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Logo of the YWCA of India

“An Ever-Widening Circle of Friendship”:
YWCA Overseas Secretaries from China to Liberia

Additional Sources on the YWCA

International Work

Boyd, Nancy. Emissaries: The Overseas Work of the American YWCA, 1895-1970. New York: The Woman’s Press, 1986.

Fleming, Daniel J. International Survey of the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Christian Associations: An Independent Study of the Foreign Work of the Christian Associations of the United States and Canada. New York: The International Survey Committee, 1932.

Leighton, Elizabeth. “A Woman’s Mission to Revolutionary Russia: Bessie Boies Cotton and the Young Women Christian Association”. Honors thesis, Mount Holyoke College, 1983.

Lucke, Elmina R. Remembering at Eighty Eight: Letters I Should have Written. Edited by Elizabeth Clark Reiss. Athol, Mass.: Athol Press, 1987.

Sims, Mary S. and Rhoda E. McCulloch. Women and Leadership. New York: The Woman’s Press, 1938.

General Readings

Clarke, Elizabeth Dodge Huntington. The Joy of Service, Memoirs. New York: National Board of the Young Women’s Christian Association, 1979.

Rice, Anna V. A History of the World’s Young Women’s Christian Association. New York: The Woman’s Press, 1947.

Sims, Mary S. The First Twenty-Five Years: Being a Summary of the Work of the Young Women’s Christian Associations of the United States of America, 1906-1931. New York: The Woman’s Press, 1932.

Sims, Mary S. The Natural History of a Social Institution-The Young Women’s Christian Association. New York: The Woman’s Press, 1936.

Sims, Mary S. The Purpose Widens, 1947-67, National Board of the Young Women’s Christian Association of the U.S.A.. New York: Bureau of Communications, National Board, YWCA, 1969.

Sims, Mary S. The YWCA: An Unfolding Purpose. New York: The Woman’s Press, 1950.

Wilson, Elizabeth, Fifty Years of Association Work Among Women, 1866-1916: A History of the Young Women’s Christian Associations of the United States of America. New York: National Board of the Young Women’s Christian Associations of the United States of America, 1916.

Wilson, Grace H. The Religious and Educational Philosophy of the Young Women’s Christian Association: A historical study of the changing religious and social emphases of the Association as they relate to changes in its educational philosophy and to observable trends in current religious thought, educational philosophy, and social situations. New York: Bureau of Publications, Teacher's College, 1933.

Collections in the Sophia Smith Collection

The YWCA of the U.S.A. Records, 570 linear feet (1132 boxes and 382 microfilm reels)
Dating from 1860 to 2002, these records document the administration of the National Association, its programs and publications, and its relations with its member YWCAs all over the country. The International Work section documents the history, organization, and functions of YWCA international work. Materials include minutes, reports (notably those of overseas secretaries), publications and other printed materials, studies and surveys, position papers and statements, historical materials, subject and reference files, correspondence, conference and training materials, rosters and other personnel files, lists, memorabilia, and a large collection of photographs of YWCAs in other countries.

The Sophia Smith Collection also houses the papers of a number of YWCA Overseas and World YWCA staff members including:


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