ROCKEFELLER FAMILY ARCHIVES
RECORD GROUP 2, OFFICE OF THE MESSRS. ROCKEFELLER GENERAL FILES, 1858-(1879-1961)
Size: 580 cu. ft.
Contents: This collection contains correspondence, reports, pamphlets, memoranda, deeds, maps, contracts, reports, minutes, charters, certificates of incorporation, clippings, diaries, notebooks, calendars, and memorabilia.
The Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller (OMR) materials document the increasing role assumed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in the management of Rockefeller affairs and amply document his business and philanthropic affairs. They also chronicle the entrance of JDR Jr.'s sons, John 3rd, Nelson A., Laurance S., Winthrop, and David, into the world of business, philanthropy, civic leadership, and politics as they joined the office.
Arrangement: Portions are restricted or closed. Material related to living members of the Rockefeller family is not available for research.
There is a microfilm card index of personal and institutional names.
The record group is arranged by subject matter. Series which are wholly or partially open for research include:
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (JDR Jr.) joined his father's office on October 1, 1897. He oversaw the expansion and diversification of the philanthropic work begun by his father. During his lifetime, the younger Rockefeller gave more than $537 million to educational, religious, cultural, medical, and other charitable projects.
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.and his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1874-1948), passed the Rockefeller philanthropic impulse on to their children. John 3rd (1906-1978), Nelson A. (1908-1979), Laurance S. (1910-2004), Winthrop (1912-1973), and David (1915- ) further expanded and diversified Rockefeller influence and interests, establishing their own philanthropic organizations, most notably the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (1940), and becoming more active politically.
OMR Series A - John D. Rockefeller, Sr., 1918-1937
Size: 26 cu. ft.
Contents: This series, predominantly incoming personal correspondence, contains material in which the elder Rockefeller is the central figure.
Arrangement: A calendar of investments and list of correspondents are included in the finding aid.
OMR Series C - Business Interests, 1886-1961
Size: 46 cu. ft.
Contents: This series documents the Rockefeller family's investments and financial involvement in a variety of industries, companies, and geographic areas. Included is family members' correspondence with the Family Office, and with the officers and employees of the various companies. The correspondence concerns all manner of management, policy and financial decisions regarding the diverse investments. For a listing of folders in series, see the outline Survey of Sources for the History of Labor and Industrial Relations.
Arrangement: arranged in ten sections:
OMR Series D - Civic Interests, 1899-1961
Size: 23.2 cu. ft.
Contents: This series documents the family's political and civic activities at various levels of government. It reflects primarily the activities of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., but also provides significant documentation of the political and civic concerns of his sons. Included are extensive files on the family's support of the Republican party at the national, state, and local level; separate files on specific candidates such as New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, New York Governor Thomas Dewey, and President Dwight Eisenhower; and substantial files on the family's support for Nelson A. Rockefeller's first gubernatorial campaign, but little information regarding his first presidential candidacy in 1960. Also well documented is Rockefeller involvement with good government campaigns and such organizations as the Bureau of Municipal Research and the National Civic Federation.
Arrangement: Arranged in fifteen sections:
OMR Series E - Cultural Interests, 1888-1963
Size: 65 cu. ft.
Contents: The series includes correspondence, reports, and pamphlets documenting the family's involvement with and contributions to a variety of cultural interests.
Arrangement: Arranged in seventeen sections:
OMR Series F - Economic Reform Interests, 1894-1961
Size: 9 cu. ft.
Contents: This series documents the family's interests (primarily those of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.) in industrial reform, industrial relations, unionization, and developments in the Third World.
Arrangement: Arranged in ten sections:
OMR Series G - Educational Interests, 1896-1961
Size: 54 cu. ft.
Contents: This series documents the support of members of the Rockefeller family, primarily John D. Rockefeller, Jr., for specific educational institutions. The files include correspondence and, for institutions in which the family took an active part, reports, analyses, general correspondence, contributions, and administrative materials. Most of the material is unsolicited requests for aid. Among the institutions receiving support from the Rockefeller family were schools with special programs for the deaf, for orphans, and for evangelicals; schools and colleges for African-Americans; 75 U.S. colleges and universities, including Spelman College in Georgia, University of Chicago, Brown University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology; as well as universities in China, India, Europe, and the Near East.
