Frequently Asked Questions
Research at the Rockefeller Archive Center
RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS
I am a teacher who would like suggestions for lesson plans. Can the Rockefeller Archive Center help me?
What kind of causes have the Rockefellers funded?
What is the Rockefeller University Archives Campus Office and how is it related to the Rockefeller Archive Center?
James B. Murphy
WHERE TO FIND PAPERS IN OTHER REPOSITORIES
Where are the personal papers of Rockefeller University-related personnel?
Alexis Carrel - Georgetown University Library
Rufus Cole - American Philosophical Society
E.V. Cowdry - Bernard Becker Medical Library at Washington University School of Medicine
Simon Flexner - American Philosophical Society
Christian A. Herter - Johns Hopkins University
Karl Landsteiner - American Philosophical Society
Joshua Lederberg - Stanford University Archives and National Library of Medicine
Jacques Loeb - Library of Congress
James B. Murphy - American Philosophical Society
Peter Olitzsky - American Philosophical Society
Eugene Opie - American Philosophical Society
Winthrop Osterhout - American Philosophical Society
Thomas Rivers - American Philosophical Society
Oswald Robertson - American Philosophical Society
Peyton Rous - American Philosophical Society
Albert Sabin - University of Cincinnati
Florence Sabin - American Philosophical Society
Leslie Webster - American Philosophical Society; Colorado Historical Society; Smith College Library
Aldrich, Winthrop W. - Harvard University (Baker Library)
Harper, William Rainey - University of Chicago
Lee, Ivy - Princeton University
McCormick Collection - Wisconsin Historical Society
Nevins, Allan - Columbia University
Rockefeller, John D. Sr. - University of Chicago Library
Rockefeller, Nancy (Mrs. J. Stillman) - Greenwich Library (Oral History)
Stillman, James - Columbia University
Arnett, Trevor - University of Chicago
Arnold, Virginia - Boston University
Arnstein, Margaret Gene - Boston University
Barnard, Chester - Harvard University
Bates, Marston - University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
Beard, Mary - Cornell University
Carter, Henry Rose - University of Virginia (Charlottesville)
Day, Edmund E. - Cornell University
Embree, Edwin - Yale University
Favrot, Leo M. - Tulane University
Ferrell, John A. - University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
Flexner, Abraham - Library of Congress
Flexner, Simon - American Philosophical Society
Fosdick, Raymond B. - Princeton University
Frank, Lawrence K. - National Library of Medicine
Gates, Frederick T. - Harvard Medical School
Grant, John B. - National Library of Medicine
Greene, Jerome D. - Harvard University
Greene, Roger S. - Harvard University
Gregg, Alan - National Library of Medicine
Heiser, Victor - American Philosophical Society
Howland, Charles P. - Yale University
Jacocks, William P. - University of North Carolina
James, Henry (War Relief Commission papers) - Harvard University
Mason, Max - American Institute of Physics
Ruml, Beardsley - University of Chicago
Sawyer, Wilbur A. - National Library of Medicine
Smith, Hugh H. - Arizona College of Medicine
Soper, Fred L. - National Library of Medicine
Stevens, David - University of Chicago
Stokes, Anson Phelps - Yale University
Thompson, Kenneth - University of Virginia
Walcott, Frederic Collin - Yale University
Williamson, Charles Clarence - Columbia University
Where can I find the records of other foundations?
Anna T. Jeanes Foundation - In Southern Education Foundation Records, Archives and Special Collections, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center, Atlanta, Georgia.
