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Young Women's Christian Association of Philadelphia (Pa.), Northeast Branch Records

Collection ID

Acc. 564, PC-88

Related Subject(s)

Collecting Area(s)


Collection Summary

Funds to process this collection were provided by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

Young Women's Christian Association of Philadelphia (Pa.), Northeast Branch Records


Collection ID
Acc. 564, PC-88

Young Women's Christian Association of Philadelphia (Pa.), Northeast Branch

3 linear feet (7 boxes)

Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries

Materials in English


Detailed Collection Information

Historical Note

The Young Women's Christian Association, known as the YWCA, opened its Philadelphia chapter in 1870. The Northeast Branch (also called the Frankford/Northeast Branch) was founded in 1921. The neighborhood branch used both volunteer and staff workers to provide services and programs geared toward women and children in the Northeast Philadelphia area. The Northeast YWCA provided physical education, advocacy and programs for social activism and community stabilization, mental health counselling and referral. Daycare, kindercare, and summer recreation programs were offered for young children, and there were numerous programs geared toward teens as well such as career planning and vocational skill training.

In addition to offering programs and recreation, the YWCA served as a community center providing a physical space for community groups to gather in and formed a network through which the people of Frankford could communicate with each other about community issues. The main goal of action, according to the organization, was the elimination of racism by any means necessary.

Description of Collection

The collection includes Northeast YWCA's official records, correspondence, publications, news clippings, community documents, photos, and slides. These documents provide primary source information on the administrative organization of the YWCA as well as some of the issues that the community of Frankford/Northeast considered important during this period. The collection also provides some insight into the nature of women's roles in this community during the latter half of the twentieth century. Further, these documents demonstrate some of the organizational tactics of grassroots political activity and responses to problems facing the community.

The documents demonstrate both the centralized and decentralized nature of the YWCA through everyday administrative document, correspondence, information from the annual reports and demographic studies, national conference materials and international journals, such as the Barrier Breaker, A Newsletter by Third World Peoples. The staff correspondence is particularly useful for showing communication inside the branch office, to the headquarters in center city and nationally.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 7 series as follows:

Series 1: Administration, 1968-1979
Series 2:  Bicentennial, undated
Series 3:  Financial, 1968-1981
Series 4:  Miscellaneous, 1978
Series 5:  Programs, 1958-1981
Series 6:  Publications, 1980-1982
Series 7:  Photographs, undated

Series 1: Administration, includes minutes from the member's council, finance committee, study committee, and the executive committee. These documents are arranged into subseries by committee name and include budget projections, correspondence, reviews and statistics. National conference documents form another subseries and is further divided into sub-subseries of printed materials, long range goals, and mission. Association review, personnel policies, progress reports and agendas, the Staff to Staff Newsletter, and statistics are divided into separate subseries as well.

Series 2: Bicentennial, contains documents relating to Bicentennial activities and the documents of the Association of Associations. This association is an umbrella organization that combines members of Frankford's business community, church groups, area schools and any local community groups or associations. The Assoc. of Associations came together to address the issue of the proposed Bicentennial Exposition. The documents include minutes, committee member lists, plans and agendas for other issues. These documents are under one subseries, the Association of Associations. Another subseries, generally includes all correspondence and news releases relation to the 1976 Expo. Printed materials also form a subseries.

Series 3: Financial, is arranged into subseries according to event or program, containing Minutes, Statistics, Annual Support Campaigns, 1977-1981, 1977-1978 Budget Calendar, Contribution Requests and Contributions, Facilities Expansion and History, Foundation Requests, Press Releases and the documents of the Men's Advisory Committee.

Series 4: Miscellaneous, includes minutes and administrative documents of Northeast Philadelphia associations not formally affiliated with the YWCA but that either made use of their facilities or joined with the YWCA to assess community problems such as the potential school strike of 1978. These documents are arranged under the name of the association involved or particular issue under scrutiny. The subseries are: Frankford Arsenal Citizen's Planning Committee, Potential School Strike, 1978, and Racism.

Series 5: Programs, is organized into subseries by program or convention name. The series gives a good overview of services offered by the YWCA and how the organization was perceived by the community. The subseries include Classes Offered, Convocation on Racial Justice, Headstart, Operation Prevent, Agendas, Staff Memos, and Woman to Woman Forum.

Series 6: Publications, contains both documents published by the YWCA and documents published about the YWCA, including news clippings. It is divided into two subseries, Publications by the YWCA and Publications About the YWCA.

Series 7: Photographs, include many that were intended for publicity. There are also photographs of members, volunteers and staff engaged in YWCA programs. Photocopies of the originals are stored with the records, while the originals are stored separately.

Patron Information

Research Access

Collection is open for research.

Collections Stored Off-Site

This collection may be housed off-site at the Library Depository, and require up to two business days to retrieve. Please review the finding aid and be prepared to identify specific materials to be retrieved. Contact the Special Collections Research Center in advance of your visit, so that materials may be relocated to the reading room for research.

Publication and Copyright Information

The Young Women's Christian Association of Philadelphia (Pa.), Northeast Branch Records are in custody of the Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries. Intellectual property rights, including copyright, belong to the authors their legal heirs and assigns.  Researchers are responsible for determining the identity of rights holders and obtaining their permission for publication and for other purposes where stated. 

Preferred Citation

[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Young Women's Christian Association of Philadelphia (Pa.), Northeast Branch, Acc. 564, PC-88, Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Initial materials were deposited in October 1983 by the YWCA Northeast Branch.           

