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YMCA of Greater New York miscellaneous records and audio-visual material

Identifier: Y.GNY.86


The collection consists primarily of materials from the period after the merger of the Brooklyn and Queens Young Men's Christian Association and the YMCA of the City of New York in 1956. Items include records, photographs, and audiovisual material related to events such as the World's Fair, General Assembly, 150th anniversary, Big Apple Circus and other events.

Material related to staff includes an affirmative action audit, staff meeting agendas, and procedure and policy mannuals. Program materials include information about aquatics and camping, including day camps. Most material related to branches is general in nature but includes some periodic reports from individual branches. The collection also includes some financial material, including items related to the tax status of the YMCA. Audiovisual items include videos, films, and audiotapes for program and event promotion as well as some computer disks.


  • 1957-2014


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.


The YMCA of Greater New York formed when the YMCA of the City of New York and the Brooklyn and Queens Young Men's Christian Association merged in 1957. Founded in 1852, the YMCA in Manhattan, called the Young Men's Christian Association of the City of New York, eventually expanded to include the Bronx. The YMCA in Brooklyn,founded in 1853, merged with independent YMCAs in the borough of Queens in 1924 to form the Brooklyn and Queens Young Men's Christian Association. Although people in Staten Island requested a Y branch from the New York City association in the late 1920s, no building was constructed until 1957. Before then, YMCA programs on Staten Island were offered in a variety of rented spaces. The merger of YMCA operations in the five boroughs of New York City created one of the largest YMCAs in the world.

After the merger, the Y in New York City made changes that streamlined services and eliminated duplicate programs. It also began a major initiative focused on youth. This continued into the 1960s and 1970s, when the YMCA of Greater New York became an important provider of grant-funded programs that tackled juvenile delinquency and other societal problems. Increasingly, the Y partnered with other organizations that shared its values to develop joint programming; YMCA-YWCA Daycare, Inc., formed in the 1980s, was one of these efforts.

Although the Y over the years since 1957 has consolidated branches in response to the changing needs of communities in the city, it also expanded the number of program centers in the city. Typically located in schools and community centers, these centers offer after-school, literacy, athletic and other programs that take the Y to the neighborhoods. In 2016, the YMCA of Greater New York operated more than 70 off-site program centers. It also provided six New Americans Welcome Centers, continuing its long tradition of assisting immigrants.

Taken from annual reports and from the collection.


47.5 Cubic Feet (70 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection contains administrative materials, brochures and other printed matter related to programs and events, policy and procedure manuals, general materials about branches, staff meeting agendas and minutes, materials related to programs such as camping and aquatics, printed program material for award dinners and anniversary celebrations, reports and publications. Also included are miscellaneous audio and video items, primarily publicity spots for broadcast media.

Related Materials

See also Records of the YMCA of the City of New York, separately catalogued at and New York YMCA Photographs, separately catalogued at

Processing Information

Catalog Record ID number: 9975603102001701.Mostly unprocessed.

An Inventory of its Records
Louise Merriam
October 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Kautz Family YMCA Archives Collecting Area