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

An Inventory of Its Records

Historical Sketch | Contents Summary/Organization | Administrative/Access Info | Contents Details | Related Materials | Indexed Terms/Access Points


Creator: Young Men's Christian Association of the City of New York.
Title: Records of the YMCA of the City of New York.
Date: 1852-1980s (bulk 1852-1925)
Collection Number: Y.GNY.0020
Abstract: Includes minutes, account books, scrapbooks, ephemera, correspondence, newspaper clippings, brochures and pamphlets, journals, committee reports and other materials that document the early history of the YMCA in New York City.
Quantity: 25.5 cubic feet (61 boxes)
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


The YMCA was established in New York 1852 to provide young men new to the city a Christian alternative to the attractions of city life. Organized in the Mercer Street Presbyterian Church, the New York YMCA first operated from numerous rented facilities in lower Manhattan, including buildings at 659 Broadway, Astor Place, Waverly Place, Bible House, 161 Fifth Avenue and 3rd Avenue and 9th Street. In 1869, the New York YMCA moved into a large building constructed in the French Renaissance style. Thought to be the first purpose-built YMCA in the United States, the building was designed by notable church architect James Renwick, Jr. It included a large library and reading room, rooms for games, social parlors, a gymnasium, baths, a bowling alley, classrooms, lecture rooms and an auditorium. These features came to be standard at YMCAs throughout the country.

One of the most important events in the early history of the New York City YMCA was the appointment of Robert R. McBurney, first as librarian and later as secretary. Said to be the first paid YMCA secretary, McBurney was an immigrant from northern Ireland whose influence on the the development of the YMCA in New York was profound. For example, he helped the national headquarters of the YMCA of the USA locate permanently in New York; there was considerable overlap between the boards of the New York and national YMCA. McBurney was instrumental in developing the metropolitan concept of YMCAs that still operates today in large cities throughout the US. He organized and presided over early New York State conventions and reached out to influential and wealthy men in New York to support the work of the YMCA.

The New York YMCA, in part because of McBurney's leadership, played an important role in the development of local and national social welfare organizations, including the Sanitary Commission, founded in New York in 1861; the U. S. Christian Commission, established in the same year by northern YMCAs to help troops and prisoners of war; the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, founded in 1876; and the White Cross Army, established in 1885 to promote personal purity among young men. The New York YMCA also supported and publicized the revivalistic work of evangelists such as Dwight L. Moody and Ira Sankey.

When McBurney died in 1898, the New York YMCA had more than a dozen branches, including those devoted to serving railroad workers, French and German-speaking immigrants and college students. Although the number of branches and the outreach programs have changed to reflect shifting demographics and community needs, the YMCA in the 21st century provide services to millions of New Yorkers.

During the early years of the YMCA in New York, the organization was also developing and expanding in Brooklyn and other boroughs. Founded in 1853, the Brooklyn Young Men's Christian Association merged with the YMCA of Queens in 1924 to form the Brooklyn-Queens Young Men's Christian Association. This organization merged with the YMCA of the City of New York in 1957 to form the YMCA of Greater New York.

(Information taken from The YMCA at 150: A History of the YMCA of Greater New York, 1852-2002 by Pamela Bayless, 2002; from An Event on Mercer Street, by Terry Donoghue, 1951; from After Fifty Years, 1902; and from the collection)


The materials in this collection are primarily related to the operations of the YMCA in Manhattan before the New York organization merged with the Brooklyn and Queens YMCA in 1957 and include later publications that document the role of the association in the history of the city. Later items include historical surveys and publications intended to emphasize the ongoing role of the in the life of the city. Areas of emphasis include branches, early efforts to develop programs and structure, anniversary celebrations, programs and buildings. Numerous committee reports and meeting minutes provide a window into these operations.

The collection also documents the work of the New York YMCA during the Civil War. There is material related to the US Christian Commission and the Sanitary Commission as well as correspondence with and about individual soldiers and their families. The New York YMCA had several committees of its own dedicated to serving soldiers, including the Devotional Committee and the Hospital Committee. There is also some material relating to war work during World War I, especially focusing on the establishment of branches in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union after the war.

Also included in the collection are materials related to other organizations, especially the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, founded in New York in 1876. The New York YMCA supported this organization in numerous ways until the 1880s, when the relationship became less institutional, although individual members continued to participate.

Much of the correspondence in this collection is from the period before 1920. R. R. McBurney is a major correspondent, as are founders and leaders of the New York organization such as Cephas Brainerd, James E. Stokes, Jr., William E. Dodge, Jr., Cleveland E. Dodge and many others.


