Rockefeller Archive Center

Rockefeller Archive Center Research Reports are created by recipients of research travel stipends and by many others who have conducted research at the RAC. The reports demonstrate the breadth of the RAC's archival holdings, particularly in the study of philanthropy and its effects. Read more about the history of philanthropy at Also, see the RAC Bibliography of Scholarship, a comprehensive online database of publications citing RAC archival collections.
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Japanese Participants at the International Studies Conference and the Institute of Pacific Relations in the Twenty Years’ Crisis

November 19, 2020

The proposed project for the research at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) was "a re-assessment of the discourse of the International in the twentieth century." It was to examine how the idea of the "International" was formed. By the "International," I meant the counter-communist notion of the "International," which became the core of what we often term the "liberal international order" of the twentieth century. This research now forms a part of my broader book project. What follows here are my findings on one of the three focuses in this recent research at the RAC, which were also synthesized with documents from the League of Nations Archives and the Unesco Archives, and my thoughts on them.

Victor Heiser and the Rockefeller Foundation as a Medium for the Intercolonial Transfer of Health Management Knowledge in Asia in the Era of the League of Nations

January 1, 2016

Victor Heiser was in charge of Rockefeller programs in Asia and the Pacific (which his contemporaries called the "Pacific region") as Director for the East of the International Health Board (IHB) of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1915 to 1934. The IHB provided a substantial portion (30-40 percent) of the funding for international health projects of the League of Nations Health Organization (LNHO, 1921-46), and also conducted its own programs in various parts of the world. In recent years, scholars have begun to see the League as an important harbinger of global norms in the following era of the United Nations, and the role of the LNHO is in particularly well acknowledged. Heiser oversaw a large part of the LNHO's international health work in Asia and the Pacific. Compared to other Rockefeller IHB officers who worked in Asia, such as John B. Grant, Roger Greene, and Selskar Gunn, however, Heiser's work as Director for the East, especially in the relations between the IHB and the League, has been relatively unknown. What kind of man was he, and what principles or philosophies for international health did he have? What role did he play in defining the nature of the IHB's involvement in the LNHO work in Asia and the Pacific?

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