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

An Inventory of its Photographs

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Creator: YMCA of Greater New York. Uptown Branch
Title: Uptown YMCA photographs
Date: 1933-1986 (bulk 1940s-1970s)
Collection Number: Y.GNY.0021-1
Abstract: Professional photographs and snapshots in black and white and color, of the Uptown Branch of the YMCA of Greater New York. Subjects include building interiors and exteriors, program participants, athletics and members.
Quantity: .5 cubic feet (2 boxes)
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


The Uptown Branch of the YMCA of Greater New York was formed in 1933 as a replacement for the old Harlem Branch on 125th Street, which had closed in 1929. The initial mission of the branch was to provide a positive alternative to the so-called "cellar gangs" in the area. For many years it was located on various blocks around West 104th Street, although it occupied other rented facilities on the west side of upper Manhattan, including an extension center at the Riverside Church at 490 Riverside Drive (between 120th and 122nd streets). Locations included the building that also housed the Olympia Theater at Broadway and 104th Street (1970s-1980s); 82 Claremont Avenue, at 120th Street between Broadway and Riverside Drive (1950s); and 125 W. 104th Street in Grace Methodist Church, between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues (1940s). Wherever the branch was located, it emphasized programs for youth and children and in later years was especially strong in developing after-school and day camp programs. The branch ceased operations in 1986.

(Information taken from An Event on Mercer Street: A Brief History of the YMCA of the City of New York, by Terry Donoghue (1951) and from the collection)


Photographs of the Uptown Branch YMCA include black and white and color prints, contact sheets and snapshots, primarily from the post-WWII period, in both color and black and white, of building interiors and exteriors, program participants, athletics and members. Subjects include youth programs, athletics, after-school programs and outings and day camp activities, street fairs and playground scenes, and awards presentations.


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]. Uptown YMCA Photographs. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. University of Minnesota.
See the Chicago Manual of Style for additional examples.
Processing Information:
Processed by: Louise Merriam, February 2009.
Catalog Record ID number: 5408321


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

Box 66 Uptown branch photos, 1930s-1970s.
Box contents: Images of day camp activities and outings to beaches and parks, playground scenes, drawing of proposed building (1952) that was constructed on Claremont Avenue, athletics (basketball, baseball, volleyball, physical conditioning and martial arts), interior activities (including model-building, carpentry, pickup sticks, ping-pong, dominoes, pool and board games), playground and street games, Youth of the Year award (1982), dinners, drawing class, Hungarian children, Knights, camp scenes in the Catskills, Roy Campanella and Jackie Robinson, YMCA chapel in WWII, machine shop instruction, harmonica players on WMCA radio, newsboys selling "Hitler Dead" papers, youth gathered on the steps of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, dances, exteriors of buildings (including Olympia Theater; 82 Claremont Ave., Grace United Methodist Church before a fire in 1982), children lining up for a ride on the truck-mounted "Sky Rocket," typing class, members, Uptown Angels girls softball team scrapbook.
Box 67 Uptown branch snapshots, 1930s-1980s.
Box contents: Typing class, pottery instruction, SNAP awards, outings, WWII military camp, baseball, basketball, playground scenes, trips to the beach, after school programs (from window display posters), Uptown Learning Squad, dinners, dedication of the New York State Office Building on 125th Street, Roberto Clemente Cultural Festival, Avon Tennis, volleyball, floor hockey, bowling, ballet instruction, aquatics, street fair (1977), Recognition Day, Young Men's Institution "Young Dubs" (1912), Board of Managers (1942), Youth of the Year (1976), board activities, Career Kids in Action (1980s), canoe trip, typing class, day camp rope pull.


See also the Harlem YMCA (125th Street) records, separately cataloged at the Kautz Family YMCA Archives. >>Go to 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.
Young Men's Christian associations -- New York (State) -- New York.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Buildings.
After school programs -- New York (State) -- New York.
New York (N.Y.)
Upper West Side (New York, N.Y.)
Young Men's Christian Association of the City of New York. Harlem Branch (1868-1933)
YMCA of Greater New York. Uptown Branch.
Young Men's Christian Association of the City of New York.
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