Springfield College and the YMCA share a unique partnership, history, and heritage, which dates back to the establishment of the College in 1885, then known as the School of Christian Workers. Because of this history, Springfield College has a deep collection of YMCA Publications & Historical Sources that highlight the YMCA movement and programs from the local level to the international level. Many of these historical sources are YMCA imprints – either periodicals or monographs – published by the YMCA Association Press.
The YMCA’s institutional Archive and hub for YMCA imprints is at the University of Minnesota, but Springfield College has the deepest YMCA collection on the east coast and one of the richest YMCA collections in the United States. Examples of YMCA include over 800 pamphlets of the YMCA International Commission (1870-1896); a full run of the seminal YMCA periodicals The Watchman and Young Men’s Era; and a variety of YMCA reports, conferences, and conventions.
These diverse historical YMCA sources relate to Springfield College’s history and curriculum, but also provide a lens into larger historical trends. For instance, the YMCA’s popular periodical The Watchman is an excellent lens on America culture from the Civil War until the Great Depression.
Size & Scope: 44 shelves, approximately 3,000 volumes. Unlike the University of Minnesota, we do not collect YMCA imprints comprehensively. The focus is on pre-1950 YMCA materials relating to the College’s history, curriculum and collections.