Winthrop W. Aldrich (1885-1974) was president and chairman of the board of Chase National Bank from 1930 to 1953. During and after World War II, he was a leading figure in the organization of relief efforts and financial aid to Europe. In 1953, Aldrich was appointed U.S. ambassador to Britain, and he remained in London until 1957. He belonged to and served on the boards of many charitable organizations. The collection includes correspondence, speeches, appointment books, clippings, and photos. Material relating to women's history can be found throughout.
The papers include records of Aldrich's service, as financial, fundraising, and investment advisor on the boards of Barnard College, the Henry Street Visiting Nurse Association, the New York World's Fair, and the Girl Scout Federation of Greater New York. Especially interesting are requests for positions in the World's Fair organization and material on fundraising for the Girl Scout Federation during World War II. There is also material on British and American women active in British war relief efforts both during and after the war, which Aldrich gathered on trips in 1942, 1945, and 1946. The records of Aldrich's service as ambassador include letters and guest lists that include prominent American women abroad, especially materials relating to the American presence at the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953.
Aldrich's longtime secretary was Wilhelmina C. ("Minna") Frank. The collection contains some materials on her role. During Aldrich's frequent trips, she served as liaison between him and his office, consulting with the appropriate members of the Chase organization to supply him with suggestions and answers. A number of organizations, such as the Girl Scouts, seem to have corresponded with Aldrich via Frank.
The collection does not contain much correspondence between Aldrich and his family. However, there are extensive records of all his trips, which do include some of these materials, including photographs. Some materials pertain to the social aspects of travel abroad with his wife, Harriet Alexander Aldrich, and several maids. There is also a list of materials related to Aldrich's sisters, Lucy T. Aldrich and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, co-founder of the Museum of Modern art.