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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: National Board of the Young Men's Christian Associations. Industrial Work Dept.
Title: Industrial work records.
Date: 1882-1980.
Collection Number: Y.USA.10
Abstract: Reports, correspondence, publications, teaching materials, and manuals of the YMCA's Industrial Work Department, International Management Council, and related programs and organizations.
Quantity: 12.2 cu. ft. (14 boxes).
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


The YMCA's Industrial Work Department, first established under the direction of C. C. Michener in 1903, administered programs similar to those used by other YMCA departments: Bible study, religious meetings, educational classes, recreational activities and social gatherings. Whereas the earlier programs had targeted primarily middle-class, white collar men, the YMCA's Industrial Department was an attempt to address the needs of the working class. As historian Thomas Winter explains, "the YMCA combined concerns for the physical and moral well-being of workers with grave apprehensions about the potential political radicalism of workingmen" (Winter, 3). In an era of heightened labor unrest, YMCA saw a role for itself as a benevolent force in industrial relations by providing wholesome and educational activities to the working class. During the three years Michener was secretary, the department was devoted to the study and extension of evangelism and work among miners and lumber crews. Later, these programs were taken to workers in steel production, textile milling, and other industries.

Michener was succeeded by C. R. Towson in 1907. It was under Towson, with the help of Marcellus Dodge, who was the chairman of the Industrial Subcommittee of the International Committee that the Industrial Department gained strength. The YMCA worked to secure the cooperation and financial support of management in industry, believing that labor conflicts could be overcome and working men's allegiance to the company built by improving the workers through activities such as shop Bible classes, English and citizenship classes for immigrants, thrift classes, or interfactory athletic leagues (Winter, 4). Facilities were often set-up within company buildings or constructed on company land. In 1916, Towson reported that there were 200 secretaries working for the Industrial Department and a total of 99 buildings given by industry; by 1920, 246 secretaries were employed at 154 buildings, with a total investment of over $6.6 million of both industry and membership funds.

In response to increased labor tension in the country after World War I, the Industrial Department instituted annual human relations conferences at Silver Bay, New York in 1919, and later in Blue Ridge, North Carolina, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and Estes Park, Colorado. The conferences drew steadily increasing interest, but ultimately the conferences in Lake Geneva and Estes Park fell victim to the Depression. In 1922 Towson retired and his post was assumed by Fred Rindge. Rindge promoted the growth of Americanization classes and the development of educational programs for labor unions.

Unfortunately, the impact of the Depression on the Industrial Department was not limited to the demise of the conferences in Lake Geneva and Estes Park. As the 1920s drew to a close, funding from the YMCA International Committee decreased and by 1930 there was no staff. In 1931, E. C. Worman took over as senior secretary for the department and set about reviving the program by promoting the Silver Bay conference and widening the scope of the department to include industrial foremen, as well as workers.

The National Council of Foremen's Clubs was established in 1934, and administered by a national secretary. In 1948 the organization's name was changed to the National Council of Industrial Management Clubs to reflect the growing managerial duties of foremen. The name was changed once again in 1971 to the International Management Council.

By the 1950s a formal Industrial Department no longer existed, but the National Board included a secretary for industrial programs under the Program Services Department. This administrative arrangement continued until the mid-1960s, after which time the Industrial Management Council continued the work of the national secretary position.


Winter, Thomas. Making Men, Making Class: The YMCA and Workingmen, 1877-1920. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002.


The records include department reports detailing the work of the national secretary, conventions he attended, staff development and expansion of the work. Industrial committee minutes record actions of the committee relating to budgets, strategies for carrying out the work and targeting specific opportunities for it.

Department materials consist of pamphlets and handbills used for publicity purposes. They describe the work with anecdotes, statistics, photos and statements by workers and managers. Also included are articles about industrial work from national publications, and pamphlets from the 1920s relating to the Industrial Department's use of films to promote National Thrift Week. Publications of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company are included, which mention YMCA work at that company. An extensive series of conference-related material includes records of the department's Human Relations in Industry Conference, held annually at the YMCA's Silver Bay Conference Center in Lake George, New York, beginning in 1917.

