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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.
Rockefeller Foundation Archives
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Date: 1905-2014

Bulk: 1924-1990

Extent: Approximately 6580 cubic feet (cu. ft.) and 1764 microfilm reels of open records.

Access: Records more than 20 years old are open for scholarly research, unless otherwise noted.

Contents: The collection is arranged in nineteen record groups and the Cox and Reece Investigations.

Language of Materials: Predominantly written in English. Multiple languages contained in written material specific to country/region.


Consists of the following OPEN Record Groups and Collections

RG 1: Projects
RG 2: General Correspondence
RG 3: Administration, Program and Policy
RG 4: China Medical Board records
RG 5: International Health Board/Division (IHB/IHD) records
RG 6: Field Offices
RG 7: Treasurer
RG 10: Fellowships
RG 12: Officers' Diaries
RG 13: Oral Histories
RG 16: Minutes, Officers' Actions and Annual Reports
RG 17: Dockets

Biographical File
Cox and Reece Investigations
Field Staff
Films and Videos
Institute of Pacific Relations
Maps and Flat Files
Pamphlet File
Trustees Bulletins

Biographical/Historical Sketch

The Rockefeller Foundation (RF) was established in 1913 by John D. Rockefeller "to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world". Official ratification of the Foundation came through an act of the New York State Legislature, approved by the Governor on May 14, 1913. From its earliest years, the Foundation has been both a grant-making and direct operating institution. It has given more than $1.8 billion to thousands of grantees worldwide and has assisted directly in the training of nearly 13,000 Rockefeller Fellows.

Philanthropic activity has been divided into five main subject areas:

  1. medical, health, and population sciences
  2. agricultural and natural sciences
  3. arts and humanities
  4. social sciences
  5. international relations

The emphasis on each of these subject areas within the Foundation's program as a whole has varied over time as RF officers have identified new needs.

In its early years, the Foundation made numerous small grants in many fields or to specific worthy causes, but officials soon concluded that concentration in a few carefully selected fields would encourage innovation. As a result, several distinct divisions were created within the RF. Recognizing the domestic success of the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission for the Eradication of Hookworm Disease, the Foundation formed the International Health Board (IHB) to extend its public health work overseas.

The Foundation also established the China Medical Board (CMB) in its first years to develop a system of modern western medical education in China. In 1919, a formal Medical Education Division was established to carry out a program of medical education outside the U.S. ( The General Education Board (GEB), a separate Rockefeller philanthropy, was responsible for U.S. medical education.) Within this program, grants were made to related fields such as nursing and hospital and dispensary development. Fellowships in physics and chemistry through the National Research Council became a continuing interest in 1919. From 1919 to 1923, a Division of Studies within the RF was responsible for projects not covered by the IHB, CMB or Medical Education Division.

In addition to work in these specific fields, the RF played a large part in war relief during World War I, sending more than $22 million in supplies to Belgium, Poland, Serbia, Armenia, and other countries.

As a result of a reorganization of the Rockefeller philanthropies in 1929, the Foundation was merged with the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, integrating its social sciences program, and it inherited the natural science and humanities programs of the GEB and the International Education Board. The China Medical Board was separately incorporated, leaving the International Health Division as the only formal division within the RF.

During the 1930s, the Foundation emphasized "the advancement of knowledge" and its application to improve the human condition through support of research and training in such fields as agriculture and forestry, psychiatry, earth sciences, reproductive biology, international relations and community organization and planning. The Foundation also entered new fields in the humanities and arts: libraries and museums, drama, radio, motion pictures, American Studies, and the collection and interpretation of native cultural materials.

Between 1933 and 1955 the Rockefeller Foundation contributed $1.5 million toward the identification and assistance of 303 European scientists and scholars displaced by racial and political persecution by Nazi and Fascist regimes. Support from the Rockefeller Foundation enabled these refugee scholars to relocate, and many went to universities in the United States. Read Thomas B. Appleget's, "The Foundation's Experience with Refugee Scholars" (March 5, 1946), which provides an overview of the foundation's work in this field and lists the specific scholars aided by the program.

In 1943 the Foundation began field operations in Mexico. This cooperative effort with the Mexican Department of Agriculture was designed to increase production of basic food crops. Success in Mexico encouraged extension of the agricultural program to Latin America, India, the Philippines, and other countries. During the 1940s the RF also supported a program of language studies, as well as a study to determine the effects of forced resettlement of the Japanese population as a U.S. wartime measure.

In 1951, the International Health Division was merged with the medical sciences program, and public health activity was de-emphasized. Population studies, international relations, legal and political philosophy, institutional support of the arts, historical research, and agriculture were the main areas of grants during the 1950s.

During the 1960s a formal population program was established. Grants were made to various institutions for the purpose of improving race relations. In 1968, the RF convened U.S. and foreign experts at an international symposium, "Strategy for the Conquest of Hunger," to develop a plan to eradicate world hunger.

Cooperative efforts with the Ford Foundation during the 1970s included CGIAR (the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), and regional research programs to improve understanding of population development links in Third World countries. Social history, including women's history, family history, and the use of oral history and film to document America's cultural heritage, was another new area in which the RF made grants. Grants in the humanities continued, including a fellowship program.