Processing Information

Collection was processed by Melanie E. Bork, July 1998. Finding aid revised according to contemporary archival standards in June 2016.

Index Terms

The following headings have been used to index the description of this collection in Temple University’s electronic catalog:

Corporate Names:
Young Women’s Christian Association of Philadelphia (Pa.). Northeast Branch
Young Women's Christian Association of the U.S.A.

African American women -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Associations, institutions, etc. -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Women -- Services for -- Pennsylvania – Philadelphia
Young Women's Christian associations

Northeast Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Philadelphia (Pa.)

Material Types:
Administrative records
Financial records


Series 1:  Administration, 1968-1979, undated

1          1          General          undated

1          2          General          undated

1          3          Association Review          1971-1976

1          4          Convention          undated

1          5          Minutes, Program Committee          undated

1          6          Minutes, Study Committee          undated

1          7          Minutes, Members Council          undated

1          8          Minutes, Long Range Agenda          undated

1          9          Minutes, Executive Committee          undated

1          10          Minutes, Finance Committee          undated

1          11          Membership Reports          1968-1974

1          12          National Conference          1970-1976

1          13          National Conference          1970-1976

1          14          National Conference          1970-1976

2          1          National Conference          1970-1976

2          2          National Conference          1970-1976

2          3          National Conference          1970-1976

2          4          National Conference          1970-1976

2          5          Personnel Policies          undated

2          6          Personnel, Area Communicator          undated

2          7          Progress Reports/Agendas          1960-1964

2          8          Resource Development          undated

2          9          Printed Materials, Staff to Staff Newsletter          undated

2          10          Statistics          1979-1981

2          11          Study Committee          1964-1979

2          12          Teen Program Action Alert          undated

Series 2:  Bicentennial, undated

2          13          Association of Associations          undated

2          14          Association of Associations          undated

2          15          Association of Associations          undated

2          16          General          undated

3          1          General          undated

3          2          General          undated

3          3          General          undated

3          4          Printed Materials          undated

3          5          Printed Materials          undated


Series 3:  Financial, 1968-1981, undated

3          6          Annual Support Campaigns          1977 -1981

3          7          Budget Calendar          1977-1978

3          8          Contribution Requests          undated

3          9          Contributions          undated

3          10          Contributions          undated

3          11          Facilities Expansion, Development Programs          undated

3          12          Facilities Expansion, Fundraising          undated

3          13          Facilities Expansion, Fundraising          undated

3          14          Facilities Expansion, Fundraising          undated

3          15          Facilities Expansion, Fundraising          undated

3          16          Facilities History          undated

3          17          Foundation Requests, Notes          undated

3          18          Foundation Requests, Correspondence          1968-1970

3          19          Men's Advisory Committee, Minutes          undated

3          20          Men’s Advisory Committee, Funding Plans          undated

3          21          Men’s Advisory Committee, Agendas          1974

3          22          Men’s Advisory Committee, Press Release          1967

4          1          Northeast Building Campaign          1979

4          2          Northeast Building Campaign          1979

Series 4:  Miscellaneous, 1978, undated

4          3          Frankford Arsenal Citizens Planning Committee          1978

4          4          Potential School Strike          1978

4          5          Racism          undated

4          6          Racism          undated

4          7          Racism          undated

Series 5:  Programs, 1958-1981, undated

4          8          Classes Offered          1980

4          9          Convocation on Racial Justice, Literature          undated

4          10          Convocation on Racial Justice, Literature          undated

4          11          Convocation on Racial Justice, Literature          undated

4          12          Convocation on Racial Justice, Evaluations          undated

4          13          Convocation on Racial Justice, Staff Agendas          undated

4          14          Convocation on Racial Justice, Staff Correspondence          undated

4          15          Day camp, Correspondence          1959 -1973

4          16          Day camp, Evaluations/Finance Reports          1959-1975

4          17          Day camp, Pamphlets and Programs          undated

4          18          Day camp, Staff Training Manuals          1970-1972

5          1          Head start, Administrative Agendas          1979

5          2          Head start, Correspondence/Outreach          undated

5          3          Head start, Financial          undated

5          4          Head start, Minutes          1979

5          5          Operation Prevent, Correspondence          1970

5          6          Operation Prevent, Monthly Reports          1970

5          7          Operation Prevent, Proposals          1970

5          8          Operation Prevent, Proposals          undated

5          9          Operation Prevent, Purchase of Services          undated

5          10          Printed Materials          undated

5          11          Printed Materials          undated

5          12          Printed Materials          1958-1971

5          13          Summer Youth Employment, Courses          1979

5          14          Summer Youth Employment, Enrollee Guidelines          undated

5          15          Summer Youth Employment, Memos/Notes          1979

5          16          Summer Youth Employment, Staff Manuals/Guidelines          undated

5          17          Summer Youth Employment, Staff Position          1980

5          18          Summer Youth Employment, Staff Regulations/ Agendas          1980

5          19          Summer Youth Employment, Worksite Agreement          1981

5          20          Woman to Woman day, Program/ Registration          undated

5          21          Women Today Forum          1981-1983

5          22          Women Today          1981

5          23          Women Today Forum          1981

Series 6:  Publications, 1980-1982, undated

6          1          News Clippings          undated

6          2          News Clippings          undated

6          3          Printed Materials by YWCA          undated

6          4          Publicity          1980-1982

6          5          Announcements          undated

6          6          Announcements          undated

6          7          News Clippings          undated

Series 7: Photographs (PC-88), undated

1                    Photographs          undated