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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. Schools Branch.
Title: YMCA Schools Branch records.
Date: 1917-1985.
Collection Number: Y.GNY.040
Abstract: Collected minutes, correspondence and financial information of the Schools Branch of the YMCA of Greater New York.
Quantity: 6.5 cubic feet (14 boxes)
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


The 1852 constitution of the YMCA in New York City contained a provision for offering lectures and sermons that would assist the "spiritual and mental improvement of young men," although actual regular programming did not occur until the opening of the new building on 23rd Street. Formal educational activities undertaken at each New York City YMCA branch were consolidated in 1930 into the Education Department of the West Side Branch. In 1945, the Schools Branch was founded. Included in the Schools Branch were the McBurney School, a college preparatory school; Evening High School; the Trade and Technical School, which had its roots in the first automobile school in New York; Hervey Junior College (previously known as the New York Business Institute); and the Civil Service Institute.

The McBurney School was founded in 1916 as a six-year high school (grades 7-12) that prepared young men for college. It merged in 1924 with the Chelsea Day School, and in subsequent years with the Baldwin School, the Riverside School and the Carnegie Hill School. McBurney was housed for many years in the West Side YMCA on 63rd Street. In the 1980s, the school moved once again, this time to 20 West End Avenue. However, its new location, where the school was surrounded by taxi depots, car repair shops, and parking lots, did not attract students and parents, and despite the millions received from selling the West 63rd Street building, the school was forced to close in 1988.

McBurney boasts many famous alumni, including actors Jason Robards and Henry Winkler, novelist J.D. Salinger (who used McBurney as a model for Holden Caulfield's school in Catcher in the Rye), journalist Haynes Johnson, and financier Felix Rohatyn.

The practice of offering working men formal high school classes in the evening began at the Boston YMCA in 1893. In New York, an evening preparatory school began in 1907; in 1927, the school was reorganized as the Evening High School of the 23rd Street (later McBurney) Branch. In 1930, it became part of the Educational Department of the West Side YMCA, and in 1945 it was one of the schools that formed the new Schools Branch.

The Trade and Technical School was descended from the Automobile School of the West Side YMCA, established in 1903, and was initially known as the New York Business Men's Vocational School. In 1927, the West Side Branch took over the technical courses previously offered at the closed East Side Branch. By 1945, when the West Side curriculum was incorporated into the new Schools Branch, the Trade and Technical School offered a wide range of vocational courses, including automobile mechanics, radio and television repair, refrigeration, sign painting, plumbing and more. In 1957, the Trade and Technical School merged with the Brooklyn Trade School, and relocated to Brooklyn as part of the Bedford branch's operations. It closed in 1976.

Hervey Junior College was established in 1946 to meet the needs of returning veterans and continued the program of afternoon and evening classes offered by the New York Business Institute. It began in 1907 as a two-year course in accountancy leading to the CPA, and was called the New York Institute of Accountancy and Commerce. By 1923, the school offered two three-year programs: the CPA preparation program and a business administration program. Because the wave of young men seeking college-level training had subsided, the college closed in 1957.

Like Hervey Junior College, the Civil Service Institute was established in 1946 to meet the education and training needs of returning veterans. The school prepared students to take the civil service exams required by the New York City police and fire departments. It was absorbed into the Trade and Technical School as a result of a 1952 branch survey recommendation.

Although the McBurney School continued operating until 1988, the Schools Branch was not listed in annual reports after 1984.

Information taken from the collection.


The YMCA Schools Branch collection includes Board of Managers and Trustees minutes, financial reports, a retirement dinner program, correspondence, fund raising appeals, McBurney School reports to city headquarters, materials related to the separation between McBurney School and the YMCA, historical information about the development of the Schools branch, and information about the faculty salary scale.


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]. Schools 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, May 2012. Additions made October 2013.
Catalog Record ID number: 6392971