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] Records of the YMCA of the City of New York. 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, January 2009.
Catalog Record ID number: 5463356


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

Box 322 Branch information, 1950s-1980s. 6 folders.
Includes branch fact sheets, branch maps and locations and directory of activity centers.
Box 323 Branch bylaws, 1920s-1970s. 22 folders.
Includes bylaws for Institute Branch, Intercollegiate Branch, Long Island City Branch, McBurney Breanch, Neighborhood Youth Branch, Pensylvania Railroad Branch, Prospect Park Branch, Seamen's House, Sloane House, St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church, Staten Island, Students Branch, Twelve Towns, Schools Branch, Uptown Branch, Vanderbilt Branch, Vocational Service Center, Wall Street Boys Branch, Westchester-Bronx Branch, West Side Branch, West 135th Street (Harlem) Branch, YWCA/YMCA Daycare.
Box 324 Branch bylaws, 1920s-1980s. 20 folders.
Includes bylaws for Army Branch (Fort Jay and Fort Slocum), Baisley Park Extension, Bedford Branch, Bleeker Street Branch, Bowery Branch, Bronx Union, Brooklyn Central, Camping & Outing Branch, Central Queens Branch, Eastern District Branch, Eastern Queens Branch, Flatbush Branch, Flushing Branch, Governor's Island Branch, Grand Central Railroad Branch, Greenpoint Branch, Harlem Branch, Highland Park Branch, Holiday Hills Branch. Also includes "A Guide to the Preparation of Branch By Laws."
Box 327 Minute books, 1852-1860.4 folders.
Includes minute books of Board of Managers (July 12, 1852- February 13, 1850), Association meetings (April 21, 1852 - March 28. 1859), photograph album (includes images of R. R. McBurney and Richard F. Morse), and reproductions of pen and ink drawing of Church of the Strangers (1898).
Box 328 Cornerstone contents, 1852-1868. 8 folders.
Includes ephemera, printed materials, proceedings of the 12th and 13th Annual Conventions, Annual Reports for 1864-65 and 1867-68. Ephemera includes meeting announcements, constitution, library rules, list of reading rooms and card for the Colored Young Men's Christian Association. Also included are forms from Association committees, programs, and copies of sermons and addresses. Also included is a leather bound Holy Bible (American Bible Society, 1865).
Box 329 Scrapbook of Brooklyn YMCA, 1879-1884.
Includes newspaper clippings, announcement cards, event flyers and advertisements, library overdue notices, list of officers of the Brooklyn YMCA, programs, invitations, pulpit notices and funeral announcements, all mounted in a used account book. Also in box are miscellaneous printed materials from Memphis and Manila YMCAs.
Box 330 Miscellaneous branch records, 1856-1896.15 folders.
Includes Harlem branch statistical report, Harlem branch building fund account book, German branch building fund correspondence, bills and receipts for Bowery branch, account book and other financial and legal records for Association, list of magazine subscriptions for library, lease for Sailor's Snug Harbor, legal opinion about Catlin case and taxation of charitable institutions, and correspondence with James Stokes.
Box 331 Miscellaneous material, 1866-1956.12 folders.
Includes miscellaneous correspondence (1866-1867), Highlights of the Period 1942-1956, Boys Work clippings (1911-1932), The Critic, Boys' Literary Society, vol. 1, no. 1 - vol. 3, no. 3 (incomplete), article in Christian Herald (June 4, 1902) about Brooklyn YMCA naval branch, pamphlet encouraging home front war workers to exercise, fund raising brochures, program pamphlets, track and field event, Young Men's Institute brochures.
Box 332 YMCA historical library, 1951-1970.13 folders.
Correspondence regarding painting Merchants of New York, letter returning branch materials after move of the national association to Chicago, photocopy of 1967-68 Annual Report of the YMCA Historical Library, clipping from Newsday regarding move to Chicago after 130 years in New York, material from the Commission to the National Council Committee on History and Library, guidelines for materials to be sent to historical library, correspondence regarding a new history of the YMCA in New York City (1972), minutes of Subcommittee on Foreign Service Manuscripts (1975), Scope and Functions of the YMCA Historical Library (1974), announcement re transfer of Springfield College historical records to the YMCA historical library.
Box 333 Miscellaneous printed and manuscript materials, 1860s-1880s.17 folders.
Includes material regarding controversy between YMCA and artist William Granville Smith about his production of "lewd and obscene" art while occupying a studio at the 23rd street YMCA, including a letter from Anthony Comstock of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. Also includes material related to the first New York State convention (1866). Also includes speeches from the memorial service of William F. Lee, including remarks by Cephas Brainerd. Also contains resolution regarding new building, permits to hold outdoor meetings (1874-1879), statement from James Fairman regarding being denied a studio on favorable terms (1869), employees' dinner, Italian YMCA (1883), legal documents regarding return of painting by George Innes, Falls of Niagara (1877-1888). Also includes material from the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice.
