John D. Archbold Collection

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: JPK
Date: Aug 2007

Revision history:

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Archbold, John Dana
Title: John D. Archbold Collection
Dates: 1929-1962
Quantity: 5.5 linear ft.
Abstract: A collection of papers once owned by John Dana Archbold (1910-1993), philanthropist and trustee emeritus of Syracuse University. The contents consist of personal and business correspondence, as well as research notes and manuscripts on Archbold family genealogy and the life and career of John Dana's maternal grandfather, John Dustin Archbold (1848-1916.)
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

John Dustin Archbold (1848-1916) was born in Leesburg, Ohio. He was a capitalist, philanthropist, and President of the Board of Trustees at Syracuse University. He was known as John D. Rockefeller’s right hand man at the Standard Oil Company and was the company's frequent spokesperson. After the Standard Oil Company's dissolution in 1911 due to a Supreme Court decision, he became president of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, a position he occupied until his death. He was a close friend of Syracuse University Chancellor James R. Day, and gave almost $4,000,000 to the University over his lifetime. His donations financed the construction of the Archbold Stadium, Archbold Gymnasium, and the Sims Hall dormitory.

He was at a times a controversial figure, appearing often as the voice of Standard Oil during the federal government hearings leading to the breaking up of the oil trust. In 1915 he was subject to a failed assassination attempt by an unknown assailant. His generosity to Syracuse University and his humble demeanor (he preferred that no buildings be named after him and kept a low public profile), made him a popular and greatly admired figure among the University community.


Dictionary of American Biography, vol 1, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1928-1958.
New York Times, “J.D. Archbold Dies: Mourned by Many,” December 6, 1916, p. 9.
Syracuse Post-Standard, “John D. Archbold and George C. Boldt Expire on the Same Day,” December 6, 1916, p. 1.
Syracuse Post-Standard, “Gifts to University From Mr. Archbold Nearly $4,000,000,” December 6, 1916.

John Dana Archbold (1910-1993) was born in Bar Harbor, Maine. He was a philanthropist, engineer, conservationist, businessman, dairy farmer, Officer of the Order of the British Empire, and trustee emeritus of Syracuse University. He financed the renovation of Syracuse Stage’s Archbold Theater in 1980, formally known as Regent Theater. He attended Princeton University (’34) and University of Geneva, Switzerland. He gave frequently to educational causes, and owned properties in Virginia and the British West Indies.


Syracuse Herald Journal, “Archbold Makes Generosity Simple,” June 16, 1980.
Additional material from the Syracuse University Archives.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection focuses on two members of the Archbold family, John Dustin Archbold (1848-1916), and his grandson John Dana Archbold (1910-1993). The contents of the collection were owned by John Dana Archbold and consist of personal and business materials, research notes, and manuscripts dealing with family history and the life and career of John Dustin Archbold. The collection is divided into three sections: correspondence, financial materials, and writings.

Correspondence (Boxes 1-2) relates to John Dana and has been divided into personal and business. The personal correspondence contains both outgoing letters written by John Dana and incoming letters written to him, covering the dates of 1929-1960. All correspondents are filed in alphabetical order by name (if known.) The business correspondence consists of internal memos, letters, handwritten notes, pamphlets and legal documents. It has been divided into two sections. The first section relates to the purchasing of marine diesel engines between the years 1932-1943. The second section deals with the patents acquired by John Dana for the I.B. Corporation and patents for his design for a rotary internal gas engine, covering the period between 1935 and 1943. The business correspondence has been ordered by date where possible.

Financial Materials (Boxes 2-3) deals with John Dana’s household and business accounts. It details monetary transactions for expenses, stocks and loans, gifts and charities, taxes, bank account balances, and personal properties. The materials are all bound journals and ledgers, covering the period from 1931 through 1962.

Writings (Boxes 4-6) consists of two parts. Part 1 deals with John Dustin Archbold and the Standard Oil Company. Part 2 contains materials on the Archbold family history and genealogy. The majority of the materials in part 1 were compiled or written by Austin Leigh Moore and consist of his transcriptions and notes, as well as numerous copies of unpublished manuscripts and proofs. Also included is a short manuscript authored by Walter Taylor and John Dana’s senior thesis from when he attended Princeton. The research materials in Part 2 consist of transcriptions, notes, newspaper and magazine clippings, and correspondence, and are arranged according to the family members they refer to. Also included are two copies of an unpublished manuscript on Archbold family genealogy, written by various authors and compiled by John Dana, in addition to three copies of a recipe book published by John Dana.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is divided into personal and business. Personal has the names of each correspondent listed alphabetically (when known.) In the case of business correspondence, folders are organized by firstly date and are then named for the company or person they refer to.

Financial Materials are divided into "journals" and "ledgers" and are ordered chronologically.

Writings are ordered within each section, research materials first, followed by manuscripts, proofs, and/or books.


Access Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this material.

Use Restrictions: Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

The book The Petroleum Industry, 1859-1934 has been removed from the collection and is catalogued separately in Summit.