Records relating to industrial work with immigrants include minutes of the General Ellis Island Committee for Protestant Work. This committee consisted of representatives of a number of social welfare organizations, including the YMCA. The minutes detail the coordinating efforts of these organizations to provide services to immigrants on Ellis Island. Two reports on immigration affairs are included, one by Towson on New York City and one by Rindge concerning conditions in Europe. Pamphlets explain services provided to immigrants, as well as topics such as Americanization and citizenship. English language teaching materials are also included.

Materials on the International Management Council and its predecessors, including the National Council of Management Clubs can also be found in the collection. These records include executive committee minutes, constitutions, historical sketches, training publications, newsletters and studies. Most of these materials relate to improving foreman and manager skills.

A small series of records from the Industrial Section of the Association of Secretaries, a professional association for YMCA executives, is also found in the collection.

The collection also includes annual reports, promotional materials, and other records of the The Wells Memorial Institute for Workingmen, an organization unaffiliated with the YMCA, but which provided similar services to working men during the late 1800s.


These documents are organized into the following sections:
Administrative Files
Immigration Work
National Council of Formen's Clubs
National Council of Industrial Management Clubs
Industrial Management Council
Print Materials
Association of Secretaries, Industrial Section
Wells Memorial Institute for Workingmen


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]. Industrial Work Records. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. University of Minnesota.
See the Chicago Manual of Style for additional examples.
Processing Information:
Processed by: David Carmichael; Additional descriptive data added by: Chan Harries and Lara Friedman~Shedlov, April 2004.
A portion of the materials from the Silver Bay Human Relations in Industry Conference were moved from the Educational Work Records (Y.USA.11).
Catalog Record ID number: 4417421


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

Administrative Files

Box 1 Authority file
Industrial Committee, minutes, 1903-1918. 2 folders.
Industrial Department, constitution file, circa 1920.
Industrial Committee minutes and papers, 1925-1937.
Committee on/for Industrial Services, minutes, 1939-1948. 2 folders.
Industrial Program committee, minutes, 1950-1965. 5 folders.
Industrial secretary reports, 1945-1955. 4 folders.
Industrial Department, papers, 1903-1911.
Industrial Department, 1903-1918. 2 folders.
War workers volunteer service movement, circa 1920.
National War Work Council, War Industries report, 1918. 2 folders.
NCFC/NCIMC/IMC, historical sketches, 1938-1972.
Background information on the International Management Council and its predecessor organizations, the National Council of Industrial Management Clubs and the National Council of Foremen's Clubs.
Box 4 Industrial Program Services, guides on industrial work, 1951 and undated.
World War II materials, 1939-1945. 2 folders.
Local Foremen's Club records, 1930-1959.
Box 8 Employed Officers Association, commission on foremen's clubs, undated.
Employed officers in industrial fields, constitution, 1944.
Survey of YMCA Labor relationships, 1944.
Committee on service to men and boys in industry, 1931.
Foremen, background materials, circa 1930.

