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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: YMCA of Greater New York. Greenpoint Branch.
Title: Greenpoint YMCA records.
Date: 1880s-1990s (bulk 1925-1935)
Collection Number: Y.GNY.031
Abstract: Includes collected minutes, correspondence, program information, membership data and financial reports of the Greenpoint YMCA.
Quantity: 12 cubic feet (13 boxes).
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


Greenpoint is an industrial area in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, close to the East River. The first Greenpoint YMCA was established in 1869 but ceased operations a few years later. In 1884, Jacob Titus Bowne, who soon after became General Secretary of the YMCA, tried again, and another association opened with property valued at $12,000 at 752 Manhattan Avenue. However, the Greenpoint YMCA did not associate with the Brooklyn YMCA until 1903. In 1907, the branch opened its first building at the corner of Meserole Avenue and Lorimer Street. The building was extensively renovated in 1926-1927 and is still the home of the Greenpoint branch.

The Greenpoint area of Brooklyn was the destination of many Polish immigrants, so much so that it became known as "Little Poland." Italians and Russians also found their way to Greenpoint. The branch, which quickly became an integral part of the neighborhood, was known for its active outreach programs that included helping secure a school and a playground in 1914 and working with men in the factories and workshops that dominated the area. In 1915 the branch established a home for orphans and street children. In 1917, more dormitory rooms were added. In addition to its outreach efforts, the branch was known for the prowess of its bowling and billiards teams.

Today, Greenpoint continues to be a central part of its community. It provides substantial programming for children and in 1991 won a city-wide award for its substance abuse and outreach program for youth. It continues to offer rooms, welcoming visitors from around the world.

From The YMCA at 150: A history of the YMCA of Greater New York, 1852-2002 by Pamela Bayless, 2002; History of the Brooklyn and Queens Young Men's Christian Association 1853-1949 by E. Clark Worman; and from the collection.


The Greenpoint YMCA records include Board of Managers minutes; executive correspondence and other records, primarily from the period 1925-1935; newsletters and magazines published by the branch; and program information and brochures. The executive records are primarily from the files of Walter V. Edwards, branch secretary in the 1920s and 1930s.


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]. Greenpoint 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, April 2012.
Catalog Record ID number: 6311621


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

Box 138 Minutes of the women's auxilliary, 1892-1899. 1 volume.
Box 139 Executive records, 1928. 36 folders.
Includes correspondence, financial reports, material on the National Council of the YMCA, Eastern District School, fund-raising campaigns, Small City Commission, personnel, membership, programs, conferences, industry and labor (including a file on "The Detroit Situation), programs, Greenpoint pastors, Young People's Forum, and a collection of vignettes and sketches titled "Behind the Scenes at the YMCA."
Box 140 Executive records, 1927-1935. 68 folders.
Includes Board of Managers minutes (1934-1935); material from other Brooklyn organizations such as the Brooklyn Bureau of Charities and the Brooklyn Better Business Bureau; financial campaign materials; information from departments such as membership, physical, cafeteria, boys' division and dormitory; files from the Employed Officers Association; information on the Eastern Association School; secretaries' correspondence; lists of members; accident reports; and conference information.
Box 141 Greenpoint scrapbook, ca 1900.
Box 142 Executive records, 1931-1932. 63 folders.
Includes material on activities, annual dinner, anniversary celebrations, Brooklyn Bureau of Charities, budgets and finance, fund-raising, branch committees and departments, unemployment and relief, foreign work and the Small City Commission. Also includes issues of the branch newsletter.
Box 143 Executive records, 1927-1931. 54 folders.
Includes correspondence; financial records, including material on budgets and fund-raising campaigns; Board of Managers agendas and minutes; agendas and reports of departments and committees; and material related to the Employed Offices Association.
Box 144 Executive records, 1927-1932. 62 folders.
Includes general office files, financial and budget information, branch committee and department files, conference information and material from the National Council of the YMCA.
Box 145a Executive records, 1920s-1960s. 14 folders.
Includes printed material related to branch programs and membership campaigns, Vacation Fun Club, annual reports (1929, 1953-1954, 1957, 1960, 1967), and reports of a branch study (1948).
Box 145b Greenpoint branch history, 1905-1951.
Includes historical notes and reminiscences as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the branch's opening in 1935. Other material includes Christmas party material (1925), membership book for 1909 ("Summary of Membership"), membership rosters (1905-1957), newspaper clippings and building inspection certificates.
Box 145c Publications, 1920s-1960s. 4 folders.
Branch publications that include The Green Point Triangle (1921-1923), Boys Chats (1928), The Clarion (1928), Light of the Lobby (1939, 1940, 1943), the Triangle-Clarion, and the Greenpoint branch newsletter.
Box 146 Correspondence, 1926-1934. 44 folders.
Primarily the files of Executive Secretary Walter V. Edwards. Included are letters and memos regarding the National Council of the Young Men's Christian Association, lists of potential business contributors, membership lists, staff memos, meeting notices, a questionnaire from the Institute of Social and Religious Research on church unity, references received and sent, correspondence with area churches and other organizations, information on Silver Bay and Springfield College, the 1928 report on a survey on the Brooklyn and Queens YMCA, and correspondence regarding the Young Men's Congress.
Box 147 Board of Managers minutes, 1968-1984. 5 folders.
Box 148 Board of Managers minutes, 1929-1952, 1960, 1963-1967, 1985, 1990-1992. 10 folders.
Box 149 Miscellaneous records, 1880s-1950s.. 29 folders.
Includes committee reports, annual reports (1890-1893), printed program materials, correspondence, financial reports, branch history, report of a self-study, newspaper clippings, branch statistics card, and a petition for the erection of a new building in English, German, Italian, and Polish (1904). Also includes branch publications: The Bulletin-Greenpoint Edition (1891-1892) and The Reporter (1896-1901, incomplete).


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.
Italian Americans.
Polish Americans.
Russian Americans.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Administration.
Young Men's Christian associations -- New York (State) -- New York.
Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.).
Greenpoint (New York, N.Y.).
Edwards, Walter V.
Bowne, J. T. (Jacob Titus), 1847-1925.
Brooklyn and Queens Young Men's Christian Association. Greenpoint Branch.
Brooklyn Young Men's Christian Association.
Booklyn Bureau of Charities.
Eastern Association School (Silver Bay, N.Y.).
National Council of the Young Men's Christian Associations of the United States of America.
YMCA of Greater New York. Greenpoint Branch.