The Rockefeller Archive Center
“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 Family Archives

Contents: The Rockefeller Family Archives documents the careers and activities of the three generations of the Rockefeller family beginning with the founder of the family fortune, John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937).

Arrangement: See separate record groups for arrangement details. Materials pertaining to living members of the Rockefeller Family are not available for research.

Record groups wholly or partially open for research include the following:

1. John D. Rockefeller
2. The Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller
          John D. Rockefeller, Jr *
          Abby Aldrich Rockefeller *
3. Rockefeller Family and Associates
4. Nelson A. Rockefeller, Personal
5. John D Rockefeller 3rd
7. Government Affairs Foundation
8. Jackson Hole Preserve, Inc.
9. Winthrop Rockefeller Papers, 1960-1972 (microfilm)
13. Public Relations
14. Media
15. Nelson A. Rockefeller, Gubernatorial, 1959-1974
17. Rockefeller Family Associates
17B. Rockefeller Family Associates - Edgar B. Young
18. Martha Baird Rockefeller
19. Products of Asia
26. Nelson A. Rockefeller, Vice Presidential Papers, 1974-1977
32. American Conservation Association
50. William Rockefeller
51. Charles Augustus Strong
53. Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller

* The papers of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1874-1948), are separate series within Record Group 2, Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller.

Photo collection: Yes, including films

History: The central figure in the creation and operation of the Standard Oil Company during its rise to the top of the petroleum industry, John D. Rockefeller (JDR) established for the family a leading role in business and philanthropy. From the days of his earliest employment, Rockefeller, a devout Baptist, was generous in his giving to worthy causes, especially those of a religious nature. During the 1890s he developed an orderly system of philanthropic giving through an office staff that included his close advisor, Frederick T. Gates (1853-1929) and his son, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (1874-1960). With the advice of these and other associates, Rockefeller established the University of Chicago, The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now The Rockefeller University ), the Rockefeller Foundation, and other philanthropic organizations working nationally and internationally in the fields of education, religion, and health. Rockefeller's total donations to philanthropic endeavors are estimated to have been $540 million.

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.

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