Subject Headings


Archbold family
Archbold, John D. (John Dustin), 1848-1916
Archbold, John Dana

Corporate Bodies

Standard Oil Company
Standard Oil Company of New Jersey
Standard Oil Trust


Archbold family, Genealogy
Archbold, John D. (John Dustin), 1848-1916, Biography
Cookery, American
Diesel motor, Drawings
John Dana Archbold, Finance, Personal
Marine diesel motors
Marine engineering
New business enterprises, Finance
Patent law and legislation
Patent laws and legislation, United States
Petroleum industry and trade, United States
Photography, Printing processes, Patents
Rotary combustion engines

Genres and Forms

Ledgers (account books)
Manuscripts for publication
Research notes



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John D. Archbold Collection
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents


Financial Materials



Box 1 Archbold, John Dana
Box 1 Archbold, (Elizabeth) Anne 1950-1959
Box 1 Archbold, Frances 1929
Box 1 Churchill, Judith Chase 1956
Box 1 Cohane, Mimi Browne 1956
Box 1 Cohane, Mimi Browne 1957
Box 1 Cohane, Mimi Browne 1958-1961
Box 1 Craig, Mary 1929-1930
Box 1 Gilpatric, Wendy 1955
Box 1 Liggett, (Charlotte) Coventry 1951-1954
Box 1 Liggett, (Charlotte) Coventry 1955-1959
Box 1 McCraken, Pat 1946-1960
Box 1 Nicolas, Ann 1945
Box 1 Read, Sue B. 1942-1943
Box 1 Seavey, Mrs. W.A. undated
Box 1 Miscellaneous 1928-1960
Box 1 Miscellaneous undated
Business - Original names of folders in quotes.
Diesel engines
Box 1 Miscellaneous 1932-1935 - Letters, pamphlets, legal documents
Box 1 Lathrop Corporation 1938 (?)
Box 1 Junior Motors Corporation 1938-1940
Box 1 Guiberson Engines 1941-1943
Box 1 Cutter Corporation 1942
Box 1 "Diesel General" 1942
Box 1 "Export Finders Bureau" 1942
Box 1 "Miscellaneous Reports on Diesel Power" 1942
Box 1 "Second-hand Diesels of A. G. Schoonmaker" 1942
Box 1 "W.P.B. - Diesel Hunt" 1942
Box 1 "Actual Accumulation of Machinery" 1942-1943
Box 1 Diesels 1942-1943
Box 1 "Diesels - Sanitation" 1942-1943
Box 1 "Machinery to be Inspected" 1942-1943
Box 1 "Second-hand Diesels of M. Schyver" 1942-1943
Box 1 I. B. Corporation (photography) 1935-1938 (2 folders)
Rotary engine
Box 1 Rotary internal gas engine 1930-1933
Box 1, 2 General (8 folders)
Financial Materials
Box 2 Journal 1 Jul 1931-Dec 1935
Box 2 Journal 1a Jan 1936-Dec 1937
Box 2 Journal 2 Jan 1938-Dec 1943
Box 2 Journal 3 Jan 1944-Dec 1951
Box 3 Journal 4 Jan 1952-Dec 1958
Box 3 Journal 5 Jan 1959-Dec 1962
Box 3 Ledger 1 Jul 1931-Dec 1937
Box 3 Ledger 2 Jan 1938-Dec 1943
Box 3 Ledger 3 Jan 1944-Dec 1951
Box 3 Ledger 4 Jan 1952-Dec 1958
Box 3 Ledger 5 Jan 1959-Dec 1962
John Dustin Archbold and Standard Oil
Research materials
Box 4 Transcriptions and notes (18 folders)
Box 4 The Petroleum Industry 1859-1934 - Photocopy of title page. Book has been removed and catalogued separately.
Box 4 God's Gold - Book has hand-written notes in margins.
Manuscripts and proofs
Box 4 "A History of the $29,240,000 Fine..." manuscript (Austin L. Moore?)
Box 4 "Archbold and Standard Oil" manuscripts (Austin L. Moore) (2 copies, 4 folders total)
Box 5 "Archbold and Standard Oil" proofs (Austin L. Moore) (4 versions, in 4 folders)
Box 5 Letter from Moore to Mrs. Archbold 1936
Box 5 "Life in Oils" rough draft (Austin L. Moore)
Box 5 "Life in Oils" manuscript (Austin L. Moore)
Box 5 "History of Standard Oil" manuscript (Walter Taylor)
Box 5 Senior thesis (John Dana Archbold)
Archbold family history and genealogy
Research materials
Box 5 Archbold, Armar
Archbold, John Dana
Box 5 Social engagements and events
Box 5 Copies of diaries 1925-1932
Box 5 Archbold, John Dustin
Box 5 Saunderson family - father of John Dana
Box 5 Hillandale family estate
Manuscripts and books
Box 5 "Archbold Genealogy" manuscript (2 copies, 2 folders)
Box 6 Matter of Tastes recipe book (3 copies, 3 folders)