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YMCA of Greater Omaha Records

Identifier: MSS-0039

Content Description

The records of the YMCA of Greater Omaha include material from the organization’s founding in the 19th century through the 21st century. Material documenting board meetings from the 1880s to the early 21st century is nearly complete. Also included are: newsletters and newspapers, fundraising material, membership information, marketing material, photographs (bulk 1970s-1990s), scrapbooks, and a small amount of media formats including VHS videotapes. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings as well as ephemera such as broadsides and booklets. In addition to the activities of the boards of directors, fundraising, and membership, other topics with at least sporadic documentation include programming, long range planning, summer camps, athletic teams such as basketball and football, and others. Programming material includes contemporary athletic activities, after school programs, social services, and other programming, while the early material documents programs for recent immigrants, evening education, athletics, and similar. While the primary audience for the YMCA's programming was men, women were admitted to some programs, such as night school. The collection includes subject files maintained by the Metro Office in the late 1960s-early 1990s, records of the now closed Miller Park branch, and records of the Council Bluffs YMCA from before its merger with the YMCA of Greater Omaha in 1972.

The collection is currently being arranged and described.

Photographs, scrapbooks, newsletters, and other materials from the collection are currently being digitized. Selected materials are available in the YMCA of Greater Omaha Collection in Islandora ( with more added on an ongoing basis.

New material added in November and December 2016, from Maple St., Mills County, and Southwest YMCA branches:

The YMCA of Greater Omaha accrual from the Maple St. YMCA (the branch was originally known as the West branch when it opened in 1965) is primarily photographs, but also includes documents about the branch and building’s construction and history. Notable documents include programs from the branch’s dedication in 1965, construction documents, advertisements or posters on newspring, and three super8 films only identified as relating to the YMCA West branch. The photographs are primarily from the 1960s and 2000s, but there is some representation from throughout the Maple St. Y’s history. The photographs document building renovations, Indian Guides (a father son YMCA program similar to the Boy Scouts), camps, playground building day, and other activities at the branch.

The YMCA of Greater Omaha accrual from the Southwest YMCA includes photographs of Indian Guides activities (circa 1980s), a program from the branch’s dedication (1997), and memories of the Y shared by members for the YMCA’s 150th anniversary. Objects related to the Indian Guides loaned by members to the branch and loaned to Archives & Special Collections for photographing include a boy’s Indian Guides vest, an Indian Guides necklace with medallions, a board showing examples of knots, and a wooden Indian Guides craft project.

The YMCA of Greater Omaha accrual from the Mills County YMCA includes photographs, news clippings, and board minutes (2015-2016) from the branch’s first ten years. The photographs document children’s sports teams, Mills County YMCA employees, and events such as the annual Support Our Community hamball and salad meal. Also received were YMCA of Greater Omaha annual reports from 2007-2009.


  • 1867-2013


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the Nebraska Public Records Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 84-712 through 84-712.09), and other relevant regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Nebraska Omaha assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, Archives & Special Collections will provide information about copyright owners and related information. Securing permission to publish or use material is the responsibility of the researcher. Note that unless specifically transferred to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, any applicable copyrights may be held by another individual or entity. Further information about copyright policy is available at

Conditions Governing Use

Whenever available, researchers are required to use digital reproductions in place of the original scrapbooks due to the fragile nature of the scrapbook volumes.


88.28 Cubic Feet (80 boxes, 43 volumes, 6 folders, 2 objects) : Correspondence, Ledgers, Other papers, Photographs, Slides, Negatives, Scrapbooks, Photo albums, Videos (VHS), CDs (audio), CDs (data), Annual Reports

0.2 Megabytes (Digital files)

Language of Materials



Collection has not yet been arranged and described. Proposed series arrangement (May 2015): Annual Reports; Board Records; Budget and Financial Records; Marketing and Public Relations Records; Correspondence Records; Fundraising Campaign Records; Miscellaneous Administrative Records; Programs, Events, and Activities Records (include photographs here); Department and Committee Records; Branch Records, Subseries: Council Bluffs YMCA (defunct), Miller Park Branch (defunct).

Custodial History

Most of the collection was stored by the YMCA in a central storeroom for varying lengths of time. A small portion of the collection (about 12 cubic feet) had been stored in YMCA staff members’ offices immediately before transfer to Criss Library. The bulk of the material was received by the Criss Library on March 20, 2015, and the remainder was received on April 1, 2015.

New material added 2015-10-29: Vicki Hallberg, retired executive secretary of YMCA of Greater Omaha, retrieved the material from the YMCA’s central office to add to the collection.

New material added 2016-01-14: The YMCA of Greater Omaha received the volleyball and trophy from the children of Carl Scheer.

New material added 2016-05-18: YMCA staff received the correspondence as a gift from an individual who had purchased them in an antique store.

New material added 2016-11-30: Material was in the basement of the Maple St. YMCA (formerly known as the West branch). Some material was damaged by water during a previous flood incident. Material transferred to archives by Lindy Pfingsten, Multi Branch Executive Director of the Maple St. and Butler-Gast YMCA.

New material added 2016-11-30: Material was in the offices of the executive director and membership director at the Southwest branch. Some material was received as a loan from Y members and will be offered back to those members after Archives & Special Collections photographs the objects. Material transferred to archives by Jill Schoenherr, Executive Director of the Southwest YMCA.

New material added 2016-12-06: Material was in the offices of Diana Burchett, Executive Director, and Michelle Grassau, Membership Director, of the Mills County YMCA.

Related Materials

The photo archives at the Durham Museum includes many photographs availalbe online documenting the YMCA of Greater Omaha: The University of Minnesota is home to the Kautz Family YMCA Archives: Included in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives are the papers of Robert Weidensall, an important figure in the YMCA of Greater Omaha's early history:


YMCA of Greater Omaha Records
In Progress
Angela Kroeger; Amy Schindler; Aaron Lloyd, volunteer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
6th edition

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Archives & Special Collections Repository

Archives & Special Collections
Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library
6001 Dodge St.
Omaha Nebraska 68182-0237 United States