Belgian American Educational Foundation, Inc. - The Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Buhl Foundation - The Zelienople (Pennsylvania) Historical Society
Bush Foundation - The Minnesota Historical Society
Carnegie Corporation of New York - Columbia University
Castle (Samuel N. and Mary) Foundation - Hawaiian Historical Society's Library
Chicago Community Trust - The Chicago Historical Society
Cleveland Foundation - The Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland
Duke Endowment - The Perkins Library at Duke University
Fels (Samuel S.) Fund - Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Field Foundation - Barker Texas History Collection, University of Texas at Austin
General Service Foundation - Minnesota Historical Society
Grundy Foundation - The Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Library and Museum-foundation Complex in Bristol, Pennsylvania
Gund (The George) Foundation - Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland
Harmon Foundation - Library of Congress
Haynes (The John Randolph) and Dora Haynes Foundation - University of California at Los Angeles
Ittleson Foundation, Inc. - Payne Whitney, New York City
Julius Rosenwald Fund - Fisk University
Kempner (Harris and Eliza) Fund - Rosenberg Library, Galveston
Kentucky Foundation for Women - Duke University Manuscript Collection
Kettering (Charles F.) Foundation - Hoover Institute, Stanford University
Kress (Samuel H.) Foundation - Photographic Archives/National Gallery of Art
Kulas Foundation - Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio
Laurel Foundation - Hillman Library, University of Pittsburgh
Macarthur (John D. and Catherine T.) Foundation - In-house archives
Milbank Memorial Fund - Yale University
Negro Rural School Fund, Inc. - In Southern Education Foundation Records, Archives and Special Collections, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Noble (Edward John) Foundation, Inc. - In-house
Pew Charitable Trusts - Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware
Research Corporation - Smithsonian Archives; Library of Congress
Saint Paul Foundation - The Minnesota Historical Society
San Francisco Foundation - The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley
The Shubert Foundation, Inc. - In-house Archives
Slater (John F.) Fund - In Southern Education Foundation Records, Archives and Special Collections, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center, Atlanta, Georgia.
Spencer Foundation - The University of Chicago
Van Ameringen Foundation, Inc. - Oskar Diethelm Historical Library, Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College, Cornell University
Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation - Weyerhaeuser Company Archives
Wilder (Amherst H.) Foundation - Minnesota Historical Society
(This list presents the results from the Rockefeller Archive Center's survey of the 1,000 largest foundations in the United States, conducted in 1988. Additional information on later deposits of foundation records was added in 1993 and in subsequent years.)
Can you provide me with a family tree of the descendants of John D. Rockefeller?
As a matter of policy, the Rockefeller Archive Center does not provide information about, or access to unpublished materials about, living members of the Rockefeller family. A number of books published in recent years, including Ron Chernow's biography of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Titan (1998), and Harr and Johnson's The Rockefeller Century (1988), contain genealogical charts for the Rockefeller family. Perhaps the most extensive is in The Rockefeller Family Home, Kykuit (1998), with photographs by Mary Louise Pierson and text by Ann Rockefeller Roberts. Henry Rockefeller's Rockefeller Genealogy has been reprinted and is available for purchase from the Higginson Book Company. The Higginson Book Company website is at http://www.higginsonbooks.com
Note: As a matter of policy, the Rockefeller Archive Center does not provide information about living members of the Rockefeller Family.
What does the inscription under the statue at Rockefeller Center say?
For more information on Rockefeller Center, see the Rockefeller Center Art and History website
What is the Rockefeller connection with Cleveland, Ohio?
About the only structure still standing in Cleveland with an association to Rockefeller is the Rockefeller Building at the corner of Superior and West 6th Street. Rockefeller also donated a lot of park land to the City of Cleveland -- Rockefeller Park -- and his former estate of Forest Hill became the site of Forest Hill Park on the border of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland, as well as a housing development planned by his son, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1925.
More information on Rockefeller's impact on Cleveland may be found in the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. The numerous biographies of John D. Rockefeller discuss his Cleveland years in various depths, and one book, Grace Goulder's John D. Rockefeller: The Cleveland Years (Cleveland: Western Reserve Historical Society, 1972), focuses on Cleveland. In 2000 Jane Hirz, a documentary film producer in Cleveland, visited the Rockefeller Archive Center to produce a video, "Rockefeller in Cleveland," for the local public television station, WVIZ, that was broadcast that fall in conjunction with the multi-part series on the Rockefeller Family that was part of "The American Experience" on PBS.
The Rockefeller Archive Center holds a great deal of material on Rockefeller in Cleveland in terms of his ledgers and account books, correspondence, and photographs. The description of the John D. Rockefeller Sr. Papers outlines this material and includes some interesting links. Also see the Archive Center's 1999 Newsletter, pp. 3-5, which reproduces one of his ledger pages and includes a photo of him from the 1860s; the 2000 issue of Research Reports from the Rockefeller Archive Center, pp. 3-6, for an article on Rockefeller and civic affairs in Cleveland; and Ken Rose's essay "Why a University for Chicago and Not Cleveland? Religion and John D. Rockefeller's Early Philanthropy, 1855-1900," which also deals with Rockefeller's philanthropy in Cleveland.
