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Williams, George (MS 509)

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Sir George Williams (1821-1905) founded the Young Men’s Christian Association in London in 1844. The movement spread rapidly, and fifty years later—in order to celebrate the organization’s Golden Jubilee—the directors of the International YMCA Training School, now Springfield College, in Springfield, Massachusetts invited Williams to address their graduating class of 1894. Because he was unable to attend the event in person, Williams wrote out and recorded an address to send to the School. The materials within this collection relate primarily to this address and the original wax cylinder it was recorded on. The collection contains the wax cylinder, its original shipping box, a transcript of the address hand-written and signed by Williams, an accompanying letter by YMCA Secretary W.H. Mills, the transcript of an hand-written address also by Williams, an article about the Jubilee celebration at Springfield, and later letters about the recording. There are also several subsequent re-recordings of the address (records, reel-to-reel tape, cassettes, CDs, etc.) and some lantern slides and photographs of and relating to Williams.