Our Mission, Vision & Values

Our Mission

By collecting, managing, preserving and providing broad and equitable access to the historical records of philanthropy and other efforts to work on behalf of the public good, the Rockefeller Archive Center inspires critical analysis and contributes knowledge to diverse learning communities throughout the world.

Our Vision

Consistent with our obligations as an independent operating foundation, the Rockefeller Archive Center aspires to: 

  • Embed the principles of equity, inclusion, diversity, and belonging in the framework of everything we do. 
  • Evolve and expand our collecting and interpretive activities to engage underrepresented communities taking part in and impacted by the work documented in the archival collections in our care.
  • Be among the leaders in the archives field in creating and contributing to a more diverse and equitable community of practice, both at our institution and across the profession. 
  • Hold ourselves truly accountable by measuring the impact of our work in meaningful ways and adjusting our activities as appropriate to meet our goals. 

Our Values

We Pursue Excellence in Stewardship

  • We strive to meet or exceed the ethical and professional standards set by the Society of American Archivists and our allied professions in stewarding our collections and making them broadly accessible to our global user communities.
  • We explore topics and carry out interpretive work in an inclusive, diverse, and equitable manner, mindful of their relevance for contemporary issues and for the impacted communities with which we work and seek to work.
  • We provide leadership to the professions and fields in which we operate, and we collaborate with other organizations, groups, and communities that share our values.
  • We strive to minimize the negative environmental impact of our work, including the operation of our physical plant and the use of technology, as we advocate for and embrace environmentally sustainable practices more broadly.

We are Dedicated to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion

  • We use staff and board recruitment policies that reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.
  • We foster cultural competence among our staff and apply those standards to our collecting, archival description, access, and engagement activities.
  • We actively encourage the use of our collections for people of all backgrounds and address financial and structural barriers to facilitate this access.
  • We continuously work to improve access to our physical and digital spaces for people with disabilities.
  • We acknowledge that certain communities have been historically targeted, neglected, or harmed by racism, homophobia and transphobia, sexism, ableism, and poverty, and that many of our collections document such harms. We are committed to racial, gender, and economic justice in our work.

We are a Collaborative Learning Organization

  • We embrace humility and seek to learn from our colleagues across the organization, and we work across teams and program areas to understand the value of each other’s labor and expertise.
  • We understand that communication and transparency are keys to succeeding as an organization and actively work within structures and systems that support these goals.
  • We understand that failure is part of learning, and we are not afraid to try new things. Progress is more important than perfection.
  • We promote and support professional development opportunities for all staff regardless of their role in the organization.

We Embrace Change

  • We readily use new workflows, technologies, and tools to enhance user experience and extend our institutional reach.
  • We keep abreast of developments in our fields of practice and thoughtfully implement new solutions.
  • We regularly review and improve existing technological solutions and systems based on user needs.
  • We proactively review and revise our organizational policies, procedures, and practices to reflect new thinking and respond to changed circumstances.

We are Accountable

  • We hold ourselves accountable to each other and to our user communities by acknowledging and embracing responsibility for our actions, behaviors, and decisions.
  • We continually evaluate our decisions and activities and adjust them appropriately to meet evolving standards of practice.
  • We involve staff in decisions and plans that affect them, and we commit to their success by providing space for clear, actionable feedback.

We Center People in Our Use of Technology

  • We strive to create a user experience that empowers our user communities through their engagement with our systems.
  • We respect our users’ right to privacy and self-determination in the use of our services and systems.
  • We advocate for the ethical application of technology, and we build, use, and contribute to open-source projects.

We Foster Belonging

  • We foster belonging by welcoming different ideas and by valuing the diversity and individuality of knowledge, background, and experience that we each bring to our workplace.
  • We fulfill our roles and responsibilities with integrity, civility, honesty, humility, and empathy for one another.
  • We foster an organizational culture that promotes positive work-life balance, and we actively seek out ways to connect with one another as human beings, not just co-workers.
  • We acknowledge and understand our organization’s past while thinking and working for the future.