Each Ford Foundation Grant and the corresponding Grant File is identified by a unique Program Action (PA) number. PA numbers begin with the year a grant was made (2-digits), followed by a sequential number within that year (4-digits).
For example: PA 55-0123 was the 123rd grant made in the year 1955. PA numbers are often typed or handwritten on Ford documents in the following format: 55-123 (year)-(####). However, the Ford Foundation's grants database (LINKS) uses an 8-digit format for PA numbers: 05500123 (0YY#####).
Beginning in the 1970s the 4th digit in the 8-digit PA number was used to encode at least three different types of Ford grants:
After the year 2000 a "1" is used as the first digit in the 8-digit PA number to signify the 21st century. For example the 123rd grant made in 2012 would be PA number 11200123.
Grant Files were not microfilmed in numerical order, and the Ford Foundation's LINKS database must be used to identify on which microfilm reel (or reels) any specific Grant File is housed.
Each Ford Foundation Grant File is arranged into 4 sections:
Section 1. BASIC DOCUMENTS: Program Action Forms Accepted Proposals Tax Forms an d Certifications Docket Excerpts Request for Grant Action (RGA) Grant Notification Letter & Budget Terms of Grant Grant Acceptance Letter Supplementary Requests & Agreements Modification Requests & Agreements Section 2. PAYMENTS: Requests Letters Acknowledgments Section 3. REPORTS: Grant Status Report Forms Grantee Narrative and Financial Reports Section 4. CORRESPONDENCE: All other correspondence and material, in reverse chronological order
A possible 5th section, 'ATTACHMENTS', will contain copies of printed ephemera & clippings related to the grant. Grant Files may also be followed by a 'Grants Accounting File' which summarizes the grant.
Also, early Grant Files (roughly 1950-1970) often include a CROSS REFERENCE sheet listing other grants made in a related subject or Program Area, and a 'BIBLIOGRAPHY of GRANT-RELATED MATERIALS' at the beginning of the file.
Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Microfilm of grants inactive for more than 10 years are open for research with select materials restricted as noted. Brittle or damaged items are available at the discretion of RAC.
TERMS OF ACCESS:
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.