The George C. Marshall Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the values of selfless service and strength of character exemplified by the life and leadership in war and peace by General George C. Marshall, who was a 1901 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute.
During a career of almost 50 years, General Marshall served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army, U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Secretary of Defense and President of the American Red Cross. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953 for his efforts in developing and implementing the Marshall Plan, which provided historic funding for rebuilding Western Europe after World War II.
Led by the efforts of U.S. President Harry Truman to recognize General Marshall’s remarkable career of public service, the Foundation was established in 1953 and the Marshall Research Library was opened in 1964 to house Marshall’s papers and to make them available for present and future generations to learn about Marshall, the man, his character and record of selfless service to the world.
The Foundation’s library and archives collect, preserve, and make accessible a unique collection of primary and secondary resources relating to both domestic and global United States diplomatic and military history during the pivotal period of the 20th Century coinciding with General Marshall’s life (1880-1959).
In addition to holding the papers of George C. Marshall, the archives contain more than 300 additional collections including the papers of William and Elizebeth Friedman who were pioneers in the field of cryptology and were involved with U.S. code-breaking operations during World War II; James A. Van Fleet, who served as commander of the Eighth United States Army during the Korean War; and Andrew J. Goodpaster, who served as the Staff Secretary and Defense Liaison Officer for President Eisenhower. Additionally the collections contain 1.1 million pages of duplicate copies of documents from the U.S. National Archives that focus on World War II and the postwar period, including the beginning of the Cold War. The archives also house more than 50,000 photographs, 3,000 maps, 800 posters, several hundred audio-visual materials and approximately 30,000 volumes of primary and secondary sources that researchers can use to supplement their research.