Skip to main content

Dalton McClelland papers

Identifier: Y.USA.28


The personal materials series contains general interest materials collected by McClelland, including quotes collected from various sources, newspaper clippings on subjects of interest, writings of McClelland's for inclusion in publications or YMCA circulation, a term paper written by McClelland, as well as materials on race relations in the YMCA and documents from the NAACP.

Personal interests contain materials from organizations and causes important to McClelland, including social justice, population control, the Mid-East and Asia and education.

Correspondence consists of primarily professional correspondence with YMCA secretaries around the world, as well as personal correspondence to McClelland's wife after his death.

YMCA work covers McClelland's career with the YMCA. Much of this material is organized under the named of the countries that were under his guidance as secretary-at-large, including India, where he also spent the beginning of his YMCA career. Also included are materials from his assignment as representative to the United Nations for the World Alliance of YMCAs.


  • 1915-1976
  • Majority of material found within ( 1950-1967).


Language of Materials


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.


Dalton Finley McClelland was born on September 10, 1890 in Cumberland, Ohio. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1912 and then pursued graduate study at the University of Chicago. He was married to Maud Kelsey in 1916 and together they had four children: Marion, William, Harry and Dalton, Jr.

His career with the YMCA began in 1915 when he joined the International Committee staff and went to India, where he was a student secretary. In 1917, he was appointed general secretary of the Madras YMCA, where he stayed until 1936. Under his guidance, an expanded and highly effective program made the Madras YMCA the leading association in India. In 1936 he handed over the leadership to a completely Indian staff to become associate general secretary of the Indian National Council. In 1940 he was chosen as the general secretary. A colleague said of McClelland: "In Madras he had more contacts with the leading non-Christians of that city than did any other Christian worker because he was a friend of everybody."

On October 1, 1945, McClelland assumed the office of executive secretary of the International Committee, a post he held until 1952. After his retirement from this post, he was appointed Secretary-at-Large for North Africa, the Middle East, and southern Asia for a period of three years. In this role he lived and traveled overseas, guiding YMCA secretaries as they entered new fields in Liberia, Ethiopia, Lebanon and Indonesia. His appointment was extended for a fourth year to assist with the Buildings for Brotherhood program.

In 1960 he accepted an invitation from the World Alliance of YMCAs to serve as its representative at the United Nations headquarters, a position he held until his death in 1967.


4.2 Cubic Feet (11 boxes)


Papers of Dalton McClelland, documenting his work as general secretary in India, special secretary of the YMCA International Committee for North Africa, the Middle East and Asia, as well as representative of the YMCA World Alliance to the United Nations.


These documents are organized into the following sections:

  1. Personal Materials
  2. Personal Interests
  3. Correspondence
  4. YMCA Work


The following book is separately catalogued in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives:

McClelland, Dalton F. World Revolution, the College Student, and the YMCA

Processing Information:

Audio/visual materials removed from this collection include 32 photographs and 2 blueprints (Rangoon, Burma and Cairo, Egypt).

Material in this collection was formerly cataloged as part of the YMCA Biographical Files.

Processed by: Chan Harries, February 2005.

Catalog Record ID number: 4510995

An Inventory of His Papers
Finding aid prepared by Chan Harries.
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