Young Men's Christian Association, University Branch records, 1892-1968  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Young Men's Christian Association (Seattle, Wash.). University Branch
Title
Young Men's Christian Association, University Branch records
Dates
1892-1968 (inclusive)
Quantity
5.38 cubic feet (8 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Collection Number
2126 (Accession No. 2126-003)
Summary
Records of the YMCA (Seattle, Wash.) University Branch, documenting its programs, activism, buildings, and members.
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.

Additional Reference Guides

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The University Branch of the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) was founded September 8, 1888, when the University of Washington campus was located in downtown Seattle. It was the first student organization at the university, and it functioned primarily as a religious organization. The YMCA was reorganized several times in its early years, but there is little documentation from that period. By 1900 the University Branch had more steady contact with the national organization and began to integrate itself into the campus community.

In 1910 the YMCA moved into the Arctic Brotherhood building, a log structure on the present campus. In the teens the Y began to grow substantially, from 260 members in 1912 to 710 in 1916. Members were very active in local issues, including labor, immigrant education, grammar school athletics, and the Big Brothers organization. General Secretary Charles L. Maxfield was the first professional to hold the position of secretary in the University Branch of the YMCA. He was instrumental in the campaign to build Eagleson Hall.

The YMCA had been a strong presence on campus, but with a change in university policies during the 1920s concerning the separation of church and state, it became necessary for the YMCA to find a new home. A suitable site was found, and members undertook an agressive fundraising drive. After many pleas for contributions to the building fund, Maxfield secured a $10,000 grant from John D. Rockerfeller. In March 1923, Eagleson Hall was dedicated, completed at a cost of $100,000, including furnishings. It remained the home of the YMCA until it was sold to the university in 1963.

Throughout the 1930s the YMCA was considered a radical organization due to its involvement in issues concerning global peace and free speech. It was a vital part of the lives not only of many students but also of servicemen who received training on campus during World War II. During the war, the YMCA was active in opposing the incarceration of Japanese Americans. Criticisms of the YMCA's liberal actions were heard again in 1962, when the organization defended its decision to rent a room to students who had invited communist leader Gus Hall to speak. The university had rejected requests to let Hall speak on campus, and the YMCA came under the scrutiny of the national organization for its decision.

In 1940 the YWCA University Branch moved into Eagleson Hall. Attempts to connect the two groups in the 1920s had failed, as the YMCA perceived the YWCA as too feminist for a successful partnership. During the time that the YMCA and YWCA were housed together, however, they worked closely. Both organizations left Eagleson Hall in 1963.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The records contain minutes, correspondence, handbooks, newsletters, reports, programs, subject series, ephemera, and financial records from 1892 to 1968. The bulk of the records are from the 1920s through the 1940s. Among the earlier items are student handbooks that were instrumental in publicizing the organization to University of Washington students. Records include extensive minutes that document board of trustees and other meetings. The minutes were bound together and have not been separated. The Subject Series contains information on specific topics and activities of interest to the organization, such as campus buildings, Gus Hall's speaking engagement, and Japanese student civil rights.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