Other Finding Tools: As its files accumulated, the Foundation maintained a card index recording the names of institutional and individual grantees and correspondents. This card index documents the contents of Records Groups 1 (1.1 & 1.2) through 3 as well as the early contents of what is now RG 12 Officers' Diaries (originally designated as Series 905 of Record Group 3). Minutes, documented in RG 1 and RG 16, are also indexed.

A microfilm copy of this index is available at the Archive Center, and digital access is also now available onsite in the RAC Reading Room.

Separate card indexes which document the contents of RG 4 China Medical Board and RG 5 International Health Board are also available in the RAC Reading Room.

RG 1 Projects (Grants), 1913-2014, 4710 cu. ft.
  • Projects, RG 1.1, 1913-1965, 625 cu. ft. (FA386)
  • Projects, RG 1.2, 765 cu. ft. (FA387)
  • Projects, RG 1.3, 1950-2000, 129 cu. ft. (FA388)
  • Projects, RG 1.3-RG 1.8 (A76-A82), 1965-1982, 473.4 cu. ft. (FA209)
  • Projects, RG 1.9-RG 1.15 (A83-A89), 1961-1991, Bulk: 1970-1989, 498 cu. ft. (FA479)
    • Access: Records more than 20 years old are OPEN with prior archival review. Retrieval time may exceed 24 hours.
  • Projects, RG 1.16-1.19 (A90-A93), 1964-1965, 1972-1993, 327.6 cu. ft. (FA469)
    • Access: Records more than 20 years old are OPEN with prior archival review. Retrieval time may exceed 24 hours.
  • Projects, RG 1.20-1.23 (A94-A97), 1965-1997, 2004, 410.4 cu. ft. (FA471)
    • Access: Records more than 20 years old are OPEN with prior archival review. Retrieval time may exceed 24 hours.
  • Projects, RG 1.24 (A98), 1970-1998, Bulk: 1990-1997, 140.5 cu. ft. (No finding aid available)
  • Projects, RG 1.25 (A99), 1974-1999, 99.6 cu. ft. (FA477)
    • Access: Records more than 20 years old are OPEN with prior archival review. Retrieval time may exceed 24 hours.
  • Projects, RG 1.26 (A2000), 1969-2004, Bulk: 1987-1998, 109.2 cu. ft. (FA470)
  • Projects, RG 1.27 (A2001), 1970-2001, Bulk: 1991-2000, 74 cu. ft. (FA488)
  • Projects, RG 1.28 (A2002), 1978-2004, Bulk: 1990-2002, 112.8 cu. ft. (FA489)
  • Projects, RG 1.29 (A2003), 1919-2004, Bulk: 1990-2004, 115.2 cu. ft. (FA490)
  • Projects, RG 1.30 (A2004), 1978-2005, Bulk: 1993-2003, 85.2 cu. ft. (FA482)
  • Projects, RG 1.31 (A2005), 1986-2005, Bulk: 1995-2004, 81.6 cu. ft., (FA491)
  • Projects, RG 1.32 (A2006), 1982-2005, Bulk: 1999-2005, 68.4 cu. ft. (FA483)
  • Projects, RG 1.33 (A2007), 1978-2006, Bulk: 1998-2006, 61.2 cu. ft. (FA492)
  • Projects, RG 1.34 (A2008), 1991-2005, 33.6 cu. ft. (FA493)
  • Projects, RG 1.35 (A2010), 1986-2008, 25.2 cu. ft., (FA495)

Access: RG 1.26 through RG 1.35 (A2000-A2010) - Records more than 20 years old are OPEN with prior archival review. Retrieval time may exceed 24 hours.

Finding aids for RG 1.26 through RG 1.35 are not available online. Finding aids will be online in DIMES when bulk of records are OPEN.

  • Projects, RG 1.36 (A2011), 1998-2009, 12 cu. ft., (FA496)
  • Projects, RG 1.38 (Accessions 2012), 1989-2009, Bulk: 1998-2009, 56.4 cu. ft. (FA472)
  • Projects, RG 1.39 (Accessions 2013), 1973-2013, Bulk: 1995-2012, 460.8 cu. ft. (FA473)
  • Projects, RG 1.40 (Accessions 2014), 1993-2014, 64.8 cu. ft. (FA760)
  • Projects, RG 1.41 (Accessions 2015), 2009-2014, 7.2 cu. ft. (FA761)

Access: RG 1.36 through RG 1.41 (A2011-A2015) - Records are CLOSED to research until bulk of records are more than 20 years old. Finding aids for RG 1.36 through RG 1.41 are not available online. Finding aids will be online in DIMES when bulk of records are OPEN.

Scope: These project, or grant, files constitute the largest portion of the Rockefeller Foundation Archive. Files in RG 1 document the life cycle of a grant from initial inquiries to the conclusion of the grant. Records typically include correspondence, institutional minutes, internal RF reports, publications, RF officer diary excerpts, and Foundation grant actions.

Arrangement: Records are arranged in Series by geographic area and thereunder arranged in Subseries alphabetically by subject/program.

These Series and Subseries are used as arrangement tools in RG 1, RG 2, RG 5 and portions of RG 6.

An Alphabetical Guide to Country Codes in the Rockefeller Foundation Archives. This guide details series established in RG 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, RG 5 and portions of RG 6.1 and 6.2.

Common subseries within RG 1, RG 2, RG 5 and portions of RG 6 include:
  • No program letter - General
  • A - Medical Sciences
  • C - Nursing
  • D - Natural Sciences and Agriculture
  • E - Fellowships, Scholarships and Training Awards
  • F - Declinations
  • G - Hospital Administration
  • H - Hookworm
  • I - Malaria
  • J - Public Health Demonstrations
  • K - Health Services/rarely used for Sanitary Engineering
  • L - Public Health Education
  • M - Respiratory Diseases
  • N - War Relief
  • O - Yellow Fever
  • P - Population/rarely used for Undulant Fever
  • Q - Epidemiological Investigations
  • R - Humanities and Arts
  • S - Social Sciences
  • T - Tuberculosis
  • U - Yaws
  • UD - University Development
  • V - Virus Studies
  • W - Schistosomiasis

Beginning around 1989 Rockefeller Foundation records management practices began a long process of evolving away from the established series and subseries structure, and began to identify and organize records according to Program (or Program Code). By 1999 the overwhelming majority of records were no longer designated by traditional series, with the exception of Series 120 Bellagio Study and Conference Center.

Select Programs from the late 1980s-1990s include:
  • Assets and Capacities (AC)
  • Arts and Humanities (AH)
  • African Initiatives (AI)
  • Agricultural Sciences (AS)
  • Creativity and Culture (CC)
  • Communication for Social Change (CS)
  • Equal Opportunity (EO)
  • Fellowships (F)
  • Food Security (FS)
  • Global Environment (GE)
  • Global Engagement (GEE)
  • Global Inclusion (GI)
  • Health Equity (HE)
  • Health Sciences (HS)
  • International Relations (IR)
  • International Security (IS)
  • Population Sciences (PS)
  • Special Interests (SI)
  • School Reform (SR)
  • Working Communities (WC)

Record Group 1.1 Projects, Series 600 Asia and Far East; 601 China (Product No. 3299) are available for purchase from Scholarly Resources Inc., 104 Greenhill Avenue., Wilmington, Delaware 19805-1897, Tel.: 1-800-772-8937 Fax: 302-654-3871 e-mail:

Record Group 1.1 Projects, Series 751, Italy has been microfilmed and a guide to the microfilm is available. This material is concentrated in the 1930s and 1940s. Included is a Public Health Survey of 1949; files on universities that received RF grants in medical science (1920-1957); reports by F. Elisabeth Crowell on nursing (1922, 1924); material dealing with natural science grants to universities; and reports on malaria.

RG 2 General Correspondence, 1924-2014, 417.5 cu. ft., 1528 reels of microfilm, 1 disk
  • General Correspondence, RG 2, 1924-1939, 86.7 cu. ft. (FA308)
  • General Correspondence, RG 2, 1940-1946, 74.4 cu. ft. (FA758)
  • General Correspondence, RG 2, 1947-1951, 88 cu. ft. (FA759)
  • General Correspondence, RG 2, 1952-1957, 162.4 cu. ft. (FA425)
  • General Correspondence, RG 2, 1958-1970, 705 microfilm reels (FA400)
  • General Correspondence, RG 2, 1971-1980, 494 microfilm reels (FA401)
  • General Correspondence, RG 2, 1981-1990, 329 microfilm reels (FA402)
  • General Correspondence, photographs, RG 2, 1958-1990, 4.8 cu. ft. (FA499)
  • General Correspondence, RG 2, 2007-2013, 1.2 cu. ft. (AC.2014.005) (Restricted)
    • Access: Records are CLOSED to research until they are more than 20 years old. Finding Aid will be made available online when majority of records are OPEN.
  • General Correspondence, RG 2, 2014, 1 disk (AC.2014.006) (Restricted)
    • Access: Records are CLOSED to research until they are more than 20 years old. Finding Aid will be made available online when majority of records are OPEN.

Scope: Contains material not directly connected with grants. The records include interoffice memoranda; correspondence with field officers and the home office; forms and other material relating to fellowships; casual requests for information, employment, or aid; printed matter, and crank mail. The volume of annual correspondence expanded considerably between 1940 and 1960.

Of particular interest are files relating to refugee scholars victimized by the rise of fascism in Europe (supplementing material found in the project files), material relating to public health (supplementing files of the International Health Board/Division), and correspondence documenting the Foundation's cooperation with the United Nations and U.S. government agencies.

Arrangement: Correspondence is chronologically arranged in Subgroups by Year, and then further arranged by Series (Country) and Subseries (Program).

RG 3 Administration, Program and Policy, 1905-2000, 202.4 cu. ft.
  • Administration, Program and Policy records, RG 3.1, RG 3.2, 1910-2000, 194 cu. ft. (FA112)
  • Program and Policy photographs, 1905-1980, 4.8 cu. ft. (FA444)
  • Administration, Program and Policy, RG 3.3 (A2009), 1987-1995, 3.6 cu. ft. (FA494)

Scope: Correspondence, Memoranda, Minutes and Reports.

Arrangement: Arranged in 3 subgroups, RG 3.1, RG 3.2, and RG 3.3 based solely on when the material was processed, and thereunder in series. Select program and policy records may also be found within project files (RG 1.7 (A81) through the present.)

