Finding aid for the J. Richardson Dilworth Papers

Summary Information

Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center
Dilworth, J. Richardson (Joseph Richardson), 1916-1997
J. Richardson Dilworth papers
1.2 linear feet 3 boxes
Chiefly comprising J. Richardson Dilworth's personal papers during his years as a trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study. Mr. Dilworth was a Trustee from 1964-1981, President 1970-1981, and Chairman 1981-1986. Contains correspondence, memoranda, news clippings and reports.

Preferred Citation note

The suggested citation for the materials is "J. Richardson Dilworth Papers, Archives of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, USA."

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Biographical/Historical note

Joseph Richardson Dilworth was born June 9, 1916, in Hewlett, New York, and died December 29, 1997, in Princeton, New Jersey. He graduated Yale College in 1938 and Yale Law School in 1942. During World War II, he was a Navy staff officer serving mainly in the Pacific.

During the time period of 1958 until 1994, Mr. Dilworth carried out various roles in association with the Rockefeller Family. Prior to 1958, he had been working with the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb and Company and then as chairman of the finance committee for Rockefeller University. In 1960 until 1991, he was a trustee of this institution. From 1958-1981, Mr. Dilworth was also a senior financial advisor to the Rockefeller family. He was a longtime director of Rockefeller Center and from 1966 until 1982 its chairman.

From 1959-1986, Mr. Dilworth was also a member of the Yale Corporation, Yale University Board of Trustees. Starting in 1961, he joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Board, and then he continued in various capacities such as chairman of the finance committee, president, and then vice chairman of the board before leaving as chairman in 1987.

From 1964 to 1986, J. Richardson "Dick" Dilworth was a trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study. He was President of the Board of Trustees from 1970 to 1981 and Chairman from 1981 to 1986. He resigned due to illness.

Mr. Dilworth was married for 57 years to Elizabeth Cushing "Bunny" Dilworth, who died September 30, 2003. He was predeceased by a daughter, Melissa D. Gold, and is survived by a daughter, Alexandra Cushing Dilworth, and two sons, Joseph R. Jr. and Charles, and seven grandchildren. (Information gathered from the New York Times, December 31, 1997, Yale Bulletin v. 26 n. 16, and the Town Topics, October 8, 2003.)

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Scope and Contents note

The J. Richarson Dilworth Papers collection consists mainly of typed correspondence, board of trustees meeting minutes, memoranda, reports pertaining to the board of trustees, newspaper clippings, a few handwritten notes, plus miscellaneous items that Mr. Dilworth kept with his office papers during his years as a trustee for the Institute for Advanced Study. Most of the correspondence is copies of letters from J. Richardson Dilworth to other members of the board of trustees and Institute for Advanced Study faculty. While the dates span 1965-1985, the bulk of the papers center around two time periods, 1965 and 1973-1974. The papers are all in English.

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Arrangement note

For the most part, the original order of the collection was maintained. The stack of loose papers was arranged chronologically with the exception of one folder that pertained to the Special Committee on Land Development. The collection consists of one series of predominantly correspondence in 3 document boxes.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center

Historical Studies-Social Science Library
Einstein Drive
NJ, 08540

Conditions Governing Access note

Following Institute Archives policy, the papers are closed for thirty years from the date of creation.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The papers appear to be from J. Dilworth Richardson's home office and came to the Institute in a storage box at some point after his death. The box contained 7 large binders and a stack of loose papers. The collection was kept in this box in the Archives for a few years before being processed.

Processing Information note

The collection was processed by Kirstie S. Venanzi. Processing was completed on April 20, 2004. A Microsoft Word finding aid was written in May 2004. The processing consisted of removing the papers from binders, removing paperclips and rusty fasteners, copying all newspaper clippings onto acid-free paper, copying of all thermofaxes onto acid-free paper, placing the papers in reverse chronological order, placing several periodicals in Mylar sleeves to protect the document as well as the file, arranging loose papers in chronological or subject order, placing all documents in acid-free folders, labeling the files, and placing the documents in acid-free document boxes.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Board of Trustees.
  • Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.)--Administration.
  • Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.)--Faculty.
  • Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.). School of Historical Studies.
  • Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.). School of Mathematics.
  • Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.). School of Natural Sciences.
  • Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.). School of Social Science.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Mercer County (N.J.)
  • New Jersey
  • Princeton (N.J.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Alfoldi, Andreas, 1895-1981
  • Auchincloss, Kenneth, 1937-
  • Bellah, Robert Neelly, 1927-
  • Byse, Clark
  • Forrestal, Michael J.
  • Galpin, Perrin C., 1889-1974
  • Garrison, Lloyd K. (Lloyd Kirkham), 1897-1991
  • Gray, Hanna Holborn
  • Hansmann, Ralph E.
  • Hochschild, Harold K., 1892-1981
  • Houghton, Amory
  • Houghton, James R.
  • Jenkins, Donald C.
  • Kaysen, Carl
  • Labalme, Patricia H.
  • Langlands, Robert P., 1936-
  • Lewis, W. S. (Wilmarth Sheldon), 1895-1979
  • Linder, Harold F.
  • Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967
  • Petersen, Howard C. (Howard Charles), 1910-
  • Rosenwald, Lessing J. (Lessing Julius), 1891-1979
  • Roth, William M. (William Matson), 1916-
  • Schur, Ira A.
  • Segal, Martin Eli, 1916-
  • Shanks, Carrol M. (Carrol Meteer), b. 1898
  • Simon, Norton, 1907-1993
  • Solow, Robert M.
  • Straus, Donald B.
  • Strauss, Lewis L.
  • Taplin, Frank E.
  • Watson, Thomas J., 1914-1993
  • Weil, André, 1906-1998
  • White, Morton Gabriel, 1917-
  • Woolf, Harry, 1923-2003


  • Education, Higher--Aims and objectives--New Jersey
  • Real estate development--New Jersey
  • Universities and colleges--New Jersey--History

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Trustees Committee on the Future of the Institute 6/1965-9/1965 

1 1

Trustees Committee on the Future of the Institute 10/1965-11/1965 

1 2

Trustees Committee on the Future of the Institute 1965 

1 3

Trustees Committee on the Future of the Institute, Correspondence 9/1965-12/1965 

1 4

Miscellaneous correspondence 1967-1970 

1 5

Correspondence - Others 1/1973-8/1973 

2 1

Correspondence - Trustees 1/1973-5/1973 

2 2

"I.A.S." Trustee Memorandums Reports 1973 

2 3

"I.A.S. Opinion, Certificate, By-Laws" - Letters to and from the Special Committee 1/1973-6/1973 

2 4

Planning and Review Committee - Correspondence 6/1985-8/1985 

2 5

"Confidential" Report 11/27/1973 

2 6

Dilworth Committee - Correspondence 1973 

2 7

Newspaper and magazine articles 1973 

2 8

Copy of Atlantic Monthly February 1974 

3 1

Miscellaneous 1974-1977 

3 2

Miscellaneous 1980-1981 

3 3

Correspondence 1982-1983 

3 4

"Foundations under Consideration" February 16, 1983 

3 5

Special Committee on Land Development 1983-1984 

3 6

Correspondence January 1985 

3 7

Miscellaneous publications 1954 and undated 

3 8