Immigration Work

Box 8 English language cards, undated. 15 folders.
Box 9 English language cards, undated.
Calling cards for immigrants, undated.
Immigration policy, 1920-1936. 3 folders.
Reports and correspondence of immigration committees within the YMCA dealing with national immigration policy.
Report on Italians in an American community by Charles Towson, 1908.
Towson report on arriving immigrants, 1907.
The report covers the immigrant's arrival and the response of aid agencies, including the YMCA.
Papers, 1908-1932. 2 folders.
Contains reports, correspondence and manuals for work with immigrants and industry.
Commission on Young Men and Boys of Foreign Parentage of the YMCA of Chicago, 1918.
The commission was started to offer services for immigrants arriving in Chicago, including lectures, help with naturalization and industrial work.
Rindge reports, 1921-1922. 9 folders.
Reports made by Fred Rindge, a secretary of the International Committee, on European countries and their social conditions, including a brief historical background, populations statistics and emigration policy.
Ellis Island, minutes and papers, 1916-1937. 17 folders.
The minutes and papers document the work of the Immigration Service of the YMCA at Ellis Island.
Civics for Coming Americans, 1917, 1920, 1927. 3 folders.
English for Coming Americans, teachers aid series, 1919.
English language classes, pamphlets, circa 1910.
English language class teaching aids, 1910. 2 folders.
Songs for Coming Americans, 1918.
Print materials, 1911-1922. 3 folders.
Includes literature about immigration policies, foreign language material, YMCA publications, and other pamphlets.
Box 10 Pamphlets, undated. 17 folders.
Box 11 Pamphlets, undated. 3 folders.
National Thrift Week, 1918-1933. 8 folders.
National Thrift Week was a program designed by the YMCA to promote responsible spending habits.

National Council of Foremen's Clubs

Box 1 Constitution, 1944, 1951-1969. 2 folders.
Annual meetings, 1938-1948. 7 folders.
Executive secretary annual report, 1945-1946.
Manual for the development of Foremen's Clubs, 1940, 1944. 2 folders.
Minutes and reports, 1935-1946. 4 folders.
Newsletter, 1938-1948. 3 folders.
Papers, 1940-1948.
Box 2 Program manual, 1947.

National Council of Industrial Management Clubs

Box 2 NCMC/NCIMC, minutes, 1948.
Annual reports, 1949-1955, 1960s. 2 folders.
General records, 1940s-1970. 4 folders.
Club development program, 1949-1969.
Executive secretary mailings, 1949-1967.
Guides, 1956, 1960-1965.
IMC Bulletin, 1960-1971. 3 folders.
IMC Newsletter, 1973-1974.
Manuals, 1949-1950, 1952, 1954-1955, 1957, 1959-1960, 1962, 1969, 1973. 4 folders.
Minutes, 1949-1970. 14 folders.
Box 3 Newsletter, 1948-1958.
Overview, 1948.
Papers, 1950.
Papers, 1960.

Industrial Management Council

Box 3 The IMC and the YMCA, 1971.
Annual reports, 1971-1973, 1975-1976.
Constitutions, 1970-1976.
General files, 1971-1976. 21 folders.
Box 4 General files, 1976-1980. 16 folders.
Contains correspondence, reports and meeting minutes.
IMC Bulletin, 1972-1976. 2 folders.
Operation Drive, 1977-1978.
Procedural manual, 1970.


Box 4 Get Together Conference, 1913.
Stenographic report of conference of employers and employes in the northwest lumber industry and the YMCA held at the Fifth Pacific Logging Congress
Industrial Program Services, Holiday Hills conference, 1948.
Industrial conference planning manuals, 1949, 1953, 1957.
Industrial conferences, 1949.
Inter-club leadership development conference, undated.
Local industrial / management conferences, 1913-1968. 8 folders.
Long Island industrial branch Foreman's Forum, 1925.
Conference on foremanship, 1923.
Box 5 Industrial and immigration conference, program, 1910.
Industrial Department conference addresses, 1916.
Addresses given by John D. Rockefeller and Warren Stone.
Committee on work in war industries, conference report, 1918.
Gulf states industrial conference, 1946, 1949. 2 folders.
Kentucky / Tennessee industrial conference, 1948, 1968. 2 folders.
Local / Area industrial conferences, 1953. 3 folders.
Local Industrial / Management conferences, 1950s. 2 folders.
Silver Bay Human Relations in Industry Conference
Starting in 1917 and held at the Silver Bay Conference Center on Lake George, New York, the Human Relations in Industry Conference was an opportunity for industry management and laborers to meet and discuss labor topics. The bulk of the records are comprised of mixed correspondence, reports, summaries of conferences and addresses, and other background materials.
Box 12 Conference materials, 1919-1951. 37 folders.
Box 13 Conference materials, 1951-1962, 1968, 1973-1978. 38 folders.
Box 5 Conference materials,1928, 1932-1942, 1947, 1951-1956. 29 folders.
Box 6 Conference materials, 1957-1978. 23 folders.
Conference materials, 1964-1968, 1972, 1975. 16 folders.
Box 7 Conference materials, 1975-1978. 4 folders
Box 14 Attendance lists, 1969-1971, 1973-1976.
Company representation, 1937-1944, 1953-1958, 1969-1971, 1975. 2 folders.
Issues Forum, invitations sent, 1973-1976.
Registration lists, 1941-1944, 1946-1976. 5 folders.
Statistical and evaluation data, 1969.
William McFeely Memorial Fund, 1974-1978.