Administration, Program and Policy records are arranged in the following series:
  • Series 900: General Program and Policy.
  • Series 901: Social Health and Welfare
  • Series 902: Charter, Constitution, and By-Laws
  • Series 903: Members and Meetings
  • Series 904: Officers' Conferences
  • Series 905: Officers' Diaries
  • Series 906: Medical Sciences
  • Series 907: Common Room
  • Series 908: International Health Division
  • Series 909: Insurance, Medical Care, Personnel
  • Series 910: Social Sciences (4)
  • Series 911: Humanities
  • Series 912: Publicity and Publications
  • Series 913: Division of Studies
  • Series 914: Service Departments
  • Series 915: Natural Sciences and Agriculture
  • Series 916: Counsel
  • Series 917: Travel
  • Series 918: General Education Board
  • Series 920: Medicine and Public Health
  • Series 921: Medical Education and Public Health
  • Series 922: Biological and Medical Research
  • Series 923: Agriculture
  • Series 924: Medical and Natural Sciences
  • Series 925: Arts
  • Series 926: Biomedical Sciences
  • Series 927: Environmental Affairs
  • Series 928: Geographic Medicine
RG 4 China Medical Board records, 1913-1929, 40 cu. ft. (FA114)

Biographical/Historical Sketch: The China Medical Board (CMB) was established upon the recommendations of the China Medical Commission in 1914 as a division of the Rockefeller Foundation to develop modern western medicine in China. The Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) was established in 1917 as part of the CMB's program. It served as a research center as well as a medical school. Plans to develop a second school were delayed and ultimately abandoned.

The Board ceased to be a division of the Foundation in 1927, and the funding of medical projects in Asia was taken over by the Medical Education Division of the RF. Ownership of the PUMC was given to the China Medical Board, Inc., which was created to support the PUMC and/or similar institutions in the Far East or the U.S. A concluding grant of $10 million from the RF to the China Medical Board, Inc. was made in 1947. Scope: includes correspondence, administrative and financial records, and minutes and reports retained by the Rockefeller Foundation after the Board was separately incorporated in 1927. Most of the material relates to hospitals, organizations, and individuals in China. Only 2 cubic feet directly relates to the PUMC. See also the description of the China Medical Board of New York, Inc. collection.

Arrangement: Arranged in three series:
  1. Appropriations
  2. Financial
  3. Minutes and Annual Reports

Series 1 is divided into 2 subseries, 1913-1918 and 1919-1929.

RG 5 International Health Board/Division records, 1910-1964, Bulk: 1910-1955, 315.2 cu. ft. (FA115)

Biographical/Historical Sketch: In 1913, the Rockefeller Foundation established The International Health Board (known as the International Health Commission until 1916, when its name changed to the International Health Board) for the purpose of extending the work of the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission for the Eradication of Hookworm Disease. In addition to hookworm, the Board's early public health activities included control of yellow fever, malaria, tuberculosis, public health education, virus studies and related research. In 1927, the Board was disbanded. Its work was continued by the new International Health Division of the Foundation. In 1951, the International Health Division was merged with the medical sciences program and public health activity was de-emphasized.

Scope: Contains correspondence, reports, and financial records of the Board's work in the investigation and control of specific diseases (hookworm, malaria, yellow fever, yaws, schistosomiasis, etc.) and public health education, experimentation, and demonstrations in the United States and overseas, including the Rockefeller Institute Virus Laboratories.

Arrangement: Arranged in four series:
  1. Correspondence (General and Project)
  2. Special Reports
  3. Routine Reports
  4. Rockefeller Institute Virus Laboratories
RG 6 Field Offices, 1917-2007, 170 cu. ft.
  • Paris, RG 6.1, 1917-1976, Bulk: 1935-1959, 65.6 cu. ft. (FA395)
  • Brazil, RG 6.2, 1955-1970, Bulk: 1960-1970, 3.5 cu. ft. (FA416)
  • New Delhi, RG 6.7, 1960-1978, Bulk: 1956-1973, 60 cu. ft. (FA396)
  • Cali, Colombia , RG 6.9, 1960-1978, 5 cu. ft. (FA397)
  • Mexico, RG 6.13, 1943-1965, 29 cu. ft. (FA398)
  • Ankara, Turkey, RG 6, SG 19, 1968-1978, 7 cu. ft. (FA399)
Paris, RG 6.1, 1917-1976, Bulk: 1935-1959, 65.6 cu. ft. (FA395)

Biographical/Historical Note: The International Health Board (IHB) of the Rockefeller Foundation opened an office in Paris in 1917 as the headquarters for the work of the Commission for the Prevention of Tuberculosis in France. In 1922, anticipating the transfer of the tuberculosis work to the French and the expansion of RF work in Europe, the IHB agreed to share space and administrative expenses with other divisions of the Foundation, and the medical education, medical sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, and studies divisions were subsequently represented in Paris.

The Paris office served as the Foundation's fiscal agent for European affairs, administering payments of appropriations made by the Foundation to projects in Europe. The office also administered appropriations made at the discretion of the Paris officers and acted as fiscal agent for other U.S. organizations. The office was closed in 1959.

Arrangement: Two series, each with multiple subseries as follows:
Series 1 - Prewar
  • Subseries 1 - Correspondence
  • Subseries 2 - Financial Material
  • Subseries 3 - Reports
Series 2 - Postwar
  • Subseries 1 - Correspondence
  • Subseries 2 - Financial Material
Brazil, RG 6.2, 1954-1970, Bulk: 1960-1970, 3.5 cu. ft. (FA416)

Biographical/Historical Sketch: The Rockefeller Foundation operated several field laboratories in the 1950s and 1960s, in conjunction with its virus research program centered at the Rockefeller Institute in New York.

