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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 | Indexed Terms/Access Points


Creator: Union chrétienne de jeunes gens de New York.
Title: Union Chrétienne de Jeunes Gens de New York (French Branch YMCA) records.
Date: 1889-1929.
Collection Number: Y.GNY.029
Abstract: Collected minutes, advertising cards, event tickets, correspondence, committee records, annual reports and newspaper clippings from the French Branch of the YMCA of New York City.
Quantity: 2 cubic feet (6 boxes).
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


The French branch of the YMCA in New York City was established in 1889. However, its roots went back to 1882, when some members of the l'Église Évangélique Française de New York on West 16th Street formed the Union Chrétienne. The effort to establish YMCA branches targeted at specific language groups was spearheaded by James Stokes, a long time benefactor of the YMCA and an advocate of strengthening the links between the American YMCA and associations abroad. Funding was secured to send the first French-speaking secretary to Springfield College for training. Although there were several other YMCA branches targeting French-speaking young men in the U.S., the New York City branch, known as Union Chrétienne de Jeunes Gens de New York, was the only really successful YMCA effort directed at the French-speaking population.

The branch had several locations during its years of operation. An early location was 128 West 23rd Street. 112 and 114 West 21st Street, near Sixth Avenue, was the branch's home during the late 1890s. By 1902 the branch was housed at 49 West 24th Street. By 1905 the branch location was 109 West 54th Street, where it remained until the branch closed in 1929.

The branch offered fencing, bowling, French and English classes, lectures, a library, a literary society, Bible study clases, billiards, and employment bureau and other events and activities. Members could rent rooms, eat in the restaurant and obtain medical consultations. Ladies were often admitted to events and classes. The branch also operated a program for young teens, called Section Cadette, for boys ages 10 to 16. One of the stated reasons for the formation of the group was to help French-speaking young men in New York City preserve their language abilities.

The branch closed in the fall of 1929. This occurred due to the condition of the building, which had become "greatly deteriorated", and because changes in U.S. immigration laws in the 1920s reduced the number of French-speaking young men in the city. The New York YMCA determined that the building should be sold and the work incorporated into an International Branch.

(Information taken from the collection)


The records consist of minutes of the Comité Administratif, printed material that includes advertising cards, event tickets, brochures and announcements. Also included are annual reports, correspondence, newspaper clippings and governing documents. The primary language of the materials is French.


These documents are organized into the following sections:
Administrative Records
Annual Reports
Program Materials


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]. Union Chrétienne de Jeunes Gens de New York (French Branch YMCA) Records. 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, March 2012.
Catalog Record ID number: 6283470


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

Administrative Records

Box 123 Committee records, 1898-1929. 6 folders.
Reports from Administrative Committee, Boys Work Committee, Executive Committee.
Box 124 Inventory of the Archives of the French Branch, undated.
Building plans, 1904.
Box 125 Constitution and bylaws, 1906. 2 folders.
Manuscript and typescript bylaws and constitution in English and French.
Correspondence, 1899-1910.
Form letters and individual correspondence in English and French.
Box 127 Comité administratif, 1889-1929. 4 volumes.
In French.

Annual Reports

Box 122 Annual reports, 1899, 1901-1902, 1904-1924, 1926. 25 folders.
Typescript. In French.

Program Materials

Box 124 Brochures, 1889-1890, 1898-1904, 1906-1907, 1911, 1920, 1923, 1926. 3 folders.
Includes: Union Chrétienne de Jeunes Gens, Aux Jeunes Gens de Langue Française, Un Foyer Français, Une Maison pour la Jeunesse, Section Cadette de l'Union Chrétienne de Jeunes Gens de Langue Française de New York; Nos Samedis; Prends et Lis.
Events, 1888-1926. 3 folders.
Includes programs, tickets and announcements for French Branch events and programs. Primarily in French.
Box 125 Newspaper clippings, 1886-1913.
In English and French.
L'Union Française, Janvier - Juin 1899, Septembre1903, Decembre 1903, Mai 1904.
9 issues.
Box 126 Annual prospectus, 1894-1921. 22 folders.
Annuaire. Also includes brochures titled Prends et Lis; L'Union Fair la Force; Notre Raison d'Etre, Notre Mission; Une Porte Ouverte; Un Foyer Français; Pour Vos Heures de Loisir; Pour Vous et Vos Amis; Lisez, Réfléchissez; Un Coup d'Oeil en Avant; Saison d'Hiver; Annuaire;


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.
French -- New York (State) -- New York -- Societies, etc.
Young Men's Christian associations -- New York (State) -- New York.
New York (N.Y.)
Stokes, James, 1841-1918.
Union chrétienne de jeunes gens de New York.
Young Men's Christian Association of the City of New York