Andrew R. Harrison, PhD, the Foundation archivist, would like to make RWJF’s archives the leader in the field of philanthropy, setting a path for others to follow. He cites the Foundation’s positive mission in “helping people improve their lives” as providing a compelling incentive to preserve its rich history and its experiences in advancing health and health care nationwide.
Having joined the Foundation in January 2000, Harrison organizes and maintains closed grant bibliographic products and Foundation-generated records. His archives include journal articles, books, pamphlets, reports, audio cassettes, and AV and DVD recordings. He also preserves RWJF photographs and financial and accounting records, and interviews with key Foundation staff and program directors. Additionally, he is responsible for arranging historical displays throughout the Foundation and customized displays during RWJF Board meetings.
Harrison also educates RWJF staff on what materials must be archived and envisions handling most archives electronically in the future. He notes: “At the Foundation, we’re more advanced than most institutions in many ways, particularly in digitization and conversion to new archiving formats.”
Previously, Harrison has taught more than 100 college courses in American, European and world history. He specializes in U.S. 20th century political and social topics and has published a book on the Philadelphia Soviet Jewry movement titled Passover Revisited and co-authored an introduction for a book on Philadelphia Jewish life. In 2007, Harrison was interviewed for a Philadelphia TV12 (WHYY) documentary on real estate mogul, university trustee, and philanthropist Albert M. Greenfield entitled “Mr. Philadelphia: The Story of Albert M. Greenfield.” Greenfield also was the focus of Harrison’s 1995 doctoral dissertation.
Harrison received his PhD in history from Temple University and a BA in history from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he graduated magna cum laude and was admitted into the university’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter. He received a research stipend from The Feinstein Center for American Jewish History.
Born in Bordentown, N.J., Harrison and his wife, Betsy, an MSW and licensed social worker, live in Yardley, Pa. They have three children: Noah, Benjamin, and Samuel. Harrison enjoys collecting sports cards and raising tropical fish.