Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Gerald Freund papers, 1952-1997, bulk 1975-1995

Summary Information


The papers of philanthropic advisor and writer Gerald Freund. The collection primarily documents Freund's work with several philanthropic organizations and also includes his academic pursuits and publications.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1710
Bib ID 6910321 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Freund, Gerald, 1930-1997
Title Gerald Freund papers, 1952-1997, bulk 1975-1995
Physical Description 62.50 linear feet (50 boxes)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

The files of the Whiting Foundation will be closed until 2049.



This collection is arranged into eleven series.


Scope and Content

The Gerald Freund Papers is comprised of materials relating to Freund's career as both an advising philanthropist and an academic writer and historian. The collection contains professional correspondence, administrative files, subject files, and financial records that document Freund's work at several philanthropic organizations, particularly his work at Private Funding Associates and the MacArthur Foundation. The collection also includes academic papers, notes, and research that relate to his academic career and published works.

There are twenty three (23) unprocessed boxes which are listed in Series XI.

  • Series I: Education

    This series documents Freund's academic life, as an undergraduate at Haverford College and a graduate student at Oxford College. It also includes professional academic work: teaching at Haverford College, work as acting dean at Hunter College and Yale, and as an academic consultant for several other collegiate institutions.

  • Series II: Private Funding Associates

    This series, split into two sections, documents Freund's work as the president of the firm Private Funding Associates. The first section, arranged chronologically, depicts administrative files of the firm, including proposals, research, advertising, and formal correspondence. The second section, arranged alphabetically, includes all of the firm's Projects and Collaborations with corporations, foundations, and philanthropic institutions. These files contain proposals, correspondence, research, and general information.

  • Series III: Rockefeller Foundation

    This series, arranged chronologically, documents Freund's work as the Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation. Files include correspondence, research, and philanthropic consultations. This series is especially strong in documenting Freund's work as the director of the Warren Weaver Fellows Program, with files that range from 1988 to 1993.

  • Series IV: Harlem Educational Activities Fund

    This series demonstrates the work Freund completed on behalf of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund, abbr. HEAF. The series consists of four categories: Administrative Files, Financial Records, Programs, and Mott Hall. The administrative and financial files, arranged chronologically, document the staff, board meetings, correspondence, press, and general information of the organization. The Programs section, arranged alphabetically by organization, documents the programs that were instituted and maintained by the fund. Lastly, the Mott Hall section, arranged chronologically, details the specific programs and records at Mott Hall High School.

  • Series V: MacArthur Foundation

    This series documents Freund's work as the Vice President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, as well as the Director of the MacArthur Prize Fellows Program. The files, arranged chronologically, detail meeting notes, correspondence, and proposals for the foundation. It also includes selection committee notes, correspondence, and reports for the Prize Fellows Program.

  • Series VI: Whiting Foundation

    This series documents Freund's work at the Whiting Foundation, as well as his role as the Director of the Whiting Writers' Awards. The Administrative Files and Whiting Writers' Awards Program Files, arranged chronologically, include correspondence, and information about nominees, nominators, panels, board meetings, and winners of the award. The Foundation Files, arranged alphabetically by organization, document collaboration with other philanthropic projects.

    The files of the Whiting Foundation will be closed until 2049

  • Series VII: Woodstock Country School

    The Woodstock Country School series documents Freund's attendance of the school, his participation on the Board of Trustees, work with the Woodstock Country School Foundation, as well as his role and involvement regarding the Woodstock Country School History Manuscript project. The series, organized chronologically, includes class notebooks, alumni directories, correspondence, foundation files, and drafts of the WCS History Manuscript.

  • Series VIII: Miscellaneous Correspondence

    This series, arranged alphabetically by subject and by year, includes Freund's personal and professional correspondence spanning the years 1973 to 1996.

  • Series IX: Subject Files

    This series documents Freund's work for several different organizations, both for corporate entities and pro bono cases. It also contains files that document his membership to several organizations, such as the Institute of Current World Affairs Council and the LOTOS Club.

  • Series X: Published Books

    This series depicts Freund's academic interests in both German history and American philanthropy. It is comprised of the research, drafts, bound copies and correspondence relating to Freund's three published books.

  • Series XI: Unprocessed Boxes

    This series comprises twenty-three (23) boxes of material which is yet to be processed.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

The files of the Whiting Foundation will be closed until 2049.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Gerald Freund Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Emily B. King, New York University, Class of 2015 2014.

Revision Description

2014-05-03 xml document instance created by ceh

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Charities Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Freund, Gerald, 1930-1997 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note


Gerald Freund was born in Berlin in 1931. His family then immigrated to Britain, then to New York, during World War II. He graduated from Haverford College and Oxford in 1952 and 1955, respectively. Freund became an active member of both the academic and philanthropic communities. He taught at Haverford College, and was also the dean of humanities and arts at Hunter College.

He served as the president of Private Funding Associates and was the first director of the MacArthur Foundation's Prize Fellows Program. He also worked for the Rockefeller Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and helped set up the Rona Jaffe Awards and Lillian Gish Prize. In addition to his philanthropic work, Freund has written two books about Russian and German relations, Unholy Alliance, and Germany Between Two Worlds, in addition to Philanthropy and Narcissism, which explores the past aspects and future prospects of philanthropy in America.

Freund died of lung cancer in 1997. He was 66.