Box 334 Historical publications and articles, 1920s-1980s. 16 folders.
Includes "Suggested Industrial Policy of the New York City YMCA" (1925); address of Mr. Cleveland Dodge delivered before the Newcomen Society (1952); The YMCA in the United States, 1852-1865, with Special Emphasis on the Development of the Association in New York by Helen M. Bittar (NYU Master's Essay, 1967); The YMCA in New York, by Robert Bittar (NYU Master's Essay, 1969); a review of the branches by Richard W. Lawrence, President (1938); anniversary announcements and clippings (1871-1902); description of free services offered (1939); "Bearing One Another's Burdens, A History of the Employed Officers' Alliance of the Young Men's Christian Associations of North American" by Ralph L. Cheney (1954-1955); "Some Thoughts on the Black Heritage of the YMCA" presented by Bessie Williams (Boston General Assembly, 1988); anonymous historical summaries (1920s, 1957, 1964); college paper on migration to New York by Madeline Rogers based on the YMCA archives (1986); short historical article by John R. Fisher (1980): After 12 Decades: A Brief History of the Young Men's Christian Association of the USA; material related to 90th anniversary celebration and the first Dodge award (1942); "Committees and Boards in the Early History of the New York City Young Men's Christian Association" by Jay A. Urice (1928).
Correspondence, 1852-1866:
Box 335 Resolutions, 1852-1854.
Resolutions, including resolution of condolence on the death of Henry Clay, resolution of grief at the loss of Daniel Webster and petitions and resolutions regarding desecration of the Sabbath
Committees, 1855. 1855-1860. 4 folders.
Reports and correspondence from Committee on Ways and Means, Committee on the Occasional Paper, Committee on Statistics, Library Committee, Lecture Committee, Committee on Rooms and Distribution, Finance Committee, Anniversary Committee, By-Laws Committee, Committee on Printing and Publication, Boarding House Committee, Nominating Committee and Employment Committee.
Confederation of YMCAs, 1854.
Letter recommending that the New York YMCA not join the proposed Confederation of Young Men's Christian Associations.
Correspondence, 1853-1859. 8 folders.
Letters regarding membership, the YMCA constitution, committee appointments, library and newspaper purchases, letters of resignation, committee appointments, payment of dues.
Box 336 Miscellaneous correspondence,1860.
Includes letters addressed to Noble Heath on matters such as finding missing persons, the establishment of a branch on Staten Island, absence from committee meetings, committee assignments; letters from John Wanamaker (corresponding secretary of the Philadelphia YMCA); letters of introduction; form letter from Frederick, Maryland regarding national prayers for the state of the Union; letters from associations in St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Tarrytown (NY), Detroit, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Erie; letters regarding employment; communications from the Young Men's Christian Union; letters of resignation from the New York association; list of delegates from the Church Association. Also includes letters to R. R. McBurney
Delinquent dues, 1860.
Committee reports, 1860.
Primarily materials related to the Committee for the Visitation of the Sick.
Proceedings regarding the death of A. K. Mott, 1860.
Miscellaneous correspondence, January 1, 1861 - July 5, 1861.
Primarily letters to Noble Heath regarding missing persons, committee appointments, receipt of publications, starting branches in other cities, and matters related to secession and the Civil War.
Miscellaneous correspondence, July 5, 1861 - December 30, 1861. 2 folders.
Correspondence with Stephen H. Tyng, Jr., and the Army Committee (also Army and Navy Committee) related to sending hymn books and tracts to soldiers at army camps such as Camp Stockton, Camp Andrew, Camp Pennington, Camp Butler, Camp Mary, Camp Ruggles, Camp Graham, and other installations where New York regiments were stationed. Also material about the formation of the Christian Commission and a form letter sent to churches requesting clothing and other supplies for New York soldiers from the women of the church.
Bills and receipts, 1860-1864, 1866.
Box 337 Letters, 1862.
Includes letters regarding donations for soldiers, appointment to committees, invitations to speak and lecture, letters regarding the death of Sergeant G. A. Gunn of yellow fever, and letters of resignation, primarily to James L. Hastie, recording secretary.
Civil War correspondence,1863.
Letters between R. R. McBurney and David D. Terry, a captain in a New York regiment stationed in New Orleans. Also letters to Stephen H. Tyng, Jr., James L. Hastie, Cephas Brainerd, and additional correspondence with Robert McBurney regarding elections to YMCA committees and membership categories. Also letters from Vincent Colyer, of the Christian Mission of the U.S. Army
Finance Committee, 1863.
Includes reports from Lecture Committee, Finance Committee, Committee on Aggressive Work, Committee on the Social Element, and correspondence with Senator Hamilton Fish. Also includes a census of churches as part of the analysis of the Committee on Aggressive Work.
Committees, 1864.