Print Materials

Box 7 Advance in Industrial Service, 1934.
Articles about YMCA industrial work, 1911-1926.
The Association Among Industrial Workers, undated.
Attitude survey, In My Opinion, undated.
Attitude survey, In My Opinion, summary reports, 1954.
Bay Association labor report, 1919.
College Man and the Industrial Worker, undated.
Colorado Fuel and Iron Industrial Bulletin, 1915-1925. 5 folders.
Colorado Fuel and Iron publications, 1916-1919.
Facts about Labor Leaders, Worker Opinions, White Collar Workers, Foremen's Unions, Public Opinion about Unions, 1946.
Guiding Principles, 1924.
The industrial services of the YMCA: a report of survey, 1945.
Labor relations, papers, 1948.
Local associations, print material, undated.
Papers regarding industrial problems, undated.
The Industrian, Troy, New York Industrial Club, 1943-1944.
Some Principles and Policies, Dangers and Actual Conditions of the Association's Work in Industrial Fields, undated.
Industrial Department, print materials, undated, 1891-1932. 15 folders.
The National Civic Federation Review, 1918, 1919.
News clippings, 1915-1926.
Box 8 Non-YMCA publications, 1891-1920. 2 folders.
Organization and Program of a Young Men's Industrial Club, 1957.
The Outreach, November 1911.
Pamphlets published by various YMCA departments, 1891-1921. 2 folders.
Program and opportunities among industrial people: report of a study among 18 YMCAs, 1956.
The Program of Recreation and Health in Industrial Fields, 1919.
Pueblo, 1979.
An excerpt from a longer work, outlining industrial work in Pueblo, Colorado.
Soldiers in Coveralls, 1942.
Steel Work Blast, 1923.
A study of 4 Industrial Management clubs, 1971.
Study of membership and program of the Industrial Management clubs, 1964.
Textile industry contributors, 1923, 1932.
The YMCA and the Church in War-Industry Communities, undated.
The YMCA and Industrial Betterment, 1909.

Association of Secretaries, Industrial Section

Box 8 Papers, reports, 1948.
Manuals for secretaries, 1946, 1953.
Manual, 1957.

Wells Memorial Institute for Workingmen

The Wells Memorial Institute for Workingmen was an organization similar to the YMCA, in that the Institute provided a library, a game room, lecture halls and bathing facilities. It also provided cooperative medical treatment and banks and building association. The Institute, however, was not affiliated with the YMCA.
Box 8 Annual reports, 1882-1883, 1886, 1888-1898, 1903. 3 folders.
Miscellaneous materials, 1890s.


Additional materials documenting the YMCA's industrial conferences can be found in the YMCA Education Work records (Y.USA.11), separately cataloged 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.
Adult Learning.
English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers.
Industrial relations.
Immigrants -- Services for.
Labor -- United States -- Congresses.
Working class -- Continuing education.
Working class -- Education.
Working class -- Physical training.
Working-men's clubs.
Association of Secretaries, Young Men's Christian Associations of North America. Industrial Section.
National Board of the Young Men's Christian Associations of North America. Industrial Work Dept.
International Management Council.
National Board of the Young Men's Christian Associations of North America. Industrial Work Dept.
Wells Memorial Institute.