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The New Student's Reference Work/Young Men's Christian Association

Young Men's Chris'tian Asso'ciation. This is an organization having a branch in most of the leading cities (and in some smaller towns) in the United States, Great Britain and scores of other countries, whose special object is to promote the welfare of young men. The condition of active membership in this organization is membership in some Evangelical church; but young men not members of churches are admitted as associate-members and are entitled to all the privileges of the association, except a voice in the