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318 Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, 222 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455

An Inventory of Photographs

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Creator: Harlem Branch YMCA.
Title: Harlem YMCA photographs.
Date: 1940s-1990s. (bulk 1940s-1960s)
Collection Number: Y.GNY.0004-1
Abstract: Collected photographic images from the Harlem Branch of the YMCA of Greater New York, located on West 135th Street in Manhattan.
Quantity: 1.5 cu. ft. (5 boxes).
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


Organized in 1901 by Reverend C. T. Walker of the Mount Olive Baptist Church as the Colored Men’s Branch, this branch first started in mid-Manhattan. It was later moved to the Harlem area and its name changed in 1919 to the One Hundred-Thirty Fifth Street Branch. In 1933 it opened a new building, and two years later took the name Harlem Branch, which had been used by another branch until 1933.

In the post World War II era the branch underwent a renaissance that sharpened the YMCA’s credo of "spirit, mind and body." Always a haven for writers, the Harlem Y gained recognition for its active theater program. Entertainers and musicians such as Richard Prior and William Garfield appeared on the Harlem YMCA stage. Local political leaders, such as Mayor John Lindsay, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Congressman Charles Rangell, Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton, and many others made appearances at the Harlem Branch. National and international entertainers, musicians, and comics added their talents to events held at the branch.

The national fight for civil rights lead the branch to focus more on poverty and urban issues that affected Y members and people in the Harlem neighborhood. Programs such as the Youth Enrichment Program dealt with drug abuse prevention. The Black Achievers’ Program highlighted successful African Americans. Basketball and other sports programs emphasized the role African American children. A number of successful professional athletes, including Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella, became involved with the branch's youth athletic programs.


The largest part of the collection consists of professional black and white photographs from noted Harlem photographers Austin Hansen and Walter Baker. There are also a few color photos, negatives and snapshots. Most of the images are from the period 1940-1970, although there are some earlier images. They focus on events, most frequently dinners, fund-raising events, and award ceremonies. Most of the people in the photographs are unidentified. However, some known prominent board members and long time employees appear frequently. In addition, local political figures, such as Shirley Chisholm, Charles Rangell, Percy Sutton, and John Lindsay are represented. National figures such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Ralph Abernathy also visited the Harlem Branch YMCA. Performers such as opera star William Warfield and comedian Richard Pryor made appearances at the Harlem Branch YMCA auditorium


The collection organized in following series:


Use of Materials:
This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright, ownership, and to obtain all the necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.
Preferred Citation:
[Indicate the cited item and/or series here]. Harlem YMCA Photographs. YMCA of Greater New York. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. University of Minnesota.
See the Chicago Manual of Style for additional examples.
Processing Information:
Processed by: Louise Merriam, August 2007.
Catalog Record ID number: 5002906


The following section contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection. To request materials, please note the corresponding box number.


Box 45a Award presentations, 1950s-1970s. 3 folders.
Subjects include Wes Marshall, Emilio Romery, Judge Delaney and Mrs. Jones, Gold Card membership awards, trophy presentations, Evelyn Miller, Alfred Howell, Board of Managers, Alan L. Dingle, Rev. M. L. Wilson (Convent Avenue Baptist Church), Annual Campaign, Phalanx Fraternity Perry Como, Alan Dingle, Henry Lenoir, Alexander Reilly, Emily McCann, youth group, James Austin, Edward P. Hurt, Josephine Thenstead, Larry Weeks, Herbert A. Woodman, Youth of the Year, Century Club dinner, Winston R. Burnett, Thelma Hines, people with trophies Warren Cochrane, Clark Terrell, Emblem Club dinner, Johnny Mathis, presentation of American Airlines bag, Rudolph Thomas, service award, Herbert S. Johnson, man holding football, certificate presentation, gold card ceremony, Sgt. H. Johnson, Walter J. Petry, R. J. Thomas, Edward Hill, Dr. L. J. Davenport, Harri B. Hollis.
Check presentations, 1950s-1970s. 3 folders.
Subjects include check presentations, banquets, Glester Hinds, Evelyn Miller, Wesley Marshall, Viventes Social Club, Jerry Hart, Carrie Terrell, Rudolph Thomas, Morris Morgenstern, Claude Mason, Rev. Abner Brown (Metropolitan Baptist Church), Jeff Greenup gives check, accepting a check from Harold W. McGraw, Warren Cochrane receives $1000 check, Gentry Co. presents check, Support Youth programs, Carrie Terrell, Glester Hinds, Henry Lenoir, NAACP sign, "Freedom is not Free", Merck and Co. award, accepting checks, banquets, man with a cigar.
Plaque presentations, 1950s-1970s. 2 folders.
Subjects include service award to Clifford L. Alexander, Sports Hall of Fame, Jackie Robinson, Adam Clayton Powell, Alan Dingle, Alexander Bethea, Henry Lenoir, Glester Hinds, Josephine Thenstead, Leonard Roberts, Thelma Haynes, Chester Buchanan, Membership Campaign dinner, people holding or receiving plaques.
Testimonial dinner for Wilbur Walker upon his retirement, 1967.
Trophy presentations, 1950s-1970s. 2 folders.
Subjects include Victory Night 1967, fall membership campaign, Miss YMCA contest, Glester Hinds, Miss Harlem YMCA, 11th annual YMCA contest, body builders, Henry Lenoir, people with infant, pool room players, men shaking hands, people with trophies.
World Service awards, 1984.
Subjects include Glester Hinds, Williams A. Howes, award recipient.
Box 48 Youth awards ceremonies, 1940s-1970s.
Subjects include Queen Teen contest, Miss YMCA contest, music awards, boy holding violin, Lilliputians, award presentations.
Box 49 Youth in Action award dinner, 1979.
David Rockefeller, award dinner, speakers, students tutoring in J.P. Stevens program.


