Indianapolis Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)

Indianapolis Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)
3 Manuscript Boxes

Manuscripts & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library

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Processed by:  Amy C. Belcher, September 2003

Organizational Note:

The Indianapolis Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) formed in 1854.  Over the course of its first ninety or so years, the YMCA began to build buildings, programming, and relationships with the community.  These relationships persisted into the World War II era when some things changed and others retained their continuity.  During the early 1940s, Parker P. Jordan became the general secretary of the Indianapolis YMCA. 

Jordan supervised new happenings in the organization.  For instance, he implemented the creation of branches of the Indianapolis YMCA out to different areas in the city.  In this way, the YMCA was readily available to more people throughout the area, and membership grew.  Of course, the early 1940s were also the time of WWII, and the YMCA aided in anyway they could, usually helping servicemen by giving them a place to stay as well as organizing activities for them. 

By 1947, Indianapolis YMCA owned its own Camp area at Flat Rock in St. Paul, Indiana.  This continued the rise in available programming and possibilities for the YMCA.  In the early 1950s, building funds were needed for the expanding branch YMCAs and other funds were needed for the continuation of work done in the community by the YMCA.  Ultimately, the Indianapolis YMCA had to drop some of their programming because it was no longer needed, and they were able to develop new programming to get the community involved.

The Young Men’s Christian Association was formed to aid a growing city.  It reached its centennial with great success and continued through the 1960s as an organization that got involved in community needs.  The Indianapolis YMCA sustains involvement in the community to this day.  A few of the Presidents of the Indianapolis YMCA between 1934 an 1954 were Fermor Cannon, Earl H. Schmidt, and Harold F. Brigham.  However, many more members of Indianapolis society took part in this organization, including Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States.   




Scope and Content Note:

The collection consists mainly of the internal documents and correspondence of the organization between the years of 1943 and 1961.  It contains the By Laws of the Indianapolis YMCA from 1955 plus some revised additions of those By Laws.  The collection also holds the meeting notes, minutes and correspondence of many of the different committees within the organization. 

The Indianapolis YMCA did participate in some different cooperative ventures throughout its history as well.  In the collection, YMCA and YWCA cooperation and interracial cooperation files are present.  There is a little bit of information regarding other YMCAs within the collection.  Mostly this information is in the form of pamphlets or brochures on different Indiana YMCAs, or their camps.  However, there is also some information on the National YMCA and cooperative efforts between their group and the Indianapolis YMCA.

Because lack of funding often follows a non-profit organization such as the YMCA, there is a large portion of the collection devoted to fundraising, including attempts and/or successes at receiving Lilly endowments and grants. Actual financial reports for the YMCA for some years are also included.

Reports from the different branches of the Indianapolis YMCA are also held in the collection.  Often these give information about the numbers of people that were becoming members, attending programming, and the new programs that were developed by the organization.


Photocopying Policy:

Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.

Box and Folder Listing:

Box/Folder Contents

1/1  By Laws, 1955; Revised Constitution and By Laws 1956, 1960
1/2  Board of Directors Meeting Notes, various dates 1959-1961
1/3  Personnel Committee, various dates 1947, 1950, 1953-1955, n.d.
1/4  Physical Education Department, 1945, 1946, n.d.
1/5  Public Relations, various dates 1946-1950, 1953, n.d.
1/6  Leadership Committee, various dates 1948, 1956, n.d.
1/7 History Committee, 1948 Indianapolis YMCA book manuscript, various dates 1943, 1948, 1953, 1958
1/8  Emblem Club, various dates 1943-1945, n.d.
1/9  Business and Finance Committee, various dates 1947-1949, 1954
1/10  Long Range Planning Committee, 1949
1/11  Long Range Planning Committee, 1949
1/12  Long Range Planning Committee, 1956, Jan.-Oct. 1957
1/13  Long Range Planning Committee, Nov.-Dec. 1957, n.d. 1957
1/14  Long Range Planning Committee, 1958-1959
1/15  Long Range Planning Committee, n.d.
1/16  World Service, various dates 1943, 1955, 1957, 1960

2/1  YMCA-YWCA Cooperation, 1957-1959
2/2  YMCA-YWCA Cooperation, Jan.-June 1960
2/3  YMCA-YWCA Cooperation, Sept.-Dec. 1960
2/4  YMCA-YWCA Cooperation, n.d.
2/5  Interracial Conference Information, 1950
2/6  Interracial Practices in YMCA, Jan. 1954, Apr. 1954
2/7  National Student Council of the YMCA, 1951, 1953
2/8 Fall Planning Conference Information, various dates 1948, 1953, 1956,1957
2/9  Annual Business Report, 1959
2/10  Budget Proposal, 1961
2/11 Lilly Endowment Proposal and Correspondence, Dec. 1951-Jan. 1954
2/12 Youth Work Extension Committee Proposal for Lilly Endowment, Apr. 1959
2/13 Lilly Endowment Correspondence for Centennial Fund, 1951
2/14 Lilly Endowment for Student Council of YMCA, Correspondence, Apr. 1950
2/15 YMCA Community Development Fundraising, Jan.-May 1957
2/16 Endowment Funds Committee, 1957, 1958
2/17 Centennial Fund Campaign, 1951-1952
2/18 Centennial Fund Campaign, 1953
2/19 Centennial Fund Campaign, 1954
2/20 Centennial Fund Campaign, n.d.
2/21 Centennial Fund Campaign, n.d., brochures and donation cards
2/22 Capitol Fund Campaign, 1960-1961

3/1 Financial Reports, 1945
3/2 Financial Reports, 1946
3/3 Financial Reports, 1947
3/4 Financial Reports, 1948
3/5 Metropolitan YMCA Board Meeting Minutes, 1945-1946
3/6 Metropolitan YMCA Board Meeting Minutes, 1947
3/7 Metropolitan YMCA Board Meeting Minutes, 1948
3/8 Reports of Branches to Metropolitan Board, 1945
3/9 Reports of Branches to Metropolitan Board, 1946
3/10 Reports of Branches to Metropolitan Board, 1947
3/11 Reports of Branches to Metropolitan Board, 1948
3/12  Senate Avenue Branch, various dates 1955-1957, n.d.
3/13  Fall Creek Parkway Branch, 1959-1960
3/14  Testimonial Tribute Information, Parker Jordan (1953), Art
Williams (1957), George R. Medlicott (1958)
3/15  Camp Brochures: Tecumseh, 1950, 1954-1956; Bedford 1950;
  Carson 1956
3/16  Harold D. Hartley Survey of YMCA, 1945
3/17 General Business Correspondence, various dates 1940, 1945-1948, 1953-1954, 1957, 1960, n.d.
3/18 General Correspondence, Harold Brigham, various dates 1948, 1957, 1959, 1960
3/19 Publication, Indianapolis Young Men, Oct. 1949, Feb. 1954, Apr. 1955
3/20 State Pamphlets and Announcements, various dates 1950-1961
3/21 Indiana YMCA Chapter Information, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Washington, Michigan City, 1949, 1955, 1956, n.d.
3/22 Information Lafayette YMCA, various dates 1950, 1954-1955, 1959, 1960

Collection Information

Size of Collection: 3 mss boxes
Collection Dates: 1940-1961
Provenance: George Mercer
Restrictions: None
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript Section, Indiana State Library.
Alternate Formats: None
Related Holdings: None
Notes: None