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Restrictions on Use

The creators' literary rights have not been transferred to the University of Washington Libraries. Contact the Special Collections division, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Administrative RecordsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1-2
Historical Features
1928-1968, undated
1/3
Organizational Features
undated
General Correspondence
Box/Folder
1/4
Council of North American Student Movements, Students' Friendship War Fund (Gale Seaman)
1917
1/5
Miscellaneous, A-Z
1915-1946
Minutes
Box/Folder
1/6-2/4
Cabinet
1912-1952
2/5-12
Board of Trustees
1953-1963
Reports
Box/Folder
2/13
Annual Reports
1923-1936
box:oversize
4
Certification
1909-1930
Box/Folder
2/14
Missionary Team
1918
2/15-19
Miscellaneous
1916-1961
box:oversize
Misc. Oversize Box 7
Statistical Charts
1952
Box/Folder
2/20
Policies
1934-1958
Newsletters
Box/Folder
2/21-22
YMCA
1930-1964
2/23
YMCA Alumni
1935-1939
2/24
Other Organizations
1940-1964
Box/Folder
2/25-27
Financial Records
1914-1945
2/28
Speeches and Writings
undated
Programs
Box/Folder
2/29-32
International Banquet
1920-1966
2/33
Other
1900-1943
Box/Folder
2/34
Photograph (Duplicate)
2/35
Conferences and Conventions
1923
Subject Series
Major topics covered in the Subject Series are the building of Eagleson Hall, the rental of Y facilities for a speaking engagement of communist leader Gus Hall, and the building and dedication of the Thompson Memorial Library. Records pertaining to Eagleson Hall include donation appeals written to John D. Rockerfeller and the responses of his secretary, Mr. W.S. Richardson.During the forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans from the West Coast in World War II, the YWCA actively supported Japanese students and tried to protect the civil rights of other Japanese members of the Seattle community. Of particular interest are letters written by YMCA member Tosh Fukushima from an internment camp.
Eagleson Hall
General Correspondence
Box/Folder
3/1
Rockerfeller, John D.
1920-1923
3/2
Suzzallo, Henry
1921-1923
3/3
Miscellaneous
1920-1930
Box/Folder
3/4
Minutes
ca. 1920-1930
3/5
Reports
ca. 1920-1930
Lists
Box/Folder
3/6
Committee Members
undated
3/7
Subscriptions
1924-1925
Box/Folder
3/8
Speeches and Writings
undated
3/9
Legal Documents
1921-1926
3/10
Booklets
undated
3/11
Ephemera
1892-1921
3/12
Clippings
1923
Box/Folder
3/13-14
Fiftieth Anniversary
1938
Gus Hall Rental
Box/Folder
3/15
Interorganizational Correspondence -- National Student Council of YMCAs
1962
3/16
General Correspondence
1962-1963
3/17
Statements and Policies
1962
3/18
Notes
undated
3/19
Applications
1962
3/20
News Releases
1962
3/21
Clippings
1962
Box/Folder
3/22-24
International Relations
1936-1940
Japanese Student Relocation
Incoming Letters
Box/Folder
3/25
Fukushima, Tosh
1943
Box/Folder
3/26
General Correspondence
1942-1943
3/27
Minutes
1942-1944
3/28
Reports
1942-1944
3/29
Newsletters
1943-1944
3/30
Conferences and Conventions
1937
3/31
Surveys
1942
3/32
Speeches and Writings
1942-1943, undated
3/33
Directory
1943
3/34
Ephemera
undated
3/35
Clippings
1942-1943
Box/Folder
3/36
Religion and the State University
1947-1960
3/37
Swygaard Fund
1935-1936
3/38-40
Thompson Memorial Library
1936
3/41
Wing Luke Memorial
1966
Lists
Box/Folder
3/42
Alumni
1927-1942, undated
3/43
Board of Trustees
1925-1965, undated
3/44
Cabinet Members
1923-1968, undated
3/45
Committee Members
1928-1936, undated
3/46
Mothers' Tea
1934
Box/Folder
3/47
Ephemera
1931-1952
Handbooks
Box
5-6
Student Handbooks
1895-1933
Box/Folder
3/48
Washington Men
1931-1933
Box/Folder
3/49
Loan Documents
1914
3/50
Clippings
1914-1965
Scrapbooks
box:oversize
4
Scrapbook
1903-1939
7
Scrapbook
1924-1932, 1952-1953
8
Scrapbook
1929-1938

Foundation for International Understanding Through Students, 1948Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 3/51

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Christian college students--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Christian college students--Washington (State)--Seattle--Political activity
  • Christian college students--Washington (State)--Seattle--Societies, etc
  • College buildings--Washington (State)
  • Freedom of speech--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
  • Japanese Americans--Washington (State)--Seattle--Civil rights
  • Male college students--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Male college students--Washington (State)--Seattle--Political activity
  • Male college students--Washington (State)--Seattle--Societies, etc
  • Corporate Names :
  • Eagleson Hall (Seattle, Wash.)
  • University of Washington--Societies, etc
  • Young Men's Christian Association (Seattle, Wash.). University Branch--Archives
  • Geographical Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Scrapbooks

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)