- March 2013
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- December 2012
- October 2012
- August 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- September 2011
- June 2011
- January 2011
- Need Money to Travel to the Archives? Apply Now for the Clarke Chambers Fellowship
- 50 Jr. High students from Olson Middle School visit the archives
- The YMCA in Africa
- Explore the History of a University: George Williams College
- Now Online and in Print: Over 1,000 Reports of YMCA Work in China
- Travel Fellowship Available to Visit the Archives
- Full Text of WWI Newspaper Now Online
- Finding Pamphlets in the YMCA Archives
- Limited Service the Week of January 3-6, 2012
- Supporting the YMCA Movement in China
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News from the Kautz Family YMCA Archives, University of Minnesota.
March 26, 2013
January 31, 2013
50 Jr. High students from Olson Middle School visit the archives
On January 11th Andersen Library was pleased to welcome 50 students from Olson Middle school, Bloomington, MN. These 6th and 7th graders who are preparing for History Day projects learned about primary sources and toured the facilities. One parent - and past researcher - sent us the following note:
"Thank you for the great presentation to the Olson Middle School students on January 11. My daughters Claire and Amelia loved it--they are already history fans, so I am very glad for them to have every opportunity to develop their interest in this subject."
We were glad to have them!
Photo: Meredith Gillies - Children's Literature Research Collection - explains how to "read" a primary source document
December 3, 2012
The YMCA in Africa
The first YMCA in Africa was founded in Liberia in 1881, and the American YMCA was working to spread the movement on that continent as early as 1890. Records of YMCA international work in 25 different African countries are available at the Kautz Family YMCA Archives. The most extensive collections document work in Egypt, Ethiopia, Liberia, Nigeria, and South Africa, but there are also records of YMCA work in Angola, Cameroon, The Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Programs in Africa sponsored by the YMCA focused primarily on youth, who formed the majority of its population and were seen as representing Africa's future. YMCA youth development programs in Africa included health education, vocational training, crafting development, small business development, rural development, family planning, refugee assistance and rehabilitation, environmental protection, youth sports projects, youth job development, leadership training, young women training and education and camp programs that included farm training.
Another area of focus for YMCA work in the continent of Africa was the continual problems brought about by war and drought. Many YMCA relief efforts were continuously underway in Africa, and many occasions where the YMCA either asked assistance from outside agencies or simply made them aware of the problems that Africa was facing and suggested that they get involved. Among the agencies that the YMCA worked with were USAID (United States Agency for International Development), Africare, UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), the Red Cross and the Peace Corps, to name a few. The Y's Men International was also quite helpful to the relief efforts and the individual YMCAs in Africa. The YMCA's relief work played a significant role in the survival of the African citizens at times, and established the organization as a trusted agency concerned with the well being of Africans.
Photo: Picture of the Month - December 1969 ,YMCA World Service. Caption: "Towards a brighter future in Nigeria: While the civil war rages on, Nigeria's YMCA continues to provide some of the more 'normal' experiences of childhood for increasing numbers of the nations youth. In the Kaduna Y, where library books are a big attraction for some, the YMCA is housed in a church from which all the members have fled and become refugees." Kautz Family YMCA Archives. http://purl.umn.edu/77380
October 17, 2012
Explore the History of a University: George Williams College
Did you know the YMCA started several colleges and universities? The YMCA was a pioneer in many areas of education, including night schools, English as a second language instruction, and vocational education. In addition, at least two institutions of higher learning still operating today, Northeastern University in Boston and Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts, can trace their roots to the Y. George Williams College, founded in 1886 as a summer training institute for the Y and established in 1890 as a degree-granting institution of higher learning, was absorbed by Aurora College in 1987 but its 100+ year history is documented at the Kautz Family YMCA Archives, where its historical records can be found.
Records of George Williams College at the archives include everything from administrative records, to college yearbooks, to course catalogs. They include extensive material documenting the 1965 move of the campus from the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago to a new campus in suburban Downer's Grove, Illinois. They even include over 1300 dissertations and theses written by students over the course of 90 years on topics ranging from religion and church history to physical education and kinesiology to social, group, and youth work. Learn more by checking out the finding aid for the collection.