The field office in Belem, Brazil, operated from 1954-1971 as a laboratory for the study of arthropod- or insect-borne viruses. Created in collaboration with the Servico Especiales de Saude Publica (Special Service of Public Health), the Belem virus laboratory sought to classify these viruses and examine the way they presented in humans and domesticated animals.

Ottis R. Causey was the first director of the virus laboratory. He and his wife, Calista Eliot Causey, established the laboratory in 1954, and Causey remained director until 1963. Causey received his Doctor of Science degree in entomology, parasitology, and bacteriology from Johns Hopkins University. During his career with the Rockefeller Foundation, Causey devoted himself to the field of arbovirology. Under his tenure, the lab isolated about 1,600 viruses, of which 50 were found to be distinct viruses.

In the mid-1960s, the Rockefeller Foundation began to phase out its virus research program. The New York laboratory was incorporated into the Yale School of Medicine in 1964, becoming the Yale Arbovirus Research Unit, and several of the foundation's field laboratories integrated with universities or government research agencies. Robert E. Shope, M.D., directed the Belem laboratory from 1963 through June 1965, and was succeeded by John P. Woodall, who served until the field office's closing in 1971.

In the course of its existence, the Belem Virus Laboratory was responsible for isolating many viruses. Seeking to determine which viruses were present in their specific region, researchers studied blood samples from monkeys, mice, and humans. This isolation of viruses gave information about the prevalence of certain viruses and the conditions under which they were likely to occur. The laboratory established different methods for rapidly classifying viruses and new ways for monitoring the effects of the viruses on humans and animals. The laboratory made significant contributions to the knowledge of virus activity and lifecycles.

Scope: Records consist of administrative and professional correspondence relating to laboratory operations, research activities, and communications and cooperation with researchers at other virus labs and research organizations, particularly in Latin America, Trinidad, and the U.S.

New Delhi, RG 6.7, 1935-1978, Bulk: 1956-1973, 60 cu. ft. (FA396)

Scope: The New Delhi Field Office records (RG 6.7) of the Rockefeller Foundation Archives document the operation of the office and the programs it administered in the medical, agricultural, and social sciences. The preponderance of the material pertains to the Indian Agricultural Program (IAP), operated by the RF's Natural Sciences and Agriculture Division.

The IAP records provide a comprehensive account of the RF's role in establishing an international collaborative program of technical assistance. They also constitute an important source for the study of the history of modern agriculture and agricultural education in India. For information about specific grants to individuals or institutions in India, researchers should consult the grant files (1913-1973) for India, located in Record Groups 1.1 and 1.2 (Projects), Series 464 (India), in the Rockefeller Foundation Archives.

Arrangement: Arranged in three subgroups, corresponding to program or program area, and thereunder in series.

Subgroup I, Indian Agricultural Program, is comprised of seven series:
  • Series I, General Administrative Files
  • Series II, IAP Administrative Files
  • Series III, Officers' Diaries
  • Series IV, Crop Improvement Programs
  • Series V, Agricultural Education
  • Series VI, Agricultural Research Institutes
  • Series VII, Personnel Files - (RESTRICTED)
Subgroup II, Medical and Natural Sciences Program, is comprised of three series:
  • Series I, Administrative Files
  • Series II, All India Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Series III, Virus Research Center, Poona.
Subgroup III, Humanities and Social Sciences Program, is comprised of two series:
  • Series I, General Correspondence
  • Series II, Socio-Economic Study in Uttar Pradesh.

Within series, records are typically arranged alphabetically by subject or type of material and thereunder chronologically. The original folder titles given by field office personnel at the time of records transfer to New York in 1973 have been retained. Series were established by the processing archivist in 1994.

Cali, Colombia , RG 6.9, 1960-1978, 5 cu. ft. (FA397)

Biographical/Historical Sketch: The Rockefeller Foundation opened a field office in Cali, Colombia in 1960, ten years after the establishment of the Colombian Agricultural Program in Bogota. Guy S. Hayes, an Assistant Director in the Medical and Natural Sciences division, held the post of Field Director in Cali from 1960 until 1970. After 1970, the office was headed by Foundation Representatives Patrick N. Owens (1970-1974) and Farzam Arbab (1974-1978). The office closed on December 31, 1983.

RF activity in Colombia reflected the broad reorientation of Foundation programming away from Europe and towards the developing world which took place under RF Presidents Dean Rusk (1952-1961) and J. George Harrar (1961-1972). In Latin America, as in Africa and Southeast Asia, the Foundation sought to relieve basic human needs by establishing rural and community development programs, strengthening disease research facilities, and revitalizing universities that they might become more responsive to local populations. The RF approach to development involved the training of local personnel and the strengthening of local institutions through exchange programs with American universities and fellowship support for Colombian scholars.

One of the prime beneficiaries of RF support in Colombia was the Universidad del Valle and its Medical School at Cali, which received assistance under the RF's University Development program (1963-1978). (The program was renamed Education for Development (EFD) in 1974). The Universidad del Valle became one of the best medical schools in Latin Amerca, combining the practice of publich health at the Candelaria Rural Health Center with the teaching and practice of medicine. The EFD program was phased out in 1978, with future university grants made within the appropriate RF program areas.