Box 49 Old Harlem YMCA building, 1900-1919.
Building exteriors, 1919-1960s. 2 folders.
Exteriors, daytime and evening, City College Y, Cornerstone ceremonies, parade, cars, Harlem Branch annex, youth gym, Indian program, negatives.
Interiors, 1919-1960s. 2 folders.
Gym, chapel, cafeteria, women's health club, Activities Dept., sauna entrance, sauna interior, reading room, lobby/entrance, a woman's room in the residence, dormitory room, barbershop, residence, billiard hall, locker room, watching TV.


Box 45a Event with speaker, unidentified, 1970s.
Dinners, 1940s-1970s.
Table and speakers, including Charles Evans Hughes.
Martin Luther King event, 1970s.
Coretta Scott King, Ralph Abernathy.
Outdoor events, 1950s-1970s.
Reception for General Daniel James, 1970s.
Hosted by Manufacturers Hanover Trust.
Dinners and other special events, 1940s-1970s. 6 folders.
Dinners and speakers, including photos of Christian Herter, Mobil Oil; Bob Sweety, Deputy Mayor; table arrangements, musicians, Mildred Long, Carrie Terrell, Henry Lenoir, Lloyd Yearwood, Glester Hinds and Santa Claus, Rev. Wilson, Wesley Marshal, Louis Desmond, group photos, receptions, dances (including USO event), tuning in a radio, autograph contest, Congressman Charles Rangell. Includes some color photographs.
David Rockefeller events, 1960s.
Box 46 Black Achievers planning committee, 1970s.
Committee sitting around a table, committee outside. Henry Lenoir, Carrie Terrell, Len Roberts, Glester Hinds, Stewart Spraggins, Walter Lowe, Pat Perturnie, Ellen Drummond.
Black achievers dinners, 1970s-1980s.6 folders.
Subjects include Chris Borgenz, Rev. Leonard Chapman, Brownie Davis, Gloria Marshall, Nicholas A. Sica of the European American Bank, John Silvera, Waldorf Astoria, Hotel Commodore, Rev. M. L. Wilson, Henry Lenoir, Gail Grell, Tom Leahy of WCBS-TV, Mrs. Gene Lothery, Walter F. Thomas, Congressman Charles Rangell, Maya Angelou (?), Carrie Terrell, John Johnson, New York Hilton, group and podium speaker shots of Carrier Terrell, Mildred Long, Robert Pugh, Warren Cochrane, Bill Howes, Evelyn Miller, Evelyn Cunningham, James Booker at the Statler Hilton hotel.
Century Club dinners, 1968, 1970. 3 folders.
Subjects include Irwin C. Watson, George Gooman, Archie Stern, banquet hall, speakers, attendees entering banquet, Walter Rothschild, Carrie Terrell, Rev. M. L. Wilson, Eddie O'Jay, Herbert B. Woodman, Brook Benton, Barry Goldman, John R. Strachan, Lawrence Hunt, John D. Silvera, Winston A. Burnett, Mrs. Josephine Thernstead, Gloria Lynn, Judge Amos Bowe, Norman Saunders and Anita Saunders, Charles Clark, women in fur coats, man in plaid suit.
Dinners, 1930s-1970s. 3 folders.
Subjects include men and women at a dinner, Henry Lenoir speaking to the group, hall decorated with streamers, tables and speakers, including Charles Evans Hughes, Shirley Chisholm, Gloria Lynn, Carrie Terrell, John Silera, Irwin C. Watkins, Mildred Long, Rev. Wilson, men in uniform, Glester Hinds, women with furs.
Men and women at a dinner, 1930s.
Box 47 World Service, 1930s-1960s.
Subjects include Warren Cochrane, Glester Hinds, dinner events, check presentations.
Dinners, 1940s-1970s. 2 folders.
Henry Lenoir speaking to the group, hall decorated with streamers.
Events, 1950s-1960s.
Dr. L. J. Davenport and Carlos McNeil run for president, shaking hands with Glester Hinds, girls dressed up for a special event, buffet table.
Box 49 Performances at special events, 1930s-1970s, 2 folders.
Male and female vocalists, pianists, jazz band, choirs, Mini Miss Pageant, Margaret Walton, William L. Lawrence, Marc D'Albert, quartet with guitar and bass, Les Modernettes, USO events, William Warfield, children's band, Ann Lewis, theater productions, singing groups, oboe and flute trio, Richard Pryor, boy playing accordion, Eith Clifton, Eubie Blake, Noble Sissle, conga line.
Drama and music performances, 1950s-1970s.
Employees' Christmas party, theatrical performances, Charence Williams III, boys choir, sax players, Hawaiian themed performance, YMCA visiting chorus, African dancers.
Miscellaneous events, 1940s-1970s.
Richard Pryor, Rev. M.L. Wilson, Alan Dingle, Morris Morganstern, Rudolph Thomas, Judge Jesse Goldstein, presentation of Century Club contribution, Percy Sutton, James Bethune, Warren Cochrane, William H. Waltham, Herbert Miller, Henry Lenoir, Robert Wilson Pugh, Elston Howard.