In May 1987, Joseph W. Ernst, Rockefeller Family Archivist and founding director of the Rockefeller Archive Center, calculated that John D. Rockefeller's contributions between 1855 and 1934 went to 178 different institutions and totaled $3,369,650. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was also involved with Cleveland charities, giving gifts of $100,000 or more to four Cleveland institutions. Together, Ernst determined, father and son gave more than $5,520,000.00 to organizations in Cleveland. Source: Memo, Joe Ernst to George Taylor, May 19, 1987, Administrative Files of the Rockefeller Archive Center.
The 34 companies to emerge from the dissolution of the Standard Oil Trust were:
Anglo-American Oil Company, Limited
Atlantic Refining Company - later Atlantic Richfield, then ARCO, and then Sun
Borne, Scrymser Company
Buckeye Pipeline Company
Chesebrough Manufacturing Company, Consolidated - later Chesebrough-Ponds
Colonial Oil Company
Continental Oil Company - later Conoco
Crescent Pipe Line Company
Cumberland Pipe Line Company, Inc.
Eureka Pipe Line Company
Galena-Signal Oil Company
Indiana Pipe Line Company
National Transit Company
New York Transit Company
Northern Pipe Line Company
Ohio Oil Company - later Marathon
Prairie Oil and Gas Company
Solar Refining Company
Southern Pipe Line Company
South Penn Oil Company
South-West Pennsylvania Pipe Lines
Standard Oil Company (California) -- later Chevron
Standard Oil Company (Indiana) - later Amoco
Standard Oil Company (Kansas)
Standard Oil Company (Kentucky)
Standard Oil Company (Nebraska)
Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) - later Esso and then Exxon
Standard Oil Company of New York -- Socony, then Socony-Vacuum, later Mobil
Standard Oil Company (Ohio) - later Sohio and the merged with BP
Swan & Finch Company
Union Tank Line Company
Vacuum Oil Company - later merged to form Socony-Vacuum, later Mobil
Washington Oil Company
Waters-Pierce Oil Company
[List and genealogy derived from George Sweet Gibb and Evelyn H. Knowlton, History of Standard Oil (New Jersey): The Resurgent Years, 1911-1927 (1956), Table 1: Companies Disaffiliated from Jersey Standard in 1911; Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power (1991); and Ron Chernow, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (1998)]
For more information on Standard Oil, see the Guide to the ExxonMobil Historical Collection, 1790-2004 from The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
William Rockefeller intended Rockwood Hall, as he called the property, to be his summer home, and he increased the size of the estate to more than 1,000 acres. He imported stone masons from Scotland, master wood carvers from Switzerland, gardeners from England, horticulturists from Japan and employed the best American artists and craftsman. Accounts differ as to whether he demolished Edwin Bartlett's original castle and then built another on the same site, or if he undertook extensive renovations to Bartlett's structure. In any event, at least one observer at the time labeled it "the most magnificent residence on the Hudson."
Among the structures built were a three-story coach stable, a farm barn, a hennery, 17 greenhouses and a steel bridge spanning the New York Central Railroad tracks from the estate to a two-story boat house on the Hudson River. A siding was added to the New York Central tracks, where Rockefeller kept his private railroad car.
William Rockefeller lived at Rockwood Hall until his death on June 24, 1922, at the age of 81. His heirs decided to sell the property, but when an individual buyer could not be found, a group of individuals formed Rockwood Hall, Inc. and purchased the estate. They converted the property into an exclusive country club with an 18-hole golf course, swimming pool and other recreational facilities. Their venture was unsuccessful, however, and in 1936 Rockwood Hall, Inc. declared bankruptcy.
After obtaining control of the property in bankruptcy court in 1937, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. leased the mansion to the short-lived Washington Irving Country Club. In the late 1930s the coach house and stable were remodeled and some summer theater productions were held, but these ceased after 1939. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. had no real use for Rockwood Hall and, in late 1941 and early 1942, had the buildings razed. On April 8, 1946 he deeded the Rockwood Hall property to his son, Laurance S. Rockefeller.
