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Peter Dobkin Hall Papers

Identifier: MSS086

Scope and Contents

Correspondence: correspondence by and to Peter Hall relating to research and publishing. Organized chronologically, and partially by correspondent.

Committees and Organizations: Meeting minutes and agendas, reports, publications, papers from workshops and seminars, created during Peter Hall's participation in Independent Sector and PONPO.

Conferences: material related to conferences attended by Peter Hall, including agendas, programs, notes, rosters, as well as papers presented at these conferences by himself and others.

Instruction and Teaching: material related to classes and seminars taught by Peter Hall, including syllabuses, outlines, assignments, and weekly notes.

Photographs: One set of photographs of the Rockefeller Archive Center, c. 1990.

Publications 1973-2010: papers, books, chapters, and other formally composed work produced in whole or part by Peter Hall, including conference presentations and speeches, as well as some unpublished material. Some papers have review notes from other scholars.

Reference: a selection of materials related to the history of philanthropy from the working files of Peter Hall. This section mainly contains white and grey litature in philanthropy not easily found elsewhere, and unpublished material sent to Hall by other scholars in the field.

Research: research files created by Peter Hall, organized by subject. Includes the original hard-copy trustee data sheets used to build the database central to the Six Cities Project. Data sheets have been organized by city, then alphabetical by organization name thereunder. They have not been sorted by trustee name.

Audio: cassette tape recordings of meetings and conferences attended by Peter Hall. Materials have been digitized.

Floppy disks: 3.5" and 5" floppy disks from the home office of Peter Dobkin Hall. Digital materials have not been processed.


  • 1970 - 2014



27.3 Cubic Feet (27 cubic foot record cartons and one legal-sized document case. )


Peter Dobkin Hall was a historian of American philanthropy, who held appointments at Wesleyan (1974-1982), Yale (1973-1999), and Harvard (2000 until death), and was Scholar in Residence at the Rockefeller Archive Center in 1989. He was extensively published in philanthropy but it probably best known for his book "'Inventing the Nonprofit Sector' and Other Essays on Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Nonprofit Organizations."


Collection did not come to the archives in any discernible original order, and an intellectual arrangement by the function of the creator has been imposed to make it usable to resarchers.


Selected correspondence between Peter Dobkin Hall and Robert L. Payton was removed from the Center on Philanthropy Records in the University Archives and interfiled into Peter Dobkin Hall's papers, September 2019.

Separated Materials

Materials duplicated in the Independent Sector Records have been removed during processing, primarly routine publications such as annual reports and newsletters. Any materials not already represented in the Independent Sector records have been added to that collection.

Materials duplicated in the Organization of American Historians Records have been removed during processing, primarily annual meeting programs. Any materials not already represented in the OAH records were added to that collection.

Processing Information

Reference materials have undergone selective deaccession in processing to remove material that is already easily available in books and journals, or in archives that Peter Hall researched in, in particular the Rockefeller Archive, Harvard University Archives, and Yale University Archives.
In Progress
Denise Rayman
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Philanthropic Studies Archives Repository

IUPUI University Library
755 W. Michigan St.
Room 0133
Indianapolis IN 46202 USA