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Kautz Family YMCA Archives

The YMCA, founded in London in 1844, is the oldest and largest social institution in the United States, where it has been active since 1851. The Kautz Family YMCA Archives collects the historical records of its national organization, the YMCA of the USA and also holds records of the Minneapolis and Greater New York YMCAs, as well as those of Y's Men International, a service club in partnership with the YMCA.

The collections document the evolution of the YMCA from its Protestant evangelical origins, including its contributions to Civil War relief, the invention of basketball and volleyball, public health campaigns in China, rural reconstruction in India and Korea, teaching English as a second language, and much more.

Collections currently in the UMedia Archive:

  • Emma Young Dickson Papers
    Scrapbook diaries of Emma Young Dickson, documenting her service with the YMCA in France during World War I. Finding aid available at http://purl.umn.edu/38285.
  • Foreign Secretary Reports from China
    Collection of over 1000 reports written by approximately 120 YMCA secretaries working across China between 1896 and 1949. The reports describe not only the progress of YMCA work in the various cities to which the secretaries were sent, but also local social conditions, politics, and more. Finding aid available at: http://archives.lib.umn.edu/repositories/7/resources/927.
  • Image Collection
  • New York YMCA Annual Reports
    Annual reports of the YMCA of the City of New York, YMCA of Greater New York, Brooklyn Young Men's Christian Association, and Brooklyn and Queens Young Men's Christian Association for the period 1852-2000. Reports include statistical summaries of programs, members and buildings amd also lists names of committee and board members as well as staff. Finding aid available at: http://purl.umn.edu/182344.
  • Records of YMCA International work in China, 1890-1991
    Subject files and portions of the correspondence and reports documenting YMCA work in China from the late 1890s to the late 1940s. Finding aid available at: http://archives.lib.umn.edu/repositories/7/resources/931.
  • Records of YMCA International Work in Palestine and Israel
    Correspondence, minutes, reports, financial records, architectural data and drawings, audio recordings, printed material, and other records of the work of the American YMCA movement in Palestine and Israel. The bulk of the files concern Jerusalem, with particularly rich documentation on the the construction of the YMCA's landmark West Jerusalem (Jerusalem International YMCA) building. Also included in the records are files concerning YMCA work in other areas of the region, especially East Jerusalem, as well as Peniel-by-Galilee, Nazareth, and other locales. Finding aid available at: http://archives.lib.umn.edu/repositories/7/resources/929.
  • Video and Audio Collection
  • Trench & Camp Newspaper - Camp Upton
    A nearly complete run of the Camp Upton (Long Island, N.Y.) edition of Trench and Camp, a newspaper published by the National War Work Council of the YMCA, in partnership with various city newspapers, for soldiers during WWI. The paper was printed in different editions for each of the many camps, with about half the material supplied weekly from a central editorial office, and half by local reporters. Its purpose was “to print the news, to inform, to stimulate, and to help relieve the tedium and monotony of camp life” for soldiers, as well as “to be a graphic account of the life of our soldiers, whether they be drilling or fighting, at home or ‘over there’” for civilians. In addition, each Trench and Camp was a channel of communication to the troops from the President, Congress, and War Department. Finding aid available at http://purl.umn.edu/130154.
  • YMCA of the USA Yearbooks and Directories, 1854-2002
    Finding aid available at http://purl.umn.edu/177927.