Arrangement: Arranged in six sections:
OMR Series J - Housing Interests, 1897-1961
Size: 8 cu. ft.
Contents: The bulk of this material relates to John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s involvement with housing reform and housing projects from the 1920s into the 1940s. Significant portions of the series detail the interests of John D. Rockefeller in Cleveland and New York City, and the involvement of the Brothers' generation in this field. Seven major housing developments are highlighted: Forest Hill Estates in Cleveland, Ohio; the City Housing Corporation's efforts at Sunnyside Gardens in Queens, New York; Thomas Garden Apartments in the Bronx, New York; Paul Lawrence Dunbar Housing in Harlem, New York; Lavoisier Apartments in New York, New York; Van Tassel Apartments in Tarrytown, New York; and a development in Radburn, New Jersey. Included are memoranda, correspondence, deeds, indentures, and contracts, providing comprehensive information on the origin of each project, financing, construction, architecture, relations with government officials, taxation, and operational problems.
Arrangement: Arranged in five sections:
OMR Series K - Medical Interests, 1898-1961
Size: 14 cu. ft.
Contents: The bulk of this material is composed of routine appeals from health agencies and hospitals, and correspondence answering those appeals. It documents the Rockefeller family's support for public and private health care, medical research, family planning organizations, the social hygiene movement, minority medical training, and health care in minority and low-income communities.
Arrangement: Arranged in twelve sections:
OMR Series N - Religious Interests, 1894-1962
Size: 35 cu. ft.
Contents: This series documents the Rockefeller family's interest in and contributions to various churches and a wide spectrum of religious organizations. It contains unsolicited appeals for donations, correspondence, and financial information and administrative materials for those institutions supported by family members.
Arrangement: Arranged in twenty sections:
OMR Series O - Rockefeller Boards, 1899-1961
Size: 22 cu. ft.
Contents: This series includes correspondence, reports, minutes, charters, and certificates of incorporation documenting the earliest history of the philanthropic organizations established by members of the Rockefeller family. It details the participation of family members and their advisors in the founding and operation of these organizations.
Arrangement: Arranged in thirteen sections:
OMR Series P - Welfare - General Files, 1894-1961
Size: 26.8 cu. ft.
Contents: This series documents the Rockefeller family's involvement with mainstream charitable and philanthropic organizations, especially groups working against the chronic problems of physical disability, alcoholism, juvenile delinquency, orphans, old age, and disease. Well documented in this series are such efforts as JDR's temperance work; JDR Jr.'s work for Prohibition, beginning in 1910, and for its repeal in 1933; support for African-American institutions and organizations, including the Urban League and the NAACP; JDR Jr.'s personal and financial contributions to the success of the USO during World War II, and support for urban reform, manifested by involvement with the settlement house movement in Cleveland and New York City.
Arrangement: Arranged in twelve sections:
OMR Series Q - World Affairs, 1896-1961 16 cu. ft.
Size: 16 cu. ft.
Contents: This series reflects the Rockefeller family's contributions toward national defense and international relations. It includes material regarding support for Admiral Richard Byrd's polar expeditions, for refugee organizations, for wartime and postwar relief resulting from both world wars, and documents the family's contributions to the English-speaking Union, the League of Nations, and the United Nations.
Arrangement: Arranged in seven sections:
OMR Series R - Welfare - Youth Files, 1897-1961
Size: 22 cu. ft.
Contents: The bulk of the material in this series chronicles John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s association with the YMCA and the YWCA, a relationship that reflected both his strong religious background and his choice of these agencies as the philanthropic vehicle for a variety of activities to improve the welfare of young men and women. Also well documented is John D. Rockefeller 3rd's involvement with American Youth Hostels and the administration, finances, and programs of that organization. The series also reflects the support of other family members for a variety of organizations active in child welfare and recreation.
Arrangement: Arranged in eleven sections:
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER, JR. Personal Papers, 1874-1961
ABBY ALDRICH ROCKEFELLER, Personal Papers
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