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  • From the Collection: 1863-1989


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be 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 necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

The structure and name of the umbrella organization of the YMCA in the United States changed over the years, but the need for a national coordinating body was apparent almost from the beginnings of the organization in North America in 1851. Starting in 1854, annual national conventions, held under the auspices of the Executive Committee, were in charge of coordination on the national level. In 1879 the Executive Committee changed its name to the International Committee and in 1883 was incorporated as the permanent, centralized agency for the North American YMCA movement. In 1912 the Canadian associations split from the International Committee and formed their own organization. In 1923 the domestic work of the International Committee was taken over by the newly formed General Board (later National Board). The International Committee continued until 1936 when it was absorbed by the National Council. In 1981, following the move of the headquarters from New York to Chicago, the organization incorporated under the name YMCA of the USA. One constant amid the changes was the autonomy of individual associations. The national organization, whatever it was called, seldom became involved in local operations, a principle that exists to this day.

Language of Materials


Collecting Area Details

Contact The Kautz Family YMCA Archives Collecting Area