The Johnson Center Philanthropy Archives and Special Collections preserves and promotes research in Michigan philanthropy in partnership with GVSU Libraries. The collections support the study and research interests of visiting scholars, GVSU faculty, students in the School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration, and the general public.

Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Library

Bookmark the GVSU library subject page for the latest information on all aspects of philanthropy and nonprofit leadership. Book titles can be accessed from your local library statewide through MelCat. 

Visit the Philanthropy Reading Room at the Steelcase Library on GVSU’s Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids (campus map) and browse non-circulating reference materials and publications.

Johnson Center staff and students can access in-house materials cataloged on LibraryThing.

Philanthropy Archives and Special Collections

Archives and special collections are housed at Grand Valley State University in physical and digital format.

Digital collections include interviews with Michigan philanthropists and collection highlights.

Finding aids help understand and locate primary and secondary resources and unique reference materials.

New Aquisition Dyer-Ives Foundation Records August 26, 2016
The Dyer-Ives Foundation records span from 1961 to 2016, and document the philanthropic activities of the Grand Rapids-based non-profit organization. Founded by John Hunting, the organization funded projects related to the humanities, art and cultural programs, education, the environment, employment, housing and shelter, youth development services, human services, community development, neighborhood development, philanthropy and voluntarism. Dyer-Ives Foundation focused its efforts on building and strengthening grassroots projects in the Grand Rapids city center. Though a finding aid is not yet available, the records are open for research use. For more immediate information about the Dyer-Ives Foundation, visit

Manage Your Organization’s Records

As important as your work is today, it has also implications for tomorrow. Documenting your organization’s goals and activities today will preserve a record that will offer researchers insight into its growth as an organization, its accomplishments, and its vision of the future. For this reason, we developed Managing Your Records to help you identify and preserve your organization’s historical records.

If you are interested in donating materials, please contact us.

Other Philanthropy Archives and Libraries

The S.O.U.L. of Philanthropy (Sharing Our Uncommon Legacy) project holds interviews with area philanthropists at the Grand Rapids Public Library. Clips of interviews are featured in a documentary about philanthropy and community building in Grand Rapids, “The Gift of All, a Community of Givers.”

Learning to Give provides creative educator resources for grades 6-12 that guide learners to create their own stories of giving. Briefing papers summarize the life and philanthropy of the individuals highlighted in the S.O.U.L. of Philanthropy documentary.

The Library of Congress produced a video guide to Archiving Digital Audio.