In 1970 Laurance sold 80 acres to the International Business Machine Corporation (IBM) for its world trade center. Beginning in the early 1970s, Laurance Rockefeller leased the property to the State of New York as a public park for one dollar a year, and underwrote the maintenance costs. In 1999 he donated the property to the State of New York as part of Rockefeller State Preserve.
Visible remnants of the estate buildings included the foundations of the main house and one gate house along Route 9 in Sleepy Hollow, NY.
Euclid Golf Allotment is a housing development on land once owned by John D. Rockefeller.
The Casements was John D. Rockefeller, Sr.'s winter home in Ormond Beach, FL.
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Papers at the Rockefeller Archive Center contain such items as the Governor's press releases throughout the crisis, speeches he made during that time period, state corrections monthly or quarterly departmental reports following the riot, and the complete proceedings of the U.S. House and Senate confirmation hearings on Rockefeller's nomination for Vice President in 1974. Attica is one of the many subjects about which Rockefeller was questioned during those lengthy hearings. Additionally, the Archive Center's non-circulating library has The Official Report of the New York State Special Commission on Attica, another book on the topic written by then Commissioner of Corrections Russell G. Oswald (Attica, My Story, 1972), and New York Times columnist Tom Wicker's account of the riot (A Time to Die, 1980).
According to Cary Reich's Worlds to Conquer: The Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1908-1958 (1996), Rivera provided the building managers and architects with "a vague sketch . . . [and] a lengthy verbal description of what he intended." Despite the fact that "the description was rife with socialist imagery," Rivera's plans were approved (pp. 106-107). Rivera began work on the fresco in March 1933 and within a matter of days was showing completed sections to visitors, including Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and Nelson Rockefeller, both of whom were enthusiastic about the work.
Rivera's recent work for the Institute of Art in Detroit had created some controversy, and his new work at Rockefeller Center soon caught the attention of the press. While the New York World -Telegram chided the Rockefellers for funding Rivera's depictions of "Communist activity," Reich notes that "various Communist Party functionaries derided Rivera for not going far enough with the RCA Building mural" (Reich p. 108). This criticism prompted Rivera "to up the ante," in Reich's words, and he decided to include an image of Lenin in the mural. In the new design "a soldier, a worker, and a Negro farmer would be shown holding hands with the Soviet leader," Reich reports (p. 108).
Soon after the RCA Building opened to the public on April 30, 1933, Nelson A. Rockefeller sent Rivera a letter protesting Lenin's inclusion in the mural and demanding that the image be replaced. Rivera argued that he had included Lenin in the original design for the mural, although Reich notes that "in fact, it was nowhere indicated in the sketch, or in Rivera's verbal plan" (p. 109). Rivera refused to remove the image of Lenin, but, as a compromise, offered to add a portrait of Lincoln.
"Rather than mutilate the conception" of the mural, Rivera wrote, "I should prefer the physical destruction of the conception in its entirety." (Quoted in Reich, p. 109) Whether he meant it or not, Rivera got his wish. On May 9, 1933, Rivera was called down from the scaffolding by the building's managing agent, Hugh Robertson, paid in full for his work, and the mural was covered with canvas. The press portrayed the controversy over the mural as a battle over free speech and artistic expression between Rivera and Nelson A. Rockefeller. For the rest of 1933, Rockefeller struggled with what to do with the mural, finally suggesting that it be donated to the Museum of Modern Art. For whatever reason, however, this did not happen, and the fresco was destroyed in February 1934.
(See Cary Reich, Worlds to Conquer: The Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1908-1958 (New York: Doubleday, 1996), pp. 105 -111.)
Documentation of this incident is located at the Rockefeller Archive Center in the Rockefeller Family Archives, Record Group 2 Office of the Messrs Rockefeller, Business Interests series, box 94, folder 706 and additional material in box 93, folder 704. This material includes a brief series of letters between Nelson A. Rockefeller and Diego Rivera, with some correspondence to Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. Also included are numerous letters from people and organizations in support of Rockefeller's handling of the disagreement over, and the removal and destruction of, the mural. The files also include a fairly extensive set of copies of editorial columns from U.S. newspapers commenting on the dispute and its conclusion.
See PBS's "American Experience: the Rockefellers" for Diego Rivera's side of the story.
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