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Board of Trustees: Joseph Ford papers

Identifier: 01-MWalb00321A

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials related to the life, career, and philanthropic work of Joseph Ford, founder of the Ford Manufacturing Company and one of the seven founding Trustees of Brandeis University. Material types include family photographs and photographs from Brandeis events and events held for the Ford Manufacturing Co., as well as correspondence documenting business activities and Ford's philanthropy during and after World War II. Notable correspondents include Clara Ford, Senator John Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abram Sachar, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, Governor Earl Warren, President Harry Truman, Governor John Volpe, Senator Leverett Saltonstall, Governor Christian Herter, Governor Endicott Peabody, and William Sullivan.

Instrumental in founding Brandeis University in 1948, Ford served on the original Board of Trustees. He also served as the Board's Treasurer from 1948 to 1962. Joseph Ford and his wife, Clara, were well known for their philanthropic activities. During World War II they donated ambulances and mobile kitchens to both the United Kingdom and China, as well as supplies to the troops overseas.

Sources: "Joseph Ford, 93, Dies; A Founder of Brandeis," New York Times, Aug. 14, 1984; "Remembering Ford & Sydeman Halls" Exhibit, Brandeis University Archives & Special Collections


  • 1900s-1980s, undated

Conditions Governing Access

This collection has not yet been fully reviewed for restricted materials, though some restrictions have been identified in Boxes 2 and 3. Brandeis directories in Box 2 are restricted for 70 years from the date of creation. Other boxes may also contain restricted materials. Please contact the University Archives & Special Collections in advance to request access.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.


3 Linear Feet (1 manuscript box, 2 record center boxes, 1 tall manuscript box)

Language of Materials



Box 1 is arranged by record type and/or format. The addendum has no discernable arrangement.

Custodial History

This collection was donated to the Archives in multpile accessions by the Estate of Joseph Ford and Leslie K. Lerner, Executor, between 1986-2021.

Processing Information

Arrangement and rehousing was performed on Box 1, though the date of that work is unknown. The addendum, Boxes 2-4, was rehoused in 2022.

Box 1 was reorganized by the archives to facilitate research use. Boxes 2-4 were maintained in the order in which they were received by the Archives.

Folder titles in Box 1 appear to have been assigned by a previous processor. Folder titles in Boxes 2-4 are original to the creator.

Weeding was performed on the addendum in 2022. Materials removed include, news clippings, publications, and Brandeis directories.

Board of Trustees: Joseph Ford papers
Kate McNally
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections