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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The wide adaptation of wheat: Expanding the Rockefeller Foundation's international agricultural research program

January 1, 2014

In my dissertation research, I study the history of studies on wheat adaptation to climate, beginning in the 1950s and through the 1970s. In the 1960s, Norman Borlaug, while working for the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) in Mexico, popularized the concept of wide adaptation -- meaning a crop that gives high yields and is stable across different environments. Before Borlaug popularized wide adaptation, most scientists believed the crops were best suited to the location and conditions that they were developed in. Borlaug and the RF's international wheat program challenged this conventional wisdom while expanding their wheat program in Latin and South America, South Asia, and the Middle East. Because the history of wheat improvement is closely tied to other RF programs in maize and rice, my research also examines these crop research programs.

A Full Round of Life for All: Transforming Near East Relief into the Near East Foundation

January 1, 2013

The Near East Foundation (NEF) declared in 1934 that it aimed to achieve a "full round of life for all" through its work in the Near East. A report explained that a full life included "health and hygiene for individual and community, economic security through effective agriculture and industry, happy homes with rights and opportunities for childhood and womanhood, the brotherhood and co-operation of national and racial and religious groups, and above all the fullness of culture and spiritual faith." These goals reflected NEF's hopes for a full social transformation in the Middle East, and show the growing influence of development ideology on its leadership. They also reflected major changes in NEF's goals from its origins as a relief organization.

From Artifacts to People Facts at the Oriental Institute

January 1, 2010

The Rockefeller Archive Center's (RAC) holdings are vital to my dissertation titled, "From Artifacts to People Facts: The Archeological Origins of Middle East Area Studies," which traces the origins, content, and ramifications of interwar American academic interest in the Middle East, showing how that knowledge was utilized during the wartime and postwar expansion of the U.S. sphere of influence in the Middle East. This project is not about all of America's imaginative investment, but is rather about a relatively small group of scholars who had an outsized influence on America's relationship with the region as a whole. As U.S. interests expanded during and after World War II, this accumulated knowledge influenced governmental policies and actions, including the increased use of propaganda as a method of peddling influence through deception.

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