The Rockefeller Archive Center
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“If we assist the highest forms of education – in whatever field – we secure the widest influence in enlarging the boundaries of human knowledge.”
—John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
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Size: 47.4 cu. ft.

Contents: The bulk of the collection covers the Foundation's early period, from 1909 to 1949. All of the Foundation's early departments are documented with varying degrees of depth to the records. Also included is material on the Foundation's creation and administration and its later departments.

Much of the collection is correspondence concerning routine administrative matters, but it also includes personal opinions of the writers, progress reports, and the descriptions of daily activities. Also included in the collection are meeting agenda and minutes, progress and annual reports, financial statements, clippings, pamphlets and brochures.

There is little in the collection in the way of field notes or working papers for the Foundation's projects or studies. Aside from Series 10, which consists of letters of appeal to Mrs. Sage from both individuals and institutions, there is scant material on Mr. or Mrs. Sage.

Important subjects include education, juvenile delinquency, labor and industrial relations, penology, public health, recreation, social work, social work education, and urban and regional planning.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged in ten series:
  1. Mrs. Russell Sage, 1888-1982 (0.5 ft.)
  2. Corporate History, 1906-1979 (1 cu. ft.)
  3. Early Office Files, 1907-1980 (15.5 cu. ft.)
  4. General Administration, 1916-1982 (4.5 cu. ft.)
  5. Programs, 1949-1980 (5 cu. ft.)
  6. Marsh Island, 1911-1936 (0.2 cu. ft.)
  7. Miscellaneous Reports and Proposals, 1967, 1972 (0.2 cu. ft.)
  8. Nova Institute, 1976-1980 (0.2 cu. ft.)
  9. Russell Sage Foundation Bulletin, 1932-1948 (0.5 cu. ft.)
  10. Personal Giving, 1885-(1906-1918) (16.8 cu. ft.)
  11. Accession 90-76
Photograph collection: Yes

Organizational History: The Russell Sage Foundation was established in 1907 by Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage for the "improvement of social and living conditions in the United States." As a pioneer in the developing field of social work, the Foundation set standards for the development of both theory and practice.

Between 1907 and 1948 the Foundation consisted of a series of autonomous departments. They included Charity Organization, Child Helping, Industrial Studies, Recreation, Remedial Loans, Social Work Interpretation, Studies in the Professions, Surveys and Exhibits, and others. The publications department was very active, serving as the Foundation's voice for advocating reform. The Foundation also supported new social agencies and organizations. With an internal reorganization in 1948, the Foundation dismantled its departmental structure and shifted its focus to research in the behavioral sciences and policy-oriented social welfare methodology.

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The Archive Center holds a copy of "The Russell Sage Foundation: Social Research and Social Action in America, 1907-1947," a set of microfiche produced by UPA Academic Editions. This microfiche collection includes the Foundation's departmental pamphlet series, important in disseminating the Foundation's work and influence; minutes of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee (1907-1949); and selected materials from the Archive Center's document collection. Subjects covered by the microfiche collection include charity organizations, child hygiene, education, remedial loans, and regional planning. Other copies of this microfiche edition are available at several research libraries in the United States.

Those interested in purchasing a copy of the microfiche may contact University Publications of America (UPA), 4520 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814-3389. Tel.: 1-800-692-6300 Fax: 301-657-3203). An onlinge guide to the microfiche is available through LexisNexis.

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