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

Box 218 Draft agreement lease, 1984.
McBurney School special study, 1980.
McBurney School operating results, 1976-1983.
McBurney School transfer of ownership, 1985.
McBurney School miscellaneous financial reports, 1979-1985.
Box 219 Walter Hervey Junior College, charter, by-laws and minutes, 1946-1951.
Walter Hervey Junior College, courses and information, 1946-1947.
Walter Hervey Junior College brochures, 1953-1954.
Proposal for a YMCA Trade School expansion plan, 1969.
Miscellaneous Schools branch materials, 1954, 1964. 3 folders.
Address to the 1961 graduating class, McBurney School,1961.
YMCA Schools branch history, 1976.
YMCA Evening School brochures, 1950s.
Trade and Technical School brochures, 1950s.
Box 221 McBurney School printed materials, 1917- 1984. 20 folders.
Includes McBurney Declaration of Independence; clippings; information about athletics, theater and the school library; student handbook; catalogs, pamphlets and brochures; The McBurnean; programs; admissions information.
Box 222 Teacher files, 1920s, 1950s, 1970s. 4 folders.
Miscellaneous Schools branch correspondence and printed materials, 1940s-1950s. 4 folders.
YMCA Schools study, 1957.
New York Business Institute catalogs, 1930s-1940s.
New York Institute of Accountancy and Commerce bulletins, 1920s-1930s.
YMCA Trade and Technical School bulletin, 1949-1950.
Walter Hervey Junior College, 1940s-1950s. 7 folders.
Includes correspondence, brochures and catalogs, school activities and commencement programs.
YMCA Evening High School, 1930s-1970s. 7 folders.
Includes commencement programs, brochures, correspondence, and diploma blanks.
Box 223 Math test preparation materials, 1980s.
Box 224 Separation of the McBurney School from the YMCA, 1982-1983. 5 folders.
Also includes Byron Fox correspondence, Cooper & Lybrand report.
Box 225 Finance and administration, 1978-1984. 8 folders.
Includes budget and fund-raising materials, headmaster search, personnel, faculty handbook.
Box 226 McBurney School facilities, 1977-1982. 5 folders.
Includes materials about a possible merger with the Rhodes School and studies, correspondence and proposals related to the search for a new site or building for the school.
Box 227 McBurney School facilities, 1979-1981. 14 folders.
Correspondence, surveys, reports of conversations and properties considered as possible sites for McBurney School.
Box 228 Charter applications, separation agreement and executive committee, 1974-1983. 3 folders.
Includes Executive Committee meeting agendas, charter application materials and separation agreement.
Box 229 Separation of McBurney School from the YMCA, 1974-1984.9 folders.
Includes draft and final agreements for transfer of McBurney service, separation agreement (1981-1983), planning documents.
Box 230 Schools branch Board of Managers minutes, 1975-1981. 7 folders.
McBurney School finances, 1975-1982.
Executive Committee agendas and minutes, 1980.
McBurney School inventory of records, 1983 .
Handbook for Students, Faculty and Parents, 1981-1982.
Plans, reports and proposals regarding the use of the McBurney School facility by the West Side branch, 1985.
Box 291 Board of Managers minutes, 1945, 1947-1950, 1952-1956, 1962, 1965-1972. 14 folders.
By-laws, 1973.
Financial statements, 1970, 1971, 1976.
Board of Trustees minutes, 1946, 1948, 1954, 1972. 2 folders.
McBurney School reports to city headquarters, 1965-1971. 6 folders.
Dr. James Quinn retirement dinner, 1972.
Faculty salaries, 1971.
Miscellaneous, 1950s-1970s.
YMCA Schools Executive Council minutes, 1947-1952, 1954-1956.
Box 321 Evening high school annual reports, 1940s-1960s.
McBurney School brochures, 1960s.
Box 321 McBurney School miscellaneous, 1951-1956. 2 folders.
Hervey Herald, March 15, 2949.
Forms, 1950s.
Includes forms used at Evening High School and Walter Hervey Junior College.
Exams and grade sheets, Evening High School, 1965, 1968-1969, 1972. 3 folders.
Two folders titled Final Reports.
Course outlines, 1956-1972.
Civil service prep classes, 1950, 1953-1956. 1 folder.
Commencement and diplomas, Evening High School and Walter Hervey Junior College, 1940s-1960s.
Board of Managers minutes and correspondence, McBurney School, 1956-1957.
Budget, Schools Branch, 1957-1965.
Personnel, 1920s-1970s.14 folders.


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) -- Administration.
Young Men's Christian associations -- New York (State) -- New York.
Schools -- New York (State) -- New York.
New York (N.Y.)
Brooklyn (N.Y.)
McBurney School (New York, N.Y.)
Trade and Technical School (New York, N.Y.)
Automobile School (New York, N.Y.)
Walter Hervey Junior College (New York, N.Y.)
Brooklyn Trade School (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Evening High School (New York, N.Y.)
New York Institute of Accountancy and Commerce (New York, N.Y.)
New York Business Men's Vocational School (New York, N.Y.)
Civil Service Institute (New York, N.Y.)
Young Men's Christian Association of the City of New York. Schools Branch.
YMCA of Greater New York. Schools Branch.
YMCA of Greater New York. West Side Branch.