Includes material about forming a board of trustees to oversee Association property, lease of rooms at 22nd and Broadway, report of the Committee on Rooms and Library regarding the lease of property at 22nd and Broadway, report of the Development Committee, report of the Boarding House Committee, Committee on Lectures, lists of books for the library, Committee on Devotional Readings, plan for the German branch, correspondence regarding purchase or construction of a YMCA building exclusively for the use of the YMCA rather than leasing rooms.
Letters, 1864.
Miscellaneous correspondence with R. R. McBurney and Samuel M. Stebbins, including a letter from the New Orleans YMCA describing wartime activities; letters of resignation from the association; thank you letters regarding gifts of clothing for the Union refugees, also known as white refugees; requests for employment; discussion of locations for a new building; correspondence regarding library books; correspondence regarding Sanitary Commission; letter from U.S. Christian Commission; letters of introduction; a request for Bibles from a prisoner in Elmira, NY.
Box 340 Letters, January-June, 1865.
Includes letters of introduction, correspondence regarding committee assignments, and miscellaneous correspondence, primarily addressed to R. R. McBurney.
Letters, July-December, 1865.
Letters to "Mac" from D. D. Terry, letters from other associations, humorous letter from Cephas Brainerd to R. R. McBurney, telegrams on the American Telegraph Company, City Department, form, letters of introduction, correspondence from the American Tract Society, invitation to Mercantile Library Association 45th Anniversary Association, letters to R. R. McBurney from Verranus Morse, circular regarding Union Prayer Meeting, correspondence from William E. Dodge, Jr., miscellaneous bills, Partner Wanted notice, letter from the Ladies' Union Relief Association and other Civil War correspondence, primarily with R. R. McBurney.
Committee reports and correspondence, 1865.
Reports of the Visiting Board, Employment Committee, Special Committee on Matters of "Louvre", report of prayer meetings conducted by E. P. Thurston (including his observations on the religious zeal of the "colored people in attendance"), report of the Committee on Rooms and Library, Committee on Printing and Publishing, report of the Special Committee appointed to Visit the Editor of the New York Observer, report of books added to library, report of the Committee on the Visitation of the Sick, report of the Executive Committee regarding the appointment of R. R. McBurney as secretary, letters of introduction, letters declining appointments to the board of directors, letters notifying of absences from meetings, requests for letters to prisoners of war, correspondence with other YMCAs. Letters addressed primarily to R. B. Poole and R. R. McBurney.
Letters, November, 1866.
Includes letters from other associations, letters of introduction, meeting notices, letters to William E. Dodge, Jr., letter from the Prison Association of New York, letters from merchants and tradesmen. responses to requests to use churches and other organizations for meetings.
Letters, 1866.
Letters of introduction, correspondence with James Stokes, Jr., notice of position available, requests for employment, requests for funds and charity, letters regarding fund-raising for new building, letters from Verranus Morse, letter regarding Medical Students Christian Union, letters from William E. Dodge, Jr., letters from other associations, and letters from D. D. Terry, primarily to R. R. McBurney and R. B. Poole.
Letters, 1866.
Includes letters regarding employment, letters of reference and introduction, letters from William E. Dodge, Jr., Verranus Morse, Frederick Marquand, D. D. Terry, correspondence from other associations, correspondence with the Committee on Organization, requests for help in prison, letter from United States Internal Revenue, primarily to R. R. McBurney, William F. Lee and R. B. Poole.
Box 338 Jubilee celebration, February 25, 1902 - March 21, 1902.
Minutes of the Jubilee Committee.
Box 339 Lectures, 1852, 1880s. 3 folders.
Includes Literary Society materials such as meeting notices, programs vouchers and lists of subjects for discussion. Also includes membership materials, including membership cards, recommendation forms, membership renewal letters, applications for membership, letter to employers soliciting memberships. Box also includes materials related to lectures presented at the YMCA, including "Practical Talks to Young Men Only"; programs for Lecture Course and Reading Course; Service of Song program; "Conversations on the Bible"; "Address Delivered at a meeting of Young Men, Convened for the Formation of the Young Men's Christian Association..." by Isaac Ferris, D. D., Pastor of the Market-Street Church of New York (1852); "Amusements, An Essay..." by Verranus Morse, M.D. (1868); "New York City a Mission Field..." by Frank W. Ballard (1863); "What is being done for the Young Men of New York..." by Hon. Chauncey M. Depew (1885.
Construction of the 23rd Street Building, 1868-1869:
Box 341 Letters regarding the construction of the 23rd street building, 1868.
Includes proposals and estimates for masonry, plumbing, gas fittings, iron work, carpentry, excavation and other jobs associated with constructing the 23rd Street building on the New York YMCA. Also includes letter regarding the purchase of land on which the building was constructed. Most correspondence is with Renwick & Sands, architects for the project, James E. Stokes, Jr., treasurer, and William E. Dodge, Jr., president of the New York YMCA.