Photo: Experiment in blood pressure at George Williams College, c. 1920s-1930s. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. http://purl.umn.edu/101940
August 7, 2012
Now Online and in Print: Over 1,000 Reports of YMCA Work in China
We are excited to announce that our extensive collection of reports on YMCA work in China has been digitized and is now available online! (See below for details on how to search.) The reports, written by 243 YMCA foreign secretaries during the period from 1896 to 1949, document social conditions, politics, and other events as well as the progress of YMCA work in cities across the country. Due to the time period they document, their rich content, and the fact that the material is in English, this material has long been the single most heavily used part of the YMCA Archives collections. The reports, along with other material on YMCA work in China have frequently attracted researchers from around the world, including China itself, to the archives. More information on this collection and other extensive materials on YMCA work in China is available online in our Guide to Resources on YMCA Work in China
To search the digitized reports, select the "Images/Media" tab in the search box and limit your search to "Reports on China." To locate the exact page(s) in a report where your key words appear, select a report and repeat the search using the "search within item" box near the top of the screen.
In related news, the Guangxi Normal University Press just released a print version of the digitized reports in a twenty volume set. The publication, which was coordinated by former University of Minnesota East Asian Librarian Su Chen and prepared in close cooperation with the Archives, reproduces the reports alongside abstracts in Chinese. It also includes short biographical sketches, in English and Chinese, of the many YMCA secretaries who served in China.
Between the digital versions available online and the print version published in China, we are optimistic that this important and fascinating material will reach an even wider audience.
March 2, 2012
Travel Fellowship Available to Visit the Archives
February 22, 2012
Full Text of WWI Newspaper Now Online
A nearly complete run of Trench and Camp, a newspaper published by the YMCA for army camps during World War I is now available online via the University of Minnesota's UMedia Archive. The full text of the Camp Upton (Long Island, New York) edition can be searched from the "Images/Media" tab on the YMCA Archives web site (for best results, limit the search to Trench & Camp newspaper). You can also browse through the issues via UMedia or via a list of links from the YMCA Archives' finding aid for Trench and Camp newspaper.
Trench and Camp was printed weekly in different editions for each of the thirty-two cantonments, with about half the material supplied weekly from a central editorial office in New York, and half by local reporters. Its purpose was "to print the news, to inform, to stimulate, and to help relieve the tedium and monotony of camp life" for soldiers, as well as "to be a graphic account of the life of our soldiers, whether they be drilling or fighting, at home or 'over there'" for civilians. Contributions from soldiers include descriptions of the entertainments at the camps, athletic contests, educational lectures, jokes, and poetry, as well as personal columns telling of their experiences. The YMCA Archives collections include runs, in varying degrees of completeness, for thirty different editions from across the country.
January 26, 2012
Finding Pamphlets in the YMCA Archives
A list of over 2,000 pamphlets in the YMCA Archives is now available online. The succinct communication form of the pamphlet allowed the YMCA to craft targeted messages for targeted audiences. This collection wonderfully illustrates the evolution of the YMCA's scope of work and audience. The development of work from the YMCA safeguarding the soul of man as described by "The Call and the Qualifications. Christian Work Among Young Men. When and How To Do It" (1883, by E. Corwin. [Box 1]) over time became a community approach to the development of the whole individual, as outlined in "Parents Co-Operate. The Role of Parents in YMCA Boys' Work" (1945 [Box 3]).
This collection presents an opportunity for researchers and YMCA professionals to access the pamphlets, many of which are available no where else, for the first time. Up until now the Archives have had no listing or index of this material.
December 2, 2011
Limited Service the Week of January 3-6, 2012
The Department of Archives and Special Collections (including the YMCA Archives) will be providing limited service the first week of January 2012. January 3-6 ASC will not be registering new researchers or pulling any materials for research use. Researchers who have registered with us by December 15 and have materials already available in the reading room will be accommodated. The reading room will be open 8:30-4:30 M-F beginning Monday, January 9. Wednesday and Thursday evening hours resume January 18.
Please also note: We are completely closed on December 26 and 27 as well as January 2nd. See our hours web page for more details.
