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John Hay Whitney Foundation records

Call Number: MS 1952
Scope and Contents

The records document the organization and activities of the John Hay Whitney Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to education and social welfare. The collection consists of correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, project and program files, fellowship recipient files, and financial records created and maintained by the organization. The records cover all aspects of the organization’s activities from its inception in 1946 to shortly after its dissolution in 1983.

The collection provides a rich resource for the study of the Foundation. Material on the Foundation’s origins and history are found in the collection, as is material related to the administration of the organization, such as bylaws, meeting minutes, and reports. The Trustees' and Members’ minutes provide an accounting of decisions made in quarterly meetings, but very limited documentation about their deliberations. The records include members' minutes from December 1946 until September 1958 and April 1960 until September 1980 and trustees' minutes from December 1946 until May 1960 and June 1961 until June 1983. There is limited information regarding the Foundation's closing that can be found in correspondence and in financial records.

Financial records provide documentation on the financial state and transactions of the organization. Of particular interest are the files relating to the Internal Revenue Service’s unsuccessful challenge to the Foundation’s tax exempt status in 1971. The Foundation’s response is thoroughly documented in the auditing files through legal records and correspondence. In addition to providing a full accounting of the organization's financial state, the Internal Revenue Service investigation response provides substantial background on the organization. On the whole, the financial files summarize the Foundation’s financial history through incoming contributions and investments and outgoing grants and donations.

The collection’s greatest strength is its documentation of the Foundation’s projects and programs. The number and scope of projects and programs supported by the Foundation is well documented by the records. Of particular note are the files on the Foundation’s fellowship programs: the Opportunity Fellowship Program and John Hay Fellows Program. The collection contains a substantial number of records pertaining to these two programs, including correspondence, photographs, and reports, as well as written commentary by fellows discussing their experiences in the programs between 1960 and 1963. Beyond the administrative files on the fellowships, the collection contains a complete run of Opportunity Fellowship and John Hay Fellows recipients’ files, which provide information about the recipients. Material concerning the Foundation’s smaller projects is limited to routine correspondence and brief descriptions of project goals and activity.

Language of Materials

The materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the Yale community for research and teaching. Other researchers require the written permission of the Greentree Foundation to access the collection prior to January 1, 2050, after which the papers are open for research without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Per agreement with the donor, Yale will not provide copies of materials in the Collection, regardless of the means of reproduction, to the Yale Community or to third parties, nor will it permit anyone in the Yale Community or any third party to have access to the Collection with any device capable of copying materials in the Collection, including cameras and portable devices that include cameras before January 1, 2050. Reproductions in any form of this material require the written permission of the Greentree Foundation until January 1, 2050. Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by John Hay Whitney was transferred to Yale University. These materials may be used for non-commercial purposes without seeking permission from Yale University as the copyright holder. For other uses of these materials, please contact

Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


The records are organized into two series: I. Administration, 1946-1994. II. Fellowship Recipient Files, 1950-1971.

Related Materials

John Hay Whitney and Betsey Cushing Whitney Family Papers (MS 1938) and the Greentree Stud & Stable Records (MS 1953).

83 Linear Feet (101 boxes)
Related Names
John Hay Whitney Foundation
Language of Materials