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Rockefeller Archive Center: Rockefeller Archive Center

Research access guide for the Rockefeller Archive Center.

General Information

Facility: The Rockefeller Archive Center
Address: 15 Dayton Avenue
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
Phone: (914) 631-4505
FAX: (914) 631-6017
Email: email
Hours: Hours of Operation

About the center:

Founded in 1974 by the Rockefeller family in collaboration with several of their foundations, the Rockefeller Archive Center includes collections dating back to John D. Rockefeller, Sr. Its first director, Dr. Joseph W. Ernst, was also the Rockefeller family archivist. Collections include items from many of the foundations, organizations, and other groups created by the Rockefeller family.

The Rockefeller Archive Center is located in Hillcrest, the home built for Martha Baird Rockefeller, who was the second wife of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Unfortunately Mr. Rockefeller, Jr. passed away in 1960, and Martha Baird Rockefeller was too unwell to move into the new house upon its completion in 1963.

The Rockefeller Archive Center provides travel grants for researchers to use the archive, please see the Grants-in-Aid section for details. For more information regarding using the the collections of the Rockefeller Archive Center please review the collections online and contact RAC as listed above to determine if the materials you wish to use are available for research.

Summary of Collections

Collection size: as of October 2014

The Rockefeller Archive Center's collections include over 110 million pages of documents, 900,000 photographs, 18,000 reels of microfilm, and 6,000 films.

The Rockefeller Archive Center has developed as a research center for the study of the history and practice of philanthropy in the United States and throughout the world. Principal archival collections that document philanthropic activity related to Asia, and to Japan, include those of the Rockefeller Foundation, whose grants in the social, medical, and natural sciences, and in the humanities and social sciences, facilitated the reconstruction of post-World War II Japan; the China Medical Board of New York, which, with the Rockefeller Foundation, supported the development of western biomedicine in China; the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which has funded the work of the Asia Society, among other organizations; the Social Science Research Council, which has funded the historical and contemporaneous study of the economic and social order of Asia, especially China; the Trilateral Commission, which promoted the integration of Japan in to the conversation and operation of the international economy; and the Ford Foundation, which has funded higher education and research in Japan and the broad development of the social sciences in China and more broadly in Asia. The papers of John D. Rockefeller 3rd document the work of developing cultural relations between the United States and Japan, and Asia more broadly, including the development of the Asia and Japan societies.

Notable Collections:

  • Asian Cultural Council Archives, 1980-2000: established in 1980 to continue the work of the JDR 3rd Fund's Asian Cultural Program of promoting East-West cultural understanding.
  • Charles Burton Fahs papers, 1838-1993: a collection focusing primarily on the life and career of Charles Burton Fahs, including his work in Japan and the Philippines.
  • Products of Asia Archives, 1955-1967: unprocessed collection of records from the daily operations of the Products of Asia.


Online catalog:


How to Use the Facility

Research at the Rockefeller Archive Center

Prospective researchers are encouraged to use the center's new RACcess system to make contact, plan their visit, and request materials. Researchers create an account and are able to submit and track requests with it. The new RACcess system also manages all reproduction requests, including scans and photocopies. The center also allows digital camera use by researchers.

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North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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