The Rockefeller Archive Center is an independent operating foundation that preserves and makes available for research the archival collections of members of the Rockefeller family, institutions and organizations founded by Rockefeller family members (including the Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, General Education Board, Rockefeller University, Population Council, Asia Society, and many other organizations). It is the archival repository for the records of the Ford Foundation as well as for other philanthropic and service organizations such as the Commonwealth Fund, Russell Sage Foundation, Foundation for Child Development, W.T. Grant Foundation, Markle Foundation, the Social Science Research Council and the Foundation Center. The Center also holds extensive collections of the personal papers of trustees, officers, faculty, and associates who were affiliated with these institutions.
The Archive Center also sponsors research grants for scholars who wish to use the collections, as well as workshops, seminars and conferences related to the major subject areas of the collections. The Center's programs have a special focus on philanthropy and philanthropic foundations. The Center's collections contain over 110 million pages of documents, over 900,000 photographs, 18,000 reels of microfilm, and 6,000 films. Since its opening in 1974, more than 5,000 scholars have visited the Center to conduct research for books, articles, dissertations, and films in a wide variety of fields.
The Archive Center is located in Hillcrest, a home of Westchester County field stone built for Martha Baird Rockefeller (1895-1971), the second wife of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (1874-1960). The house was designed by Mott B. Schmidt and was completed in 1963. Due to advancing age and illness, Mrs. Rockefeller never lived in the house. After her death, the house was given to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as part of her residual estate. In March 1974 the Rockefeller Brothers Fund gave the house and the surrounding 24 acres of grounds for use as the Rockefeller Archive Center.
The house provides work space for both researchers and staff and includes a few rooms where Rockefeller memorabilia are on display. Researchers who visit the RAC work in the Reading Rooms on the second floor of the house and may use the researchers' lounge and terrace on the first floor.
The Center's Reading Rooms are open to researchers on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. until 5:15 p.m.. Research appointments are required. Appointments must be made with, and confirmed by, a staff member in advance of a research visit. Photo identification is required. Researchers are advised to contact the Center to make an appointment before making travel plans. Driving directions, a listing of the Center's holiday closings and local accommodation information is available at the Researcher Information section of this website. Researchers are invited to write to the Center, describing their projects in specific terms. The staff will respond with a description of the scope and content of relevant materials in the collections.
Complete finding aids for the collections listed in the Archival and Manuscript Collections are available at the Rockefeller Archive Center. The summaries provided on the website are designed to give researchers a brief introduction to the many collections maintained here at the Rockefeller Archive Center. If you need more specific assistance, please contact the Archive Center Staff.