Box 47 Fundraising events, 1960s.
Kickoff events at Harlem Y auditorium.
Fall membership campaign, 1969.
Subjects include Capt. Arthur Hill, NYPD, Rev. Wilson, Glester Hinds, Wesley Marshall.
Financial campaign events, 1940s-1970s. 3 folders.
"Worlds Fair' 1954 campaign, Judge Jonah Goldstein, "Union" Capt. Hamilton Bradley, "Convention", with state signs.
Membership campaign, 1947, 1953-1958, 1960s-1970s. 9 folders.
Theme dinners, including pirates, farms, cowboy, college football, native Americans. Dinners with subjects including Robert Rivers, Emilio Romery, Ed Hill, Louis Lefkowitz, Judge Hubert Delany, Sam Battles, Rudy Thomas, Walter Petry, Leonard Roberts, Manny Mitchell, Robert Pugh, Ransom Cohen, Mary Hobson, Evelyn Miller. Progress charts for "Race of the Rockets", "Shares in Youth".


Box 45 Secretarial staff of first Negro YMCA, 1911.
John H. E. Elmendorf, Thomas J. Bell, and Abram B. Green.
Clifford Alexander, 1970s.
Portraits and group photos of Clifford Alexander, Secretary of the Army in the 1970s. Also includes Glester Hinds.
Charles Buchanan, 1953.
Portrait of Charles Buchanan, manager of the Savory Ballroom.
Portraits of administrators at meetings, 1950s-1960s.
Subjects include Richard Taylor, Carrie Terrell, Glester Hinds, Gwen Berrett, Henry Lenoir, board meetings, women in hats, Walter Lowe, Wesley Williams, Lloyd Dickens.
Group photos, unidentified, 1920s-1970s.
Groups of men, women, children, and mixed groups. Includes men in suits, men shaking hands, women with corsages, men in overcoats, men with conference badges, men before a Branch Y banner, men standing outside branch, group after trip to see Fred Waring.
Group photos, partly identified, 1930s-1990s. 2 folders.
Subjects include Evelyn Miller, Glester Hinds, Gloria Marshall, David Rockefeller, Alan Dingle, Averill Harriman, Arthur Schonberg, Henry Lenoir, Carrie Terrell, Clifford Alexander, Emilio Romery, Mildred Long, Eleanor Roosevelt, Noble Sissle, Jr., Maude Thomas, Maude Veale, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Jane Froman, Helen E. Jack, Henry Edwards, Elston Howard, Don Newcombe, Johnny Mathis, Kenneth Williams, Irwin C. Watson, Rudolph J. Thomas, Hulan E. Jack, Raymond L. Dickinson, James Cook, Jr., staff groups.
Glester Hinds, 1940s-1960s.
Photos from board meetings, 1970s.
Large and small groups, some including Glester Hinds.
Visits, 1960s.
Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, Louis Lefkowitz, David Rockefeller, Mayor John Lindsay.
Individual portraits, unidentified,1940s-1970s.
Individual portraits, identified, 1930s-1970s.
Mildred Long, Carrie Terrell, George W. Grant, Jr., James Leonard, George Zuckerman, Elfreda Knight, Lynne Therese Thomas, Isaac McGavden, Anesta Thomas, Percival Lewis, Vivian Johnson, William E. Jackson, A. Harris, Louis E. Benjamin, Sr., Vera Jackson, Wesley Marshall, John H. Talton, Jr., Harvey Russell, Waymon Neely, Sgt. Johnsdon, Hugh Felming, Dr. W. Kenneth Williams, Samuel J. Battle, Warren Cochrane, Plugenia Peters, Lillian Mahon, Lionel Phillips, Lever Thomson, Robert J. Magnum, Viola Burton, Clarence E. Hutchinson, Paul Gibbson, Kenneth Martin, James Oakley, Hulan Jack, Theo McGinnes, Kenneth Phipps, Channing Tobias, C. R. Devine, Henry Lenoir.
Publicity stills, 1940s-1960s.
Includes images of Marion McCree, Cesare Longo, Nadyne Brewer, The Teenagers featuring Frankie Lymon, Enid Dale, Nina Simone, Audrey Link, The Mariners, Irwin C. Watson, Fredi Washington, Jimmy Gray, Dr. John L. Young, Elmer Dickey.


Box 48 Youth outings, 1950s-1960s.
Children at the shore, amusement park ride, getting on the bus, play rehearsal, monkey bars, cafeteria line.
Box 49 Day camp, 1962.
Relay race, outing .
Indoor activities, 1940s-1970s. 3 folders.
Black awareness classes, crafts, woodworking, ceramics, paining, sculpture, Ranger Daycamp, basket weaving, bumper pool, pickup sticks, musical groups, reading comic books, watching movies, playing cards, Evelyn Miller presents trophy, physical exam, drummers, tennis player, conga line, 372nd Infantry.
WWII, 1942.
Counseling center for servicemen and veterans, campaign, soldier and sailor inspect sign for a book fair.
Laymen's conference, Holiday Hills, 1952.
Unidentified participants, eating, standing in line, washing a horse, speaking at a podium, Holiday Hills house, sing-alongs,
Miscellaneous programs and sports, 1940s-1970s. 2 folders.
Youth and adult programs, soccer, library, marbles or tiddly winks, youth fitness program, dance, street food, Youth Enrichment program, Harold McGraw and Glester Hinds, basketball, Roy Campanella, playing pool, ping pong, pottery, pageant, classroom, African dancers, archery, Harlem Cubs, Willie Goodwin, Jr., Miss Harlem, adult information center, girl's club, counseling center, group meeting.
Camping, 1950s.
Boys leaving for camp, boy in Harlem YMCA T-shirt.
Miss Harlem YMCA contest, 1950s.
Contestants and winners.
Adult education, 1940s-1970s.
Lectures, study group, watching an instructional tape.
USO weddings, 1950s.
Wedding ceremony with groom in uniform, cutting the cake.


Box 48 Indoor and outdoor sports, 1920s-1970s.
Horseshoes, boxing, tennis, judo, skiing, volleyball, gymnastics, basketball.
Box 49 Swimming, 1950s-1960s.
Learn to Swim program.
Indoor and outdoor sports, 1950s-1970s. 2 folders.
Basketball, knuckle ball, awards, Roy Campanella club, badminton, ping-pong, handball, trampoline, calisthenics, track, boxing, horseshoes, wrestling, weight-lifting, boy's relay, Erskine Robinson, Harlem Jokers basketball team, swimming at Holiday Hills, Boys of Yesteryear.
Women's basketball, 1980s.
Playing basketball, awards, Althea Gibson's Tip Top Toasters.
Indoor sports, 1940s-1960s. 2 folders.
Martial arts match, pass the ball, stretching, locker room, basketball, women's health center, cabinet bath and massage, swimming and diving, basketball, bodybuilding competition, weight-lifting, gymnastics, exercise, billiards.


The records of the Harlem Branch YMCA are separately cataloged in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives YMCA, Greater New York collection. >> See the inventory


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
African Americans -- New York (State) -- New York
African Americans -- Sports
African Americans -- Social conditions
African Americans -- Societies, etc.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Administration
Young Men's Christian associations -- New York (State) -- New York
Hansen, Austin, 1910-1996.
Baker, Walter, photographer.
Abernathy, Ralph, 1926-1990.
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962.
Campanella, Roy, 1921-.
Robinson, Jackie, 1919-1972.
Lindsay, John V. (John Vliet)
Rangell, Charles
Chisholm, Shirley, 1924-2005.
Sutton, Percy E.
Pryor, Richard
Warfield, William
Harlem (New York, N.Y.)
Harlem Branch YMCA.
Types of Documents: