Morehead-Cain Foundation donates John Motley Morehead’s papers to UNC’s University Libraries

News & Spotlights | August 23, 2023
John Motley Morehead III

When John Motley Morehead III died in 1965, the bulk of his estate—a sum of about $22 million—was bequeathed to the John Motley Morehead Foundation (the foundation he had established in 1945, now known as the Morehead-Cain Foundation).

At the same time, Mr. Morehead’s personal files and correspondence were shipped from his Union Carbide office at 30 East 42nd Street in New York City to the Foundation’s offices, where they remained until this year.

Morehead-Cain announced today that the Foundation donated Mr. Morehead’s papers to UNC–Chapel Hill’s University Libraries earlier this summer. The collection, titled “John Motley Morehead III Papers, 1914–1988,” includes correspondence, business records, family materials, and more.

Researchers, scholars, and the general public can consult the collection to learn about the Morehead family, Mr. Morehead’s work with Union Carbide, his involvement in politics, his philanthropy, and his devotion to Carolina.

His long relationship with the University includes the gift and planning of the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower, the construction and donation of the Morehead Planetarium building and the purchase of the Zeiss planetarium instrument, and the establishment of the John Motley Morehead Foundation and the Morehead Scholarship Program.

The papers are housed in the Southern Historical Collection in Wilson Library. You can read the full listing of materials in the online collection guide.