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Union Chrétienne de Jeunes Gens de New York (French Branch YMCA) records

 Collection
Identifier: Y.GNY.29

SCOPE AND CONTENTS OF THE COLLECTION

The collection of the French branch of the New York YMCA records consists of minutes of the Comité Administratif, printed material that includes advertising cards, event tickets, brochures and announcements. Also included are annual reports, correspondence, newspaper clippings and governing documents. The primary language of the materials is French.

Dates

  • 1889-1929.

Creator

Language of Materials

French, English

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.

HISTORY OF FRENCH BRANCH YMCA

The French branch of the YMCA in New York City was established in 1889. However, its roots went back to 1882, when some members of the l'Église Évangélique Française de New York on West 16th Street formed the Union Chrétienne. The effort to establish YMCA branches targeted at specific language groups was spearheaded by James Stokes, a long time benefactor of the YMCA and an advocate of strengthening the links between the American YMCA and associations abroad. Funding was secured to send the first French-speaking secretary to Springfield College for training. Although there were several other YMCA branches targeting French-speaking young men in the U.S., the New York City branch, known as Union Chrétienne de Jeunes Gens de New York, was the only really successful YMCA effort directed at the French-speaking population.

The branch had several locations during its years of operation. An early location was 128 West 23rd Street. 112 and 114 West 21st Street, near Sixth Avenue, was the branch's home during the late 1890s. By 1902 the branch was housed at 49 West 24th Street. By 1905 the branch location was 109 West 54th Street, where it remained until the branch closed in 1929.

The branch offered fencing, bowling, French and English classes, lectures, a library, a literary society, Bible study clases, billiards, and employment bureau and other events and activities. Members could rent rooms, eat in the restaurant and obtain medical consultations. Ladies were often admitted to events and classes. The branch also operated a program for young teens, called Section Cadette, for boys ages 10 to 16. One of the stated reasons for the formation of the group was to help French-speaking young men in New York City preserve their language abilities.

The branch closed in the fall of 1929. This occurred due to the condition of the building, which had become "greatly deteriorated", and because changes in U.S. immigration laws in the 1920s reduced the number of French-speaking young men in the city. The New York YMCA determined that the building should be sold and the work incorporated into an International Branch.

(Information taken from the collection)

Extent

2 Cubic Feet (6 boxes)

Abstract

Collected minutes, advertising cards, event tickets, correspondence, committee records, annual reports and newspaper clippings from the French Branch of the YMCA of New York City.

ORGANIZATION/ARRANGEMENT OF THE RECORDS

These documents are organized into the following sections:

  1. Administrative Records
  2. Annual Reports
  3. Program Materials

Physical Location

See Detailed Description section for box listing.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Louise Merriam, March 2012.

Catalog Record ID number: 6283470

Title
UNION CHRETIENNE DE JEUNES GENS DE NEW YORK (FRENCH BRANCH YMCA):
Subtitle
An Inventory of Its Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Louise Merriam.
Date
2012
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Kautz Family YMCA Archives Collecting Area

Contact:

612-625-3445