December 1, 2011
Supporting the YMCA Movement in China
The YMCA in Wuhan, China, marked its 100th anniversary this year, and YMCA Archivist Lara Friedman-Shedlov was there to help celebrate the milestone. Founded in the same year (and in the same city) as the revolution that ended Qing dynasty and established the first republic in China, the Wuhan YMCA boasts a rich history of service in the community. Like most of the YMCAs currently active in China, it traces its roots to the workers (known as "foreign secretaries") sent by the American YMCA to spread the movement to Asia and other parts of the world. The records of those early years of the Chinese YMCA are now housed at the Kautz Family YMCA Archives, where they are available to researchers from around the World. Since of the Chinese Y's own records did not survive the Cultural Revolution and other political upheavals of the mid-20th century, the records in the YMCA Archives' collections have in many cases been a key resource for these Ys as they try to reconstruct their past. The YMCA Archives was pleased to be able to provide records and photographs to assist the Wuhan YMCA in researching its 100-year history and delighted to have a staff member in attendance at the celebration, which was held on October 26th.
Photo:Wuhan YMCA General Secretary Tu Hanqiao and YMCA Archivist Lara Friedman-Shedlov at the Wuhan YMCA 100th anniversary celebration
September 1, 2011
Need to Get to the Archives? Research Fellowship Available
These days more and more archival material is available online. While we are working on a number of projects to digitize significant parts of the collection, the vast majority is still in hard copy only and requires a visit to our facility at the University of Minnesota to access. The good news is that there is funding available to assist with the cost of traveling here.
Applications are now being accepted for the Elmer L. Andersen Research Scholars Program, which provides up to $2,000 for travel, housing, and other research related costs for scholarly research projects using materials from any of the Libraries' Archives and Special Collections. All the details are available here.
June 13, 2011
YMCA Archives Hosts Teens
The Summer History Immersion Program, a joint effort between the National History Day program and Archives and Special Collections, will be starting Monday June 13, 2011. For two weeks , eleven high school sophomores and juniors will go through a rigorous program of research and character development. Modeled off of the National History Day program, these students will delve into the history of the YMCA and produce a poster board showing what they have learned. While our explicit goal is to have the students conduct original research and create a final product, the real goal is college readiness, as most of these students would be first generation college students.
Thank you to the University YMCA, One Stop, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the wonderful staff in Wilson Library, Minitex, and the Immigration History Research Center, whose contributions of time and talent will ensure that this pilot year will be a success.
If you are curious to see what these young scholars produce, all are invited to attend the research showcase on Monday, June 27, 2011 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm in room 120, Andersen Library.
January 31, 2011
Research Presentation: Winners and Losers of the Master Strategy to Evangelize the World in One Generation
Join us for a presentation by visiting researcher John Heavens
Monday, 7 March 2011, 12 noon -1pm
Elmer L. Andersen Library Room 120
Light refreshments will be served
During the early decades of the twentieth century, a generation of North American YMCA secretaries dedicated their lives to service in China, achieving a degree of inﬂuence upon a rapidly modernizing Chinese society that was out of all proportion to the numbers of men in the ﬁeld. The watchword, popularized by the YMCAʼs master-strategist and most prolific fund-raiser, John R. Mott, was the ʻevangelization of the world in one generation.ʼ However, by the mid-ʻ20s, the International Committee which coordinated the overseas missions struggled with a series of debilitating ﬁnancial crises which necessitated the demobilization of men and the termination of programs, so that by 1935, only a handful of secretaries remained in China. This presentation examines why John Mott ʻturned deaf earsʼ to the International Committee during the 1930s and who were the winners and losers of his strategy.
At 47 years of age, John Heavens describes himself as a 'born-again academic,' having spent his working life in the construction industry. At the end of a long haul of self-reinvention, he is now a registered PhD candidate in the Faculty of History at the University of Cambridge and a member of St John's College. His mission is to understand the role of religion in American responses to modernity and cultural exchange. As part of that broader project, he is initially focusing upon the foreign work in China of the YMCA International Committee, thereby explicating the complex relationship between American liberal progressivism and religious missions.