Scope: consisting of routine administrative correspondence, document to a limited extent the administration of the RF's Education for Development (EFD) program and other programs undertaken in Colombia by the RF's divisions of Medical and Natural Sciences and Humanities and Social Sciences. For information about specific grants to individuals or institutions in Colombia, consult the grant files located in Record Groups 1.1 and 1.2 (Projects), Series 311 (Colombia), in the Rockefeller Foundation Archives.

Arrangement: Arranged in 4 series:

  • Series I - Administrative Correspondence
  • Series II - Universidad del Valle - Academic Programs
  • Series III - Universidad del Valle - Medical Programs
  • Series IV - Cooperating Universities and Programs
Mexico, RG 6.13, 1943-1965, 29 cu. ft. (FA398)

Biographical/Historical Sketch: In 1943, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Mexican government established a cooperative program to improve Mexican food crop production. The program had a dual nature: the qualitative/quantitative betterment of the basic food crops of Mexico, and a parallel teaching/outreach program designed to broaden local and national agricultural education. As a result the RF and Mexican government agencies and universities sponsored dozens of joint projects that stressed inter- American agricultural cooperation. Crop improvement programs for maize, wheat, and rice were included as well as weed control and fisheries projects.

Scope: Includes correspondence, conference proceedings, financial materials, annual reports, fellowship material, officers diaries and personnel records.

Arrangement: Arranged in 2 series:
  • Series 1 - General Office Files, 1943-1965
  • Series 2 - Experimental Camp Files, 1943-1965
Ankara, Turkey, RG 6, SG 19, 1968-1978, 7 cu. ft. (FA399)

Biographical/Historical Sketch: The Mideast Wheat Research and Training program was a project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation to help with crop research and agricultural production in Turkey. The program included breeding of adapted varieties of both spring and winter wheat for various ecological conditions, training for wheat scientists from cooperating countries, and advice and assistance in the development of the local research and production programs. In September 1967 the Rockefeller and Turkey began negotiations for the Rockefeller Foundation to participate in the development of the national wheat program. By July 1, 1970, the Turkish Wheat Research and Training Center had been established. The Rockefeller Foundation agreed to a start-up grant of $100,000, which was to expire at the end of 1968. Rockefeller Foundation funding was extended and renewed through the 1970s. In 1977 the Rockefeller Foundation signed a final three-year extension. Quality was not considered important at the start of the project. Rather, the point was to produce a large amount of wheat. The project pioneered an approach to the problem of a specific crop.

There were several issues with the Wheat Research Project that quickly became apparent. Initially, only fluent English speakers were eligible for overseas training. As the program developed, staff received English language instruction before going for training, but once abroad they required additional training in order to function effectively and produce. Relations with the Turkish government were also complicated, and issues arose with organization and method. There were also struggles with various governmental departments. These issues were not helped by Turkey's bureaucracy and climate of administrative instability, attributable to constantly changing governments.

Over thirteen years Turkish wheat production increased from around 10 million metric tons to 17 million with general agreement that this increase was largely owing to the wheat improvement project.

Scope: Records document the day-to-day work of the Mideast Wheat Research and Training Project and consist of general correspondence and administrative documents pertaining to the Turkish wheat stations and the various foundations and institutions connected to wheat research in Turkey during the 1970s. Correspondence, reports, and printed material detail the Center's wheat research work and plant breeding and its interactions with Turkish authorities and with other agricultural institutes and university agronomists.

Various names were used to refer to the Wheat Research and Training Program, including: Middle East Wheat Improvement Project, Wheat Improvement Project, Wheat Research Program, Mid-East Wheat Research and Training Center, and Ankara Field Office.

Significant staff members include: Ahmet Demirlicakmak, Charles K. Mann, E. E. Saari, Jon Michael Prescott, and Bill C. Wright.

Arrangement: Arranged in two series:
  • Series 1: Wheat Research Center
  • Series 2: General Files.
RG 7 Treasurer, 1913-1979, 180 microfilm reels (FA117)

Scope: Contains vouchers, financial reports, cash books, payments, expenditures, select grants-in-aid documentation, payroll registers, trial balances and various financial journals and ledgers.

RG 10 Fellowships, 1917-1979, 217.8 cu. ft.
  • Fellowship Files, RG 10.1, 1917-1979, 217.8 cu. ft. (FA244)
  • Fellowship Recorder Cards, RG 10.2, 1917-1979 (FA426)

Biographical/Historical Sketch: The Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship Program began in 1917 with a few appointments and grew gradually so that there were several hundred fellowships awarded each year by 1925. As stated in the Directory of Fellowship Awards, the basic principle upon which the program was created was "the conviction that individuals can and should be developed for future leadership and creative achievement in important fields of endeavor. Thus the functions of the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) fellowship program have been to select individuals of outstanding promise in the fields of interest defined by the general program of the Foundation, and to help prepare individuals to make significant contributions to research and teaching or public service in the future." [Note: Rockefeller Foundation, Directory of Fellowship Awards, For the Years 1917-1950. New York, 1950.]

