Archives and Special Collections
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Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids

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Collection Overview
Title:Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Boston, West Roxbury/Roslindale Branch records
Date:1948-1995 (bulk 1951-1970)
Location Code:66/3, FF5/D1
Reference Code:M62
Extent:3.52 cubic ft. (7 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:The records of YMCA of Greater Boston, West Roxbury/Roslindale Branch document the organization's administrative, religious, social, educational, community activities. Some of these activities include adult informal education classes: square dancing, beginner swimming lessons, tennis lessons, and bridge instruction. The collection also contains information on the branch's clubs, including the Y's Men's Club, Senior Citizens Club, and Yankee Flippers Diving Club. Also documented are the construction of the original building, the addition of the pool building, and the gymnasium. Of special interest are the records of YMCA Week, a nation-wide event in which local branches planned major programs, developed creative ways to tell the YMCA story in their areas, and sponsored ads on local radio and TV stations. Branches also nominated a local family as the "YMCA Family of the Year."
Historical Abstract:In 1941, the West Roxbury Citizen's Association met with the leaders of the YMCA of Greater Boston to try to solve the growing problem of juvenile delinquency in their neighborhood. In 1942, with the help of William MacCormick, West Roxbury had its first YMCA club. Meetings were held wherever they could find the available space: churches, cellars, schools, and playing fields. By 1945, the activities included club meetings, sports, and a day camp for boys in the Blue Hills Reservation. In 2001, the West Roxbury-Roslindale branch of the YMCA focused on children and the elderly. It is a large provider of after-school care for schools in West Roxbury, Roslindale, and Dedham. Other programs offered include adult and youth sports, aquatics, fitness, and a comprehensive active older adult program.
Language and Scripts:
Arrangement:Organized into 2 series: 1. Administrative Files and 2. Subject Files.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Boston
  • Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Boston. West Roxbury/Roslindale Branch

  • Young Men's Christian Associations -- Administration
  • Young Men's Christian Associations -- Finance
  • Young Men's Christian Associations -- Membership
  • Youth -- Societies and Clubs

Restrictions:The collection is unrestricted.
Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.
Related Materials:

Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Boston records (M13)

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Cat Lea, January 2001

Scope and Content Note

The records of YMCA of Greater Boston, West Roxbury-Roslindale Branch document the organization's administrative, religious, social, educational, and community activities. Some of these activities include the many adult informal education classes: square dancing, beginner swimming lessons, tennis lessons, and classes to improve one's bridge game. This collection also contains information on the clubs the branch offered such as the Y's Men's Club, the Senior Citizens Club, and the Yankee Flippers Diving Club. Also documented are the construction of the original building, the addition of the pool building, and the gymnasium.

Of special interest are the records of YMCA Week. This was a nation-wide event, but each community was responsible for its YMCA week activities. The national board offered special church bulletins that could be passed out on the Sunday of YMCA week. Branches were urged to set up a special YMCA Week Committee, to have at least one major program activity planned for the week, come up with fresh ways to tell the YMCA story in the area, and order national aids for the local radio and TV stations. Each branch nominated a local family as the "YMCA Family of the Year."

Historical Note

In 1941 the West Roxbury Citizens' Association met with the leaders of the YMCA of Greater Boston to try to solve the growing problem of juvenile delinquency in their neighborhood. In 1942, with the help of William MacCormick, West Roxbury had its first 'Y' club. Meetings were held wherever they could find the available space: churches, cellars, schools, and playing fields.  By 1945 the activities included club meetings, sports, and a day camp for boys in the Blue Hills Reservation.

In 1948 a campaign drive to construct a permanent building began with the help of the Boston YMCA, which raised $500. Community support was strong, and in 1950 the building at 15 Bellevue Street was erected, costing $110,000. The West Roxbury-Roslindale branch of the YMCA was dedicated on March 18, 1951. In the first five years of existence, 1,000 people joined, and the programs were expanded to include canoe trips for older boys, day camps for girls, Camp Stay Home for younger children, and a variety of adult programs.

