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

ROCKEFELLER FAMILY ARCHIVES, 1819-(1879-1961)-2000

Record Group 1, John D. Rockefeller Papers, 1855-(1879-1894)-1942

Size: 550 cubic feet.

Collection: Material in this record group documents John D. Rockefeller's activities during the 19th Century.

Arrangement: Arranged in nine series:
  • Series B: Business Related Material, 1871-1917
  • Series C: Correspondence, 1879-1894
  • Series F: Financial Material, 1855-1937
  • Series I: William O. Inglis interviews and research materials, 1917-1926
  • Series L: Letterbooks, 1877-1918
  • Series M: Scrapbooks, 1904-1937
  • Series N: Philanthropy Related Material - American Baptist Education Society, 1917-1926
  • Series S: Spelman Family, 1854-1942
  • Series Z: Miscellany
Photo Collection: Yes

Series C - Correspondence, 1879-1894

Size: 34.4 cubic feet

Arrangement: Arranged in three alphabetical subseries. For each subseries an alphabetical list of correspondents is available at the Archive Center; there is a subject index for Subseries 3.
  • Subseries 1: Business Related Material, 1871-1917 (8.4 cubic feet)
  • Subseries 2: Business investments (6 cubic feet)
  • Subseries 3: Office (personal) (20 cubic feet)
Virtually no incoming correspondence exists for the years 1904-1917. For incoming correspondence from 1918-1937, see Record Group 2, Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller. A calendar of investments and list of correspondents are included in the finding aid. These three subseries were issued on microfilm by University Publications of America in 1993 and are available at several libraries in the United States. Those interested in purchasing a copy of the microfilm may contact University Publications of America, 4520 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814-3389. Tel.: 1-800-692-6300 Fax: 301-657-3203).

Series F - Financial Materials 1855-1937

Size: 400 linear feet

Contents: This material consists of Rockefeller's financial books and related items, including ledgers, journals, cash books, account books for estates and office, vouchers, pledge books, and Charities Index Cards.

Financial Materials - Charities Index Cards, 1864-1903

Size: 8 boxes

Contents: John D. Rockefeller began to keep an alphabetical card index of his charitable gifts sometime in the 1880s, and he went back through his ledgers to add selected earlier gifts. At the top of each card, Rockefeller listed the name of the organization or individual for which the gift was intended; below it, he recorded the date and amount of each gift to that beneficiary, along with the name of the individual to whom it was sent.

Arrangement: The Archive Center has created a database for these cards to facilitate research. The database is intended to facilitate access to any correspondence and does not include the specific date or amount of these gifts. Since incoming letters to Rockefeller are filed alphabetically by correspondent, this database will make it easier for researchers interested in particular institutions to identify and locate relevant correspondence. Used in conjunction with the Index to the John D. Rockefeller Letterbooks 1877-1918 (1987), this new list will permit researchers to use Rockefeller's correspondence with greater ease. A second set of cards which record Rockefeller's gifts beginning in 1904 has not been included in the database as of yet. Charities Index Cards Database

Series L - Letterbooks, 1877-1918.

Size: 394 volumes (200,000 letters)

Contents: These letterbooks contain copies of handwritten or typed correspondence sent by John D. Rockefeller, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. or office staff on their behalf. Researchers use microfiche copies of the originals. Corresponding incoming letters may be found in Series C, Correspondence (see above) or in Record Group 2. Subjects documented in the letterbooks include the individual and cooperative business endeavors of JDR and JDR Jr., their charitable and philanthropic activities, and the planning and management of Kykuit, the family's home in Pocantico Hills, New York. An index to the letterbooks has been compiled and is available at the Archive Center.

Arranged in seventeen groups:
  1. JDR Business and Office Files, 1879-1916 (179 volumes)
  2. JDR Business, 1877-1897 (32 volumes)
  3. JDR Personal, 1904-1918 (42 volumes)
  4. JDR, Jr. Personal, 1897-1916 (71 volumes)
  5. Abeyton Realty, 1909-1916 (5 volumes)
  6. JDR - F.T. Gates - Philanthropy, 1891-1905 (11 volumes)
  7. Frederick T. Gates, Personal, 1895-1913 (9 volumes)
  8. Duluth, Missabe & Northern Railway, 1894-1904 (10 volumes)
  9. Tilden Mining Company, 1896-1917 (5 volumes)
  10. Lake Superior Consolidated Iron Mines, 1894-1899 (5 volumes)
  11. Bessemer Steamship Company, 1896-1898 (1 volume)
Everett & Monte Cristo Railway Company, 1894-1903 (4 volumes)
  1. Starr J. Murphy, 1905-1908, (1 volume)
  2. Laura Spelman Rockefeller - Estate, 1915-1916 (1 volume)
  3. Receipt Book (1 volume)
  4. Standard Oil Company, 1885-1888 (1 volume)
  5. William Rockefeller, 1871-1896 (2 volumes)
  6. Rockefeller, Flagler & Andrews, 1867-1868 (2 volumes)

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