The RF wanted the fellowship program to be an international exchange crossing all racial, cultural and national boundaries. To help facilitate this exchange, the RF instututed a general provision that a fellow needed to travel and study outside of his/her own native country. Initially the RF intended for the fellowship program to focus on supporting individuals outside of the United States but over the years, a great number of U.S. citizens were awarded fellowships and related scholarships.

  • All fellowships were awarded within the five divisions of the Rockefeller Foundation: International Health Division (IHD), Medical Sciences, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities.
  • The early fellows mostly came from the Western European countries and concentrated on medical and health issues.
  • During the 1950s and 1960s, the fellowship program changed focus. Beginning in this period, fellows were predominantly from Latin America, Africa and India. The emphasis also changed; fellowships were awarded primarily in agriculture and public health.
  • The Rockefeller Foundation had a standard set of criteria for its fellowship awards. Applicants needed to have finished their formal education with advanced degrees and training. They also needed to be employed by universities, research institutes or governmental bodies. Direct applications were discouraged; potential applicants were identified by RF officers. A fellowship award was typically one to two years in duration.

Scope: Most of the fellowship files consist of an application, accompanied by a photo of the applicant, and other pertinent background information such as curriculum vitae, a listing and/or copies of their publications, theses, articles, correspondence and grant information. The guide to the fellowship files includes the fellow's name, country of origin, and discipline. This will facilitate searches by country, date and/or discipline, in addition to name.

RG 12 Officers' Diaries, 1911-2006, Bulk: 1911-1992, 209.2 cu. ft.
  • Officers' Diaries, A-E, 1911-1992, 60 cu. ft. (FA391)
  • Officers' Diaries, F-L, 1911-1992, 40.4 cu. ft. (FA392)
  • Officers' Diaries, M-R, 1911-1992, 60 cu. ft. (FA393)
  • Officers' Diaries, S-Z, 1911-1992, 45.2 cu. ft. (FA394)
  • Officers' Diaries, A-E, 1987-2006, 3.6 cu. ft. (AC.2014.002) (Restricted)

Access: Officers' diaries are open for scholarly research provided that (1) the diarist is deceased and (2) the volume to be examined is at least twenty years old. All reasonable efforts will be made to determine the fate of the diarist(s), but if such efforts are fruitless then the material will remain closed to scholarly research until the 100th anniversary of the officer's birth.

Biographical/Historical Sketch: Officers of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York and its staff members in the field often visited educational, scientific and research institutions and laboratories in many parts of the world to maintain contacts and assess work being done. Officers and field staff frequently conferred with government officials regarding the operation of the RF's programs. In order to preserve accurate records for the guidance of other RF officers, those who carried on these activities kept diaries of their day-to-day contacts and impressions. These diaries were sent to the RF office, where they circulated among officers and staff to the extent deemed advisable.

Scope: Diaries are of two types: regular daily diaries, and special trip diaries. Some diaries have indexes, which are often bound in the annual volume but may at times be found in separate index volumes; indexing was not a requirement but was left to the discretion of the officers, and not all diaries are indexed.

Diaries frequently contain information given in confidence, and were thus treated as confidential.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by last name of Officer.

RG 13 Oral Histories, 1960-1974, 12 cu. Ft. (FA119)

Access: Officers' oral histories are open for scholarly research subject to any written conditions on access established by the subject of the oral history or his/her designated representative. Please see RAC Head of Reference for details.

If no written guidelines exist, an oral history is available for research provided that (1) the subject of the oral history is deceased, and the date of the volume to be examined is prior to 1995. All reasonable efforts will be made to determine the fate of the subject of the oral history(s), but if such efforts are fruitless then the material will remain closed to scholarly research until the 100th anniversary of the officer's birth.

Arrangement: Primarily alphabetical by last name of officer. The oral histories of the Rockefeller Foundation Agricultural Program officers are grouped together and then further arranged alphabetically by last name of officer.

RG 16 Minutes, Officers' Actions and Annual Reports, 1913-2000, 36.2 cu. ft. and 56 microfilm reels
  • Annual Reports, 1913-2000, 18 microfilm reels (FA120)
    • Access: All annual reports are open for research, regardless of date of creation.
  • Minutes, 1913-1987, 38 microfilm reels (No finding aid available)
  • Officers' Actions, 1927-1985, Bulk: 1960-1985, 36.2 cu. ft. (FA474)
RG 17 Dockets. 9.6 cu. ft.
  • Dockets, 1986-2013, 2.4 cu. ft. (AC.2014.016)
  • Dockets, 7.2 cu. ft. (No finding aid available).
Collections (not assigned to a Record Group)
  • Biographical File, 3.5 cu. ft. (FA485)
  • Cox and Reece Investigations, 1952-1954 (records: 1917-1954), 43.5 cu. ft. (FA418)
  • Field Staff, 1913-1974, 42 cu. ft. (FA487)
  • Films (FA752)
  • Institute of Pacific Relations, 12 cu. ft. (No finding aid available)
  • Maps and Flat Files, Series 1: Rockefeller Foundation (FA465)
  • Memorabilia, Series 9: Rockefeller Foundation Decorations, 25.2 cu. Ft. (FA437)
  • Pamphlet File, 1902-1986, Bulk: 1935-1975, 28 cu. ft.
  • Photographs, Series 100-1000, 1905-1980, 78 cu. Ft. (FA003)
  • Trustees Bulletins, 1937-1962, 24 volumes (RAC Library)
Biographical File, 3.5 cu. ft. (FA485)

Scope: Individual files may contain: biographical sketches, curriculum vitaes and resumes, obituaries, press releases, photographs, articles and publications. Files may also document honors, awards, appointments and positions held. The scope and breadth of the Biographical File is inconsistent. Some files are rich, while others are sparse.

Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically by last name/family name of the individual or by institutional name.

Cox and Reece Investigations, 1952-1954 (records: 1917-1954), 43.5 cu. ft. (FA418)

Biographical/Historical Sketch: The Cox and Reece Investigation files document the Rockefeller Foundation and General Education Board's preparation for and response to investigations by the United States House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations, which were held between 1952-1954. The first investigation was headed by Edward Eugene Cox (R-Georgia) and the second by B. Carroll Reece (R-Tennessee).

The Cox investigation involved subpoenaed responses to a lengthy questionnaire, followed by hearings, at which Dean Rusk, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, testified for the Foundation and the General Education Board, which was inactive, but which maintained a corporate existence whose affairs were administered by the Foundation.

The Reece investigation also involved responses to written questions, but hearings were not held. In the course of the investigations, the political orientation of various organizations was scrutinized, including the Rockefeller Foundation and the GEB, in part by focusing on the political orientation of grant and fellowship recipients, both individuals and institutions.

Scope: The preponderance of the collection consists of various summaries of the Rockefeller Foundation and GEB grant administration files prepared by the Foundation staff for use by senior staff and Foundation counsel as they responded to written questions from the Cox and Reece investigations and as they prepared for Dean Rusk's testimony at the Cox committee hearing.

The collection is indexed with a number and letter system that made efficient research feasible, in case such reference work had been needed during live testimony. Card indexes also exist.

Although most of the information that appears in these records also occurs in grant administration and program and policy files of the Rockefeller Foundation and the General Education Board, as the case may be, the format of these records and the configurations of the information make the records unique in the context of the Foundation and the GEB collections, and offer insight into how the Foundation responded to the congressional investigations.

Two particular aspects of the Cox and Reece Investigation files not duplicated in the main body of the Rockefeller Foundation and the General Education Board records are the source and citation summaries, as well as the subject files and those documenting the political climate. Arrangement: Arranged in four series: Series 1 Digest Files; Series 2 Witness Statements; Series 3 Washington D.C. Files; and Series 4 Background Information and Miscellaneous.

Field Staff, 1913-1974, 42 cu. ft. (FA487)

Scope: Contains reports, surveys and collected papers from Field Staff of the Rockefeller Foundation, International Health Board/Division, and China Medical Board. Also includes a selection of Officers Actions, Minutes, Board and Program reports and publications.

Arrangement: Arranged in six series. Each series is further arranged into multiple subseries.
  • Series 1: Laboratory records of the West African Yellow Fever Commission
  • Series 2: International Health Board/Division (IHB/D)
  • Series 3: Rockefeller Foundation Health Commission
  • Series 4: Field Staff - Collected Papers
  • Series 5: Rockefeller Foundation War Relief Commission
  • Series 6: Rockefeller Foundation Program Reports
Films, c. 1920-1968, approximately 40 films. (FA752)

Access: All inquires to view films require advanced notice of at least 24 hours, and may necessitate notice of up to one week. Individual items, including those that are not available in modern formats, may be restricted from scholarly access at the discretion of RAC.

Arrangement: Alphabetical by title of film. •Institute of Pacific Relations, 12 cu. ft. (No finding aid available)

Scope: Contains publications and printed material.

Maps and Flat Files, Series 1: Rockefeller Foundation (FA465)

Scope: Material includes but is not necessarily limited to: architectural drawings, artwork, blueprints, charts, citations, oversized documents, graphs, maps, photographs, posters, publications, renderings, whiteprints, and other such items that necessitate flat storage. Access: Retrieval times for maps and flat files may exceed 24 hours. Individual items may be restricted from scholarly access at the discretion of RAC.

Memorabilia, Series 9: Rockefeller Foundation Decorations, 25.2 cu. Ft. (FA437)

Scope: Contents include medals, certificates, awards, artwork, textiles, plaques, photographs and assorted realia. Individual memorabilia items have each been assigned a unique object number. The Rockefeller Foundation Decorations span objects 8000-8141.

Access: All inquiries to view memorabilia items require permission from RAC, and advanced notice of up to one week. Individual items may be restricted from scholarly access at the discretion of RAC.

Pamphlet File, 1902-1986, Bulk: 1935-1975, 28 cu. ft.

Scope: The Rockefeller Foundation maintained a vast collection of published pamphlets, academic papers, book manuscripts, magazine articles, and other booklets that reference the Foundation or members of the Rockefeller family or were created by RF leaders, employees, or grantees. The pamphlets date from 1878 to 1988, with the majority containing dates between 1935 and 1975.

Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically by author, organization, or major subject. The original order established by the Rockefeller Foundation is maintained.

Photographs, Series 100-1000, 1905-1980, 78 cu. Ft. (FA003)

Arrangement: Arranged by the Series and Subseries structure commonly established in Record Group 1 through Record Group 5.

Trustees Bulletins, 1937-1962, 24 volumes (RAC Library)

Access:All RAC Library holdings, including Trustees Bulletins, may be requested through DIMES.

Arrangement: Volumes arranged chronologically.

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