During 1952 the Board of Managers began to investigate the possibility of building an addition onto 15 Bellevue Street, which would include a pool. In 1955 a building committee was formed, and in 1956 the West Roxbury-Roslindale branch of the YMCA initiated a capital funds campaign for the addition. The ground breaking ceremony was held on January 26, 1958, and the building was dedicated on October 19, 1958.  In 1971 a new gymnasium building was added to the structure at 15 Bellevue Street.

Today, the West Roxbury-Roslindale branch of the YMCA focuses on children and the elderly. It is a large provider of after-school care for schools in West Roxbury, Roslindale, and Dedham. Other programs offered include adult and youth sports, aquatics, fitness, and a comprehensive active older adult program.

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Series:

1. Administrative Files, 1948-1995
Volume:3.17 cubic ft.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical
Summary:

This series comprises the records created by the administration, and it documents clubs, finance, fund raising activities, and the physicalplant. Materials include meeting minutes and agendas, annual reports, budgets, the staff development committee meetings, correspondence, and fund raising records.
BoxTitleDate
Administration
1Annual Meetings (4 folders)1952-1963
1Annual Reports (with gaps) (4 folders)1951-1976
1Board of Directors (4 folders)1954-1964
1Board of Managers (18 folders)n.d., 1952-1975
5Boston Executive Committee1962
1Boston-Wide YMCA Staff1960-1961
1Branch Council (2 folders)1951-1962
1By-laws1957
1-2Executive Cabinet Meetings (4 folders)1954, 1962-1969
2Membership Campaign (3 folders)1953-1962
2Monthly Statistical Reports (4 folders)1960-1963
2Nominating Committee (4 folders)1951-1962
2Physical Education Policy1963
2Statistics (2 folders)1950-1955, 1960
Clubs
2Parkway Seniors Club1966-1968
2Senior Citizens Club (3 folders)1963-1984
2Senior Citizens Groupn.d., 1957-1960
2Y's Men's Clubn.d., 1958-1963
5Y's Men's Club Newsletter (6 folders)1960-1963
2Yankee Flippers Diving Club1961-1962
Finance
2, 5Budget (with gaps) (11 folders)1952-1969, 1995
2Financial Analysis1970-1971
2Membership Budget1994
Fund Raising
2Addition Campaign1957
2, 5Capital Funds Campaign (4 folders)n.d., 1952-1957
2Furnishing Drive1950-1952
Physical Plant
2, 5General (2 folders)1948-1959
3Addition (2 folders)1952-1969
FF5/D1Architectural Drawings of 1957 Addition1955
3Building Committee1961
3Building Use Policies1953, 1963
3Maintenance1961-1962
Staff
3Development Committee (6 folders)1961-1963, 1970
3Meetings (5 folders)1960-1968
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Series:

2. Subject Files, 1955-1971
Volume:1.07 cubic ft.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical
Summary:

The Subject Files consists of the `Y' programs that all branches of the Greater Boston YMCA participated in such as the Boston Staff Annual Conference Committee, World Service, and the various summer camps available to boys and girls in the New England area, including resident camps, day camps, and Camp Stay-Home for younger children. Materials include the `Y' Tattler, a newsletter with the program schedules for that time period, meeting minutes and agendas, correspondence, and the camp budgets.

This collection also contains photographs from various events in the history of the West Roxbury/Roslindale branch of the YMCA. Included are Governor Herter signing the YMCA week proclamation of 1956, the 2nd place Eastern District swimming team of 1962, and the `YMCA Family of the Year' of 1959, chosen as part of YMCA week.
BoxTitleDate
3Adult Informal Education (2 folders)1960-1961
3Adult Program Committee (3 folders)1961, 1963
3Adult Programs (2 folders)1963-1964
3Association of Secretaries (2 folders)1960-1962
3Boston Staff, Annual Conference Committee1961
3Camping1960-1961
3Day Camps (3 folders)1960-1961, 1966
3Greater Boston YMCA Guidelines1967
3Newspaper Clippings (2 folders)1956-1974
3-4, 6-7Photographs (17 folders)n.d., 1956-1997
4Senior Leaders Corps1959-1960
4World Service (3 folders)1955-1963
4YMCA Youth and Government Program198?
4YMCA Measured Mile Program1963
4YMCA Week (5 folders)1954-1963
4Youth Church Activities1956-1960
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