Madison Area YMCA Donates Historic Volumes to Madison Historical Society

The Madison Area YMCA this spring donated two historical volumes documenting the foundation of the Y to the Madison Historical Society for preservation in its Archive Room at the Madison Public Library.

Handwritten records dating from 1873 and documenting the founding of the YMCA in Madison, New Jersey that year were donated this spring by the YMCA for preservation in the Madison Historical Society’s Archive Room at the Madison Public Library.

Two original volumes, which list the names of founding Y trustees and outline the original Y bylaws and membership requirements, were discovered last year among the Y’s archives. The volumes cover details of the Y’s first organizing meetings, activities and discussions, continuing through several decades and ending in 1919.

The volumes of handwritten and manually typed text capture highlights of concerts, lectures, prayer meetings and other community-building activities of the early YMCA in Madison. After securing authorization from the YMCA Board of Directors and agreement from the Madison Historical Society, arrangements were made to donate the volumes this spring to assure their optimal preservation for years to come. Contents of the volumes were photographed and digitized for retention among the YMCA’s archival records.

Digital copies of the volumes also were donated to the Historical Society. “We are very pleased to have the ledgers in our collection,” said Madison Historical Society President Linda Connors. “So much of Madison’s history has been lost, and is still being lost. So we are happy to support any efforts to assure the safe keeping of these interesting Madison historical records.” YMCA CEO Diane Mann said the Y is fortunate to have the Historical Society’s help in preserving the volumes.

“We were surprised to find these aging and worn but yet legible documents in our files. We are delighted to know that they will be preserved most appropriately by the Historical Society among other important items that help capture our community’s history,” Ms. Mann said. While the physical volumes will be archived, the digitized contents will be available for reading upon request to the Historical Society.

Prepared by the Madison Area YMCA