Collection ID: FA1719

Collection context


Mayer, Robert A. (Robert Anthony) and Ford Foundation
1.14 Cubic Feet and 3 Hollinger boxes
English .


Scope and Content:

Collection contains the office files that Robert Mayer created during his time as Officer-in-Charge of the Ford Foundation's Logistical Services unit. Logistical Services operated within the Foundation's Division of Administration and included both a Records Services and Buildings Services department. Materials in the collection appear to chiefly relate to Mayer's responsibilities over the Records Services department as well as his involvement in the larger activities of the Division of Administration.

The collection consists of one series of staff subject files. These files contain correspondence, memos, notes, drafts, and reports that document the development of the Ford Foundation's records management and archives programs from between the 1950s and 1970s. Prominent records management related subjects that the files discuss include trips to the field offices to evaluate and assist record keeping procedures, advancement and advocacy of records retention policies, filing procedures instructions, and records storage. Prominent archives related subjects include the development of the Reports Control Center (Ford catalogued reports collection), the oral history project, and policies for internal and external access to records.

While some of the other material in the collection may have been accumulated by Mayer simply in his capacity as an officer in the Division of Administration receiving documents related to activities outside of his specific unit, other records were created through his active participation in concerns beyond Logistical Services. A notable example of the later type of material is Mayer's work on the Ford Foundation's response to the U.S. House of Representatives' Staff Report of the Subcommittee on Domestic Finance of the Committee on Banking and Currency (Patman Subcommittee Report).

Biographical / Historical:

Robert A. (Anthony) Meyer built a career in administration that spanned across philanthropy, business, and the military. He worked in the Ford Foundation's Division of Administration during the 1960s and 1970s as Assistant to the Vice President and Officer-in-Charge of Logistical Services.

Mayer graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1955 with a degree in English. He then served as a Sergent in the United States Army for two years where he worked in Administration and Personnel. Before joining the Ford Foundation in 1963, he worked for the Mobil Oil Company as Program Supervisor for Service Stations in the Advertising Department.

Mayer initially joined the Ford Foundation as a Program Assistant in the Latin America Program. Then in 1964, he became a Program Associate and shortly after in 1965, he became Assistant Representative to Brazil. Mayer moved to the Division of Administration in 1967 as Assistant to the President and had his responsibilities expanded in 1968 to also become Officer-in-Charge of Logistical Services. As Officer-in-Charge of Logistical Services, Mayer oversaw both the Building Services and Records Services departments.

In 1967, Mayer earned a Master's degree in Government and International Relations from New York University.

Acquisition information:

This material was transferred to the RAC in 2019 and was ingested by the RAC as Accession 2019:099.

Accessions continue as necessary.


Collections consists of one series.

Collection arrangement is as follows:

Series 1. Subject files, 1952-1975



Open for research. Brittle or damaged items are available at the discretion of RAC.


Ford Foundation has title, copyright and literary rights in the collection, in so far as it holds them.

The Rockefeller Archive Center has authority to grant permission to cite and publish material from the collection. Permission to publish extensive excerpts, or material in its entirety, will be referred to the Ford Foundation.

15 Dayton Avenue
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591, United States