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Her report, “Envisioning the Future of the Rockefeller Foundation in Wartime and Post-War China, 1943-1946” looks at how and why the RF decided to scale back its decades-long engagement in China. A Ph.D. candidate at the University of Bristol, Jiayi Tao will be incorporating her research findings from her time at RAC into her dissertation.