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Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Boston records

 Unprocessed — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Z16-070

Content Description

The collection contains financial and legal records pertaining to endowment funds. The collection is unprocessed. The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) of Greater Boston was the first YMCA chapter in North America. It was founded in 1851 by Captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan (1800-1859), an American seaman and missionary. He was influenced by the London YMCA and saw the association as an opportunity to provide a "home away from home" for young sailors on shore leave. The Boston chapter promoted evangelical Christianity, the cultivation of Christian sympathy, and the improvement of the spiritual, physical, and mental condition of young men. By 1853, the Boston YMCA had 1,500 members, most of whom were merchants and artisans. Members paid an annual membership fee to use the facilities and services of the association. Because of political, physical, and population changes in Boston during the second half of the century, the Boston YMCA established branch divisions to satisfy the needs of local neighborhoods. From its early days, the Boston YMCA offered educational classes. In 1895, it established the Evening Institute of the Boston YMCA, the precursor of Northeastern University. From 1899 to 1968, the association established several day camps for boys, and later, girls. Since 1913, the Boston YMCA has been located on Huntington Avenue. It continues to offer social, educational, and community programs, and presently maintains 31 branches and centers. Accessioned 2016 Jun 03. Add to M13. 45/1

Restrictions Apply


Access Restrictions

Records are closed for 25 years from their date of creation.

Use Restrictions

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.


  • ca. 1956-2003


1.50 cubic feet (1.50 cubic feet in 2 record center cartons.)