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YMCA of Metro Atlanta records

Collection number: ahc.MSS1108

Scope and Content

These records of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, its Board of Trustees, and the Butler Street YMCA contain reports, newsletters, fliers, articles, announcements, and publications. The topics included are fundraising, marketing, media coverage, new buildings, programs, goals, and progress. Some administrative and financial records are included, but these records largely consists of material created for the public. YMCA time capsules from 1886 and 1913 were opened in 1959 and the contents preserved with these records. Also included are seven scrapbooks of newspaper articles and YMCA marketing materials and a scrapbook from the Luckie Eagles.


  • 1875-2001, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) is an international organization founded in London in 1844 as a mutual improvement society emphasizing the spiritual, moral, intellectual, and physical well-being of young men of all classes and conditions. The YMCA of Atlanta formed in 1858, but disbanded in 1861 due to low attendance resulting from the Civil War. Walter Richard Brown re-established the organization in 1873 on Whitehall Street. Following the trend of other associations, the YMCA of Atlanta created its first branch, known as the "Railroad Department," in 1884 to better serve Atlanta's large population of railroad workers. With financial support from the railroad companies, this location provided a reading room, parlor, lecture room, and bathroom. Atlanta hosted the International Convention of the YMCA on May 13-17, 1885. The local organization used this attention to start the first in a series of successful building campaigns. The Butler Street YMCA, then known as the "Colored Branch," was organized in 1894 on West Mitchell Street with Dr. Henry R. Butler as President. Created to serve Atlanta's African-American community, the Butler Street YMCA broke ground on its first building in 1916 thanks in part to funds from Julius Rosenwald. The YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, as it was then known, gained national recognition in 1946 for its efforts begun four years earlier to decentralize programs and locations to better serve the sprawling city. Atlanta's YMCA branches desegregated between 1965-1967. A separately incorporated YMCA Board of Trustees owned the property used by the YMCA of Metro Atlanta and the Butler Street YMCA. It also provided leadership during building campaigns, but voted to dissolve in 1982. The Butler Street YMCA remained independent and continued to predominantly serve African-Americans until its closure from lack of funding in 2012. As of 2017, the YMCA of Metro Atlanta is led by a Board of Directors and a President/CEO.


10.34 linear ft. (eight document cases, four oversize boxes, seven oversize folders, two vinyl records)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff. Oversize material is listed at the end of the collection inventory.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Music recording is on LP previous vinyl and can be made accessible only through conversion to digital surrogates. Patrons who request access to the audio content in this collection are responsible for digital conversion costs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2016

Related Archival Materials

Visual materials and artifacts have been separated from the collection and are unprocessed. Please contact an archivist for access to these materials.

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2017.

YMCA of Metro Atlanta records
Shay Meredith
March, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305