Financing the new building, 1868.
Includes list of contributors and the amounts given, as well as mortgage loan documents.
Miscellaneous documents related to construction, 1868.
Material related to the erection of the 23rd Street building, including lists of disbursements, contracts, correspondence regarding change orders, bills from contractors, lists of contributors, compiled primarily by James Stokes, treasurer.
Miscellaneous bills, 1869.
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1868-1869.
Includes letter from R. R. McBurney regarding the need for additional funds, letters regarding employment.
Letters and Committee Reports, 1883-1884:
Box 342 Letters, 1883.
Includes telegram from C. Vanderbilt from Newport, Rhode Island, and miscellaneous correspondence regarding dues payments and meeting absences.
Cooper Union gospel meeting, 1883.
Includes financial information, reports, bills and vouchers.
Committee reports, 1883.
Material from the Rooms and Library committee and the Visiting Committee for Branches.
Petition, 1883.
Letters, 1884.
Letters and telegrams regarding meeting attendance, requests from committees to call meetings, list of officers and their attendance at a December 12, 1884 meeting
Conduct of members, 1884.
Includes letters and reports regarding charges of immoral conduct by a member and a letter regarding a member using profanity during a meeting.
Rooms and library committee reports, 1884.
Also includes report from legal committee and report of the death of William Earl Dodge.
Box 343 Miscellaneous, 1886-1887. 3 folders.
Includes brochures and other printed material and a report from the Outing Club.
Box 344 Miscellaneous, 1857-1888.7 folders.
Includes committee reports (1863), Mortimer petition (1865), resolutions on the death of Lincoln (1865), sketch of Joseph Lyndall (1864), committee report on the expulsion of the Express newspapers (1857), map of lower east side establishments with liquor licenses (1888), material related to construction of Railroad Branch (1887).
Box 345 R. R. McBurney, 1897, 1937. 13 folders.
Materials related to Robert Ross McBurney, first paid secretary of the YMCA. Included are copies of Men of New York, The Quarterly Publication of the Young Men's Christian Association of the City of New York, March-April, 1937 (Robert Ross McBurney Memorial Edition); program for the Robert Ross McBurney Centennial Dinner, March 31, 1937; and letters and telegrams regarding the celebration of McBurney's 60th birthday and his 35 years of service to the YMCA on March 31, 1897.
Box 346 McBurney correspondence, 1866-1885, 1890s.
Includes two letter books, miscellaneous correspondence.
Box 347 Bible study, 1890s. 4 packages of material.
Manuscript programs for Bible study sessions at the 23rd Street Branch. Each includes the hymns to be sung, the verse to be studied and a detailed description of the points to be covered in the session.
Box 348 Scrapbooks, 1890s, 1960s.
Includes specimen book of printed materials, including admission cards, meeting notices, Association Notes and event announcements. Also includes clippings from scrapbook including those related to football game with Carlisle Indian School, misbehavior at a YMCA dinner and bequests and donations. Also includes pages and illustrations from YMCA publications, 1940s-1960s.
Box 349 R. R. McBurney, 1880s-1890s, 1937.23 folders.
Material on the life and work of Robert Ross McBurney, the first paid secretary of the YMCA. Includes ticket to reception, correspondence with John Cook of the Bridgeport (CT) Association, material related to McBurney Centennial (1937), correspondence with Jacob Bowne and R. C. Morse, a handwritten fund-raising letter, announcement of McBurney memorial service (1899), writings of R. R. McBurney: Settled Principles in Association Work, How May We Overcome the Tendency to Spiritual Barrenness in the Paid Employee?, The Importance of Bible Study, Bible Teaching in Our Association, The Secretary's Relation to the Personal Life of Young Men, Association Secretaries ... Their Relationship to One Another, and the Spirit Which Should Activate Them. Also includes the last will and testament of R. R. McBurney, correspondence and eulogies on the death of Henry Webster, correspondence with John F. Moore regarding R. R. McBurney, copy of the centennial issue of The McBurnian and a copy of a report from R. R. McBurney regarding organizational problems with the Devotional Committee, the Literary Society, the Reception Committee and other issues which may have led to the formation of the Young Men's Christian Union.
Box 350 Scrapbook of clippings on Moody and Sankey revival in New York, 1875-1876.
Box 351 Revivals in New York, 1881-1886. 13 folders.
Includes clippings about Moody and Sankey, temperance, Rev. George O. Barnes, Ben Hogan and other evangelists.
Box 352 Printed material, 1852, 1880s-1890s.
Includes invitations, programs (including anniversary programs), tickets, pamphlets and class schedules for Ladies Auxiliary, Bible Study, Educational Department, Boy's Department and Medical Students activities. Also includes Constitution and Bylaws, copy of Harper's New Monthly Magazine (October 1970), annual reports (1853, 1863, 1868) and newspaper clippings regarding clergy charges that the YMCA was elitist and a "humbug".
Box 353 Famous entertainers and sport people at the YMCA, undated.4 folders.
Box 354 Biographical files, A-G, undated.54 folders.
Primarily information on board members and supporters from the 1860s through the 20th century.
Box 355 Biographical files, H-S, undated.56 folders.
Primarily information on board members and supporters from the 1860s through the 20th century.
Box 356 Biographical files, T-Z, undated. 18 folders.
Primarily information on board members and supporters from the 1860s through the 20th century.
Box 357 Dodge family history, undated.
Typescript history of Dodge family of Connecticut and New York in the 19th century, 291 pages.
Box 358 James Stokes Society, 1890 -1963. 12 folders.
Materials related to James Stokes, one of the founders of the New York YMCA and a pioneer in the international movement. Items include Stokes's will and that of his wife, Florence Chatfield Stokes; legal opinion regarding the establishment of a YMCA in Paris and share purchases by donors; materials related to the incorporation, tax status and trustees meetings of the James Stokes Society; correspondence and memoranda regarding the appropriation of the building operated by the James Stokes Society (known as the "Myak") in St. Petersburg (Petrograd) Russia by the Soviet authorities and the subsequent claim against the USSR (1922-1959); mortgage on the Manhattan building owned by the Society at 137-139 Nagle Avenue in upper Manhattan; constitution of the James Stokes Society; and genealogy of the Stokes family.
Box 359 Related organizations, 1880s-1890s.15 booklets.
Includes Proceedings of the Convention of Christian Workers in the United States and Canada (1887-1888); and Annual Report of the New York Christian Home for Intemperate Men, vols. 1-8, (1877-1886).
Box 361 Correspondence and documents, 1880s-1920s.13 folders.
Includes mortgages, street railway extension consent agreements, deed to New Jersey property, New Jersey law regarding tax status of organizations dedicated to moral improvement, sale of 23rd Street building, miscellaneous receipts.
Box 362 Scrapbook and exhibits, 1931, 1971.4 folders.
Disbound scrapbook of newspaper clippings and magazine articles on a variety of topics; includes illustrated pamphlet: The Lower East Side and the Citizens Savings Bank, 1860-1930;YMCA exhibits include materials on Youthmobile, Jobmobile, directory of athletic fields, 119th Annual Dinner program, 1968-1969 and 1969-1970 yearbooks, clippings of New York YMCA newspaper stories, 1969-1970; photos with captions illustrating New York YMCA operations in 1969-1970, focusing on job training and youth programs .
Box 364 Social programs, 1953-1978. 17 folders.
Materials related to social initiatives of the YMCA, including Training Resources for Youth (TRY), CHOICE, Youth Enrichment Program (YEP), English as a Second Language (ESL) training, Counseling and Testing Service (CTS), YMCA Trade School, GAIN and Vocational Service Center (VSC).
Box 365 Centennial, 1944, 1951.8 folders.
Box contents include a history, probably written by John B. Burkhart, for the Centennial Convention in Cleveland; One Hundred Years and Here We Are, by James L. Ellenwood (New York: Association Press, 1944); Some Significant Events in a Century of YMCA Service With Youth; Tomorrow's Nation, by Richard W. Lawrence and Walter T. Diack; Centennial Aquacade of 1944 (includes list of Milestones and Stars in the History of Swimming); A Century of Service-A Generation in Prospect; music and words for "A Hymn to Youth" by Howard Thurman and Harry Robert Wilson; Serving with Youth Throughout the World (1944); Centennial Tributes to the YMCA, Sections I and II (1944).
Box 366 Pamphlets, 1962-1966.3 folders.
Includes "The Story of the YMCA Emblem" (1962); "Young Men's Christian Association of Greater New York: What It Is and How It Operates " (multiple printings, 1960s). Also includes script for installation ceremonies for the YMCA Legion of Honor (1965).
Box 367 Planning documents, 1970-1971, 1981.3 folders.
Includes YMCA & YWCA Manhattan Properties: Alternative Course of Real Estate Action and Valuation, 1971; Market Overview and Financial Projections: Ten YMCA Residence Facilities, (1981); documents concerning merger with the James Stokes Society.
Box 368 Board of Managers, 1917, 1923.2 books.
Two bound volumes listing members of advisory boards and committees. Information includes business and home addresses and church affiliation.
Box 369 Spirit of the Fair, 1858.
Bound volume, titled Spirit of the Fair for the Building Fund of the Boston Young Men's Christian Association, held at the Music Hall, from December 21 to 30, 1858 (Boston: 1858). vol. 1, no 1 - vol. 1 no. 8. Volume includes hand-colored lithograph by J. H. Bufford, Fair of the Boston Young Men's Christian Association In aid of the Building Fund at the Music Hall Dec. 21st to 30th 1858.
Box 370 Niblo will controversy, 1880-1881. 10 folders.
"The Niblo will case centered around Mr. (William) Niblo's intention for use of the money he left to the N.Y.C. Association, if it must be used just for the Niblo section of the Association Library or was intended for use of the general purposes of the YMCA" (from folder list in box). Box contents include copy of the will, legal opinions, meeting minutes, and correspondence. Correspondents include Cephas Brainerd and William E. Dodge, Jr.
Box 371 YMCA annual reports, 1853-1902.
Printed annual reports and other printed material from YMCAs in the United States;
Washington D.C., 1855-1902:
Annual reports, 1871-1872, 1874-1875, 1879, 1883; membership ticket, membership proposal form, constitution, fund raising appeal (1866); Association Evening College prospectus (1894-1895); Washington's Young Men, vol. xxv, no. 10).
Portland, Oregon, 1890s:
Annual annual report, 1898; Seventh Annual Convention of the Young Men's Christian Associations of the Pacific Northwest..., (Portland, Oregon:1890).
Baltimore, 1890s:
Annual reports (1891, 1894).
San Francisco, 1890s:
Annual reports (1890-1891); Nineteenth anniversary program, (Oakland, California:1898).
Providence, Rhode Island, 1869-1890:
Annual reports, 1869-1878, 1881-1884, 1889-1890; miscelaneous printed material, including Topics for Bible Study, annual meeting announcement (1882), employment bureau forms, announcement of sailing outing for the "deserving poor" (1882), Dedication of the Rooms of the Providence Young Men's Christian Association...1854.
Concord, New Hampshire, 1853:
The Opening Address Delivered before the Concord Young Men's Christian Association...January 16, 1853 by Charles W. Flanders.
Gloucester, Massachusetts:
Constitution and By-Laws...1858.
Bristol, Connecticut , 1875:
Catalogue of the Library of the Young Men's Christian Association..., 1875.
Bristol, Rhode Island:
Annual report, 1867-1868.
Illinois, 1898-1899:
Yearbook of the Young Men's Christian Associations of Illinois...1898, 1899.
Chicago, Illinois, 1891-1897:
New Central Building Souvenir, 1891; Annual Announcement, 1896-7; Annual Catalogue of the Secretarial Institute and Training School... 1896-1897.
Box 372 Scrapbook of the Centennial Campaign, 1940-1944.
Scrapbook belonging to E. Arnoldi, office manager for Centennial Campaign.
Box 373 Record books, 1880s-1950s.
Includes general secretaries insurance agreements, 1880s (covers U.S. and Canada); Records of membership cards on hand by branch, 1940s-1950s; Records of the tax registration bureau searches ... on property of Young Men's Christian Association, 1900's-1950s (includes water and sewer assessments).
Box 374 Scrapbook of the Centennial Campaign, 1939-1940.
Scrapbook belonging to E. Arnoldi, documenting operations of campaign office. Includes staff lists, interoffice memos, forms and copies of correspondence.
Box 375-376 Miscellaneous historical material, 1860s-1960s. 31 folders.
Includes fact sheets and summaries, A Voice from Home, jubilee celebration material, boat house at 150th Street, correspondence regarding religious work and Sunday programing, college work, chess and checkers club, baseball association, financial campaigns, history of the employment service, historical papers and essays, miscellaneous lecture texts and reports, membership card of Rev. Isaac Ferris of New York University, insurance information, convention of metropolitan secretaries in Niagara Falls, employment counseling, research notecards of C. Howard Hopkins, author of History of the YMCA in North America, abstinence material, 1964 World's Fair, building location studies (1926).
Box 377 Social welfare, 1900-1915.26 folders.
Includes correspondence relating to yacht Amazon, membership, tax exempt status, real estate, information about the following organizations: Anti-Policy Association, Anti-Saloon League, Christian work in Turkey, work with older boys in the telegraph company, Tenement House Committee, Committee on the Prevention of Tuberculosis, New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Evangelistic Committee of New York City, Industrial Service Movement, New York Federation of Churches, Council on Immigrant Education, International Reform Bureau, Italian-American Civic League, labor organizations, Laity League for Social Services, Men and Religion Forward movement, The Old McAuley Water Street Mission, Peace Society of the City of New York, Recreation Alliance of New York City, Rescue Society, Salvation Army, Society for the Promotion of Social Services, student volunteer movement, Sunday Observance Association of Kings County, Conference on Union Label, Women's Christian Temperance Union, Young People's Missionary Movement. Primary correspondent is Harry M. Orne.
Box 378 Biographical files, 1886-1962. 9 folders.
Includes material related to James Claude Armstrong, David Balcini, J. Howard Field, René Kern, Edwin Francis See, Edward P. Lyon and Daniel W. McWilliams, all of the Brooklyn-Queens YMCA.
Box 379 Survey of the Brooklyn-Queens YMCA, 1927-1928.
Report of a statistical survey of the Brooklyn-Queens YMCA, with recommendations about the following areas of operation: membership and record-keeping, camps, boys' work, dormitories, religious and social work, educational work, guidance and placement, work with special groups such as the Army or women and girls, personnel, organization and administration, accounting, business operations, financing, publicity and building locations. The survey and report, directed by Arthur L. Swift, Jr., also includes a substantial historical review and a section on the future of the organization.
Box 380 Miscellaneous historical material, 1920s-1930s.6 folders.
Correspondence and other material related to the International Committee, including items regarding Czechoslovakia, Russia (especially the organization in Vladivostok), Army Navy Department and Japan. Much of the correspondence is with Joseph Novotny of the YMCA in Czechoslovakia. Materials in Czech, Russian and Japanese. Also historical notes on branches in New York City, press releases, undated minutes, typescript historical essay on the founding of the YMCA in New York by A. G. Stoughton and printed address delivered at the General Assembly in 1936, "What Is It All About?" by Dr. Albert W. Beaven.
Box 381-382 Sleeping accommodations, November 13, 1922 - August 13, 1923.
Two bound folio registers, approximately 690 pages each, from the Railroad branch at Grand Central Terminal, referred to as the "Park Ave." branch by the railroad workers who registered for sleeping accommodations. Listed are name, home YMCA, occupation, company, room assignment, time to be called in the morning and price. Although most men who registered were members of this branch, members of YMCA branches in Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, New Haven, Utica, Springfield and other cities stayed here, as did members of the 72nd St. branch in New York, also a railroad YMCA.
Box 383 Correspondence, 1854, 1865-1866, 1886-1887.5 folders.
Primarily letters to Robert R. McBurney on topics such as employment references, the Albany Convention, reports of committee members, proposals for membership, meeting notices, responses to requests for contributions, notification of absences from meetings, requests for tracts, personal letters from members, and an Act to Incorporate the Young Men's Christian Association of the City of New York. Also includes correspondence and pamphlets related to U. S. Christian Commission, New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, and Report on Activities of the YMCA with the A.E.F (American Expeditionary Forces, 1919). Also includes handwritten minutes of the Committee on Branches (1885-1887).
Box 384 Ledger, 1870.
Box 385 Journal, 1874-1899.
Bound folio volume recording expenses and receipts for categories such as artist studio and store rental, advertising, furniture repair, Bowery branch building fund, branch expenses, printing for stationery and publications and salaries.
Miscellaneous Historical Material, 1850s-1970s:
Box 386 Annual report,1864-1865.
Church Committee minutes, 1860-1873.
New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, 1875-1886.
Includes annual reports, "Private and Confidential" (a pamphlet describing in detail the activities of the organization), and "Obscene Literature", an address by the Hon. Clinton Merriam to the US House of Representatives.
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1858, 1868, 1872-1873.
Pamphlets, 1862-1865.
Includes 10th, 11th and 12th annual reports of the New York YMCA, "Report of the Christian Mission to the United States...", Ironsides Regiment recruiting material, "New York City A Mission Field", "Stewardship of Wealth", "Self-Culture, A Lecture for Young Men", "A Plea for Preaching of Christ in Cities", "The Work of the Young Men's Christian Association: What It Is and How to Do It".
Civil War committee reports, 1865.
Includes handwritten reports of the Devotional Meetings Committee, the Army and Navy Committee, and the Hospital Committee detailing their work during the Civil War.
Civil War work, 1861.
Material related to the Army Committee and the US Christian Commission.
Membership invitations, circa 1875.
Cards for Colored Young Men's Christian Association on Wooster Street and the Churchman's Reading Rooms and Library.
War Work Council, 1920s.4 folders.
Work in Vladivostok with Czech solders, 1920-1921.
Includes correspondence with Joseph Novotny and Frank Torell (of the Army and Navy Department in eastern Siberia and Harbin), W. S. Tuttle, William Walter Banton (of the Russian Division of the Work for Allied Armies and Prisoners of War) and others.
Minutes of the New York YMCA, 1860-1865.3 volumes.
Army branch, 1906-1940s.6 folders.
Includes branch histories, correspondence, "Following the Flag, A Short History", brochures from the Ft. Slocum YMCA branch in Westchester County.
Branch histories,1930s-1940s.
Typescript histories of the following branches: Institute, McBurney, Holiday Hills, Staten Island, German, French, Bronx Union, Harlem, Sloane House and Employment Service.
Notes on the history of the New York YMCA, undated.6 folders.
Includes notes compiled by G. A. Shumway (1950), typescripts of citywide histories of the YMCA in New York, 75th anniversary celebration, historical compilations, historical record (1838) and Historical Reference Book, 1852-1950.
National YMCA history, undated.
Army branch scrapbook, undated.


See also the McBurney YMCA Records, separately cataloged in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives >> Go to the inventory
Records of the successor organization formed in 1957, theYMCA of Greater New York, are also available in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives.


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.
Young Men's Christian associations -- New York (State) -- New York.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Buildings.
World War, 1914-1918 -- War work -- Young Men's Christian Associations.
Revivals -- New York (State) -- New York .
New York (N. Y.).
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- War work.
McBurney, Robert Ross, 1837-1898.
Dodge, W. E. (William Earl), 1832-1903.
Dodge, Cleveland E.
Stokes, James, 1841-1918.
Brainerd, Cephas, 1831-1910
YMCA of Greater New York.
Young Men's Christian Association of the City of New York.
White Cross Army.
United States Christian Commission.
New York Society for the Suppression of Vice.