Scope and arrangement
The Phelps-Stokes Fund Records contain administrative records including trustee and committee minutes, correspondence, memoranda, financial records, legal documents, speeches, reports, occasional papers, and printed material, such as pamphlets, brochures, clippings, articles, press releases and programs. Records concern the early work of the Fund in researching and supporting education for Africans and African Americans and improvement in housing conditions, through study commissions, reports, and project grants, as well as its engagement in contemporary debates concerning the philosophy and policies of Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois. To a lesser extent, the Fund provided early support for surveys of American Indian schools and administration, such as the 1928 Lewis Meriam study and the 1939 Navajo Indian study. Later endeavors included administering grants for conferences on race relations, exchange and training programs, cooperative programs with other foundations, government aid programs, and a number of cultural projects.|||The bulk of the collection contains the office files of the four principal leaders of the Fund, Anson Phelps Stokes (1924-1946), Thomas Jesse Jones (1917-1946), Channing Tobias (1946-1953), and Frederick D. Patterson (1953-1969). Of particular interest is material concerning the Fund's relationships with organizations such as Agricultural Missions; Booker T. Washington Agricultural and Industrial Institute of Liberia, founded by the Fund in 1929; British and Foreign Bible Society; Capahosic (VA) Conferences, where black and white leaders gathered for off-the-record conferences; Carnegie Corporation; Committee on Negro Americans in the Defense Industry; Cooperative College Development Program to assist historically black colleges in coordinating development programs and improving management resources; General Education Board; Harmon Foundation; Highlander Folk School; International Missionary Council; Jeanes and Slater Funds; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, including its disagreements with Fund policies; Rosenwald Fund; South African Institute of Race Relations; Southern Regional Council; YMCA National Council, including South African Work of the Foreign Committee, as well as historically black schools and colleges, especially Bethune-Cookman, Calhoun, Fisk, Hampton, Manassas, Penn School, Talladega, and Tuskegee.|||Significant correspondents include diplomats, educators, reformers, and foundation officials, such as Ralph J. Bunche; W. E. B. Dubois, particularly regarding the Encyclopedia of the Negro project and opposition to the Fund in the 1930s and 1940s; NAACP director Walter White, who also disagreed with certain Fund activities; educators James E. K. Aggrey, Will Alexander, Aaron Brown, Nannie Burroughs, James H. Dillard, Clark Foreman, Charles S. Johnson, Guy B. Johnson, Thomas Elsa Jones, Charles L. Loram, Robert R. Moton, Harold Odum, Emmett Scott, Booker T. Washington, Carter G. Woodson, especially his controversy with Thomas Jesse Jones in the 1920s, Thomas J. Woofter, and cultural figures and organizations including ethnomusicologist Laura C. Boulton and the Harmon Foundation. Other significant correspondents include foundation officials Jackson Davis, Emory Ross, Wallace Buttrick, Abraham Flexner, Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes, Oswald Garrison Villard, L. Hollingsworth Wood, George Foster Peabody, and William J. Schiefflein; and journalists Lester Walton and Claude A. Barnett;.
The Phelps-Stokes Fund records are arranged in three series:
Divided into three sub-series reflecting the activities of the board and its individual members during the three different administrations covered by the records: the Stokes/Jones administration (1911-1946), the Tobias administration (1946-1953), and the Patterson administration (1953-1969). The administrative records of the Franklin H. Williams years (1970-1990) have not yet been processed.
Divided into three sub-series reflecting the Stokes/Jones (1912-1946), Tobias (1946-1953), and Patterson (1953-1969) administrations. It contains correspondence, diaries, memoranda, reports, clippings, and other printed material. In general, the records are arranged alphabetically, first by individual correspondent, followed by organizations and subject files. (Users of the collection should see both an individual's folders as well as that of his or her organization, for example, Claude A. Barnett and the Associated Negro Press.) However, each sub-series differs somewhat in arrangement reflecting the original order at the Fund's offices, as well as some necessary re-organization imposed by archivists at the Fund and at the Schomburg Center.
Consists of correspondence dating from 1909 between Booker T. Washington and Olivia E. P. Stokes conceiving of a school in Liberia modelled on Tuskegee Institute and additional correspondence by Fund and mission board officials regarding the founding of the school in Kakata, Liberia in 1928. The series contains legal documents relating to the incorporation of the school in 1929 and the dissolution of the American board in 1954 at the time of the school's transfer to the University of Liberia. Additional correspondence relating to the early days of Booker Washington Institute may be found in the James L. Sibley correspondence in the Anson Phelps Stokes Files of the OFFICE FILES series.
Other material includes general correspondence and minutes for the Advisory Committee on Education in Liberia, the American Board of Trustees of the Institute, and the Liberian Board of Managers. The individual correspondence of trustees, principals, and others discusses the administrative, financial, and political problems at the school throughout its history. The trustees' correspondence includes that of Claude A. Barnett; Thomas Donohugh and A. B. Parsons representing mission boards; Harvey Firestone, Jr.; Edward Robinson of the General Education Board; Emory Ross; and George G. Wolkins of the Trustees of Donations for Education in Liberia. The correspondence of the principals, acting principals, faculty, visitors, and public officials also reflects the difficult relations with officials of three Liberian governments and the ongoing financial and administrative difficulties stemming from a division of authority between New York and Kakata. Significant correspondents, other than the trustees and principals, include Samuel Coles, Jackson Davis, United States ambassador to Liberia Edward R. Dudley, Harvey Firestone, Jr., Ambrose Hall, Liberian ambassador to the United States C. D. B. King, Norris Miles, Howard W. Oxley, Frank Pinder, Lester Walton, and Henry Litchfield West.