The Alfred Lawrence Ripley Papers are composed of material kept by Ripley only in his service as alumni fellow of the Yale Corporation. Records of his professional activities as a banker, director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and trustee of Phillips-Andover Academy are not included. The papers are mainly correspondence with university officials, though occasional minutes of meetings, memoranda, reports, and press releases are also included. The papers are arranged in chronological order.
Ripley joined the corporation in 1899, but there are no papers prior to 1908 and there are no papers from 1911-1913. The papers primarily document Ripley's role as a consultant on questions of Yale finance, investing policy, and the use of estates and other gifts to the university. The 1909 and 1910 correspondence is between Ripley and Arthur Twining Hadley, John W. Bristol, George Parmly Day and Edward Salisbury Dana and largely concerns the Salisbury and Frank D. Allen estates. From 1914 to 1916 there is almost daily correspondence with Day concerning the trading of securities. In later correspondence there is discussion of the Alumni Committee on the Plan for University Development and the use of the John W. Sterling bequest (1918); the work of the Committee on Educational Policy (1919); the choice of a successor for Arthur Twining Hadley (1920-22); the Kellogg estate (1925); and the Hadley estate (1930-31). Throughout there are references to the development of professional schools such as law, forestry, medicine, and nursing. In the early 1930s there are discussions of investment policy in the face of the stock market crash and worsening economic conditions. Other correspondents include Anson Phelps Stokes, Thomas Wells Farnam, Robert M. Hutchins, and James Rowland Angell. The papers end with the termination of Ripley's term of service on the corporation.