Skip to main content
Notice: The Library is open for research by appointment only, please visit our research services page for more information.

Pew Charitable Trusts digital archive

Creation: 1995-2022
Accession: AVD.2020


The Pew Charitable Trusts are a major philanthropic organization based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Part of the Pew Charitable Trusts records in the Manuscripts and Archives Department, the digital archive consists primarily of eGrant products and Pew publications.


  • Creation: 1995-2022



13,313 digital_files

38.6 Gigabytes

General Physical Description note

13,313 digital files: 12,544 PDF files; 118 MPEG3 files; 295 MPEG4 files; 1 MOV file; 80 JPEG files; 42 PPTX files; 5 PNG files; 1 XLSM file; 6 CSV files; 5 DOC files; 82 DOCX files; 114 XLSX files; 9 TXT files; 3 ZIP files; 8 SAV files.

Historical Note

The Pew Charitable Trusts is a major philanthropic organization based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Pew Memorial Foundation, the predecessor of the Pew Charitable Trusts, was organized on May 15, 1948, by J. Howard Pew, Joseph Newton Pew, Jr., Mary Ethel Pew, and Mable Pew Myrin. The Pew family possessed one of the leading industrial fortunes in Pennsylvania, based upon the Sun Oil Company, founded by Joseph Newton Pew, Sr. in the late nineteenth century.

The Pew Memorial Foundation was endowed with 880,000 shares of Sun Company stock. At its first meeting, the board of directors designated four areas of giving: scientific, charitable, religious, and educational. In 1949 the Foundation inaugurated a program to assist historically black colleges. Subsequently, it made large donations to Cornell University, the Hoover Institution, Bucknell University, Grove City College (J. Howard Pew's alma mater), Dickinson College, and Ursinus College. These grants provided support for fellowships and chaired professorships in science and engineering, as well as for programs designed to explore the relationship between public policy and free-market economics.

Between 1956 and 1970, the Pew Charitable Trusts were administered by the Glenmede Trust Company. When J. Howard Pew and his sister, Mabel Pew Myrin, died in 1971; the Trusts diversified their portfolio in response to government regulation and began issuing grants which were valued at 5 percent of the market value of its investments. By 1975 this total had risen to $33 million per year. This profoundly changed the nature of the Trusts, and in the 1970s, it hired professional staff and formalized its grant application procedures.

Traditionally, the Trusts, now America's second-largest private foundation, have concentrated their resources in the Philadelphia region, assisting secondary schools, libraries, seminaries, and hospitals. In recent decades, however, they have adopted a proactive approach to grantmaking. They now initiate programs and identify agencies capable of implementing them. In the 1980s, Pew launched two new programs, the Health Policy and the Biomedical Scholar Programs. These initiatives have funded important work in medical education, biochemistry, AIDS research, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.

The Pew Research Center began as the Times Mirror Center for the People & the Press in 1990, a research project of the Times Mirror newspaper company, which conducted regular polls on politics and policy issues. Upon becoming the program's sponsor in 1996, Pew Charitable Trusts renamed it the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. In 2004, Pew Charitable Trusts created the Pew Research Center to encompass the project and other information initiatives including the Project for Excellence in Journalism; Pew Internet & American Life Project; Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life; Pew Hispanic Center; and Pew Global Attitudes Project. The center "conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research."[1]

Citations: [1] "About Pew Research Center." Pew Research Center. Accessed October 18, 2021.


Unless otherwise noted in the series and subseries descriptions, the arrangement is chronological.

Scope and Content

Part of the Pew Charitable Trusts records in the Manuscripts and Archives Department, the digital archive consists primarily of eGrant products and Pew publications. Publications include Pew News employee newsletter, Trust magazine, and Pew Prospectus. Grant products focus on current issues affecting society, both in the United States and internationally, such as the economy, health care, technology, and the environment. The grant products are separated into those produced or sponsored by PCT directly, divided by project or program, and those produced by the Pew Research Center.

"After the Fact" is a podcast from The Pew Charitable Trusts, in which host Dan LeDuc discusses contemporary policy issues with guest experts and other contributors. The series include transcripts and audio files for the podcast.

The series of board meeting agenda books includes agendas, annual workplans, briefing materials, cover memos, director's overviews, financials, idea agendas, introductions, introductory materials, lists, memos to the board, minutes, program overviews, policy overviews, reports to the board, strategy papers, summary lists, table of contents, typology charts, and program write ups. The files also include files of the various Board Committees, including: Audit, Compensation, Executive, Finance, and Nominating and Governance Committee. This series also contains various board memorandums sent from staff at Pew Charitable Trusts to board members between quarterly meetings.

Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Council files include meeting minutes, charters, council recommendations, and workplace culture assessment materials.

Public Safety Performance Project state polling files series includes eighteen sets of polling data. Polls are at the state and national level, and cover public opinions on adult and juvenile criminal justice and on electronic monitoring. The files include survey toplines, memos, questionnaires, slide decks, reports, and crosstab analyses. Inclusive dates are: 2010; 2012-2018. States surveyed include: Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah,and West Virginia.

The Program Evaluation and Learning Unit series includes evaluations and supplementary files for the following Trust Operated Projects (TOP): Chilean Patagonia; Dental Campaign; Flood Prepared Communities; and Stateline.

Photographs is a small series which includes six images of the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in 2007, four images from 2014 of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History "Star-Spangled Banner" exhibit, ten images of the 2015 Biomedical Meeting of the Pew Biomedical Scholars and Fellows Program, and one image of a 2017 R. Anderson Pew family visit to the Washington, D.C., Pew office. There are also images and video of a retirement luncheon for Pew Philadelphia program senior vice president, Frazierita Klasen.

Access Restrictions

This collection is subject to select access restriction. The series of board meeting agenda books and the series of Public Safety Performance Project state polling files are closed to researchers. Photographs are subject to a 25-year time seal from the date of creation. The series of Program Evaluation and Learning Unit files and the series of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Council files are subject to a 25-year time seal from the date of deposit (2023) and will fully open to researchers in 2048. The remainder of the collection is open for research. Please contact staff at for instructions on how to apply for access to material in any restricted series.

Use Restrictions

To view the digital archive, contact the Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department at

Related Material

Part of Pew Charitable Trusts records (Accession 2020), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library. Physical copies of publications and grant products are cataloged individually in the Hagley Library catalog.

Language of Materials


Additional Description

Other Finding Aids

Detailed inventories exist for the files contained in the series of board meeting agenda books and Public Safety Performance Project state polling files.


Deposits of Pew Charitable Trusts, 2013-ongoing.


Accruals are expected.

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Pew Charitable Trusts digital archive
Abby Adams and Angela Schad. Revised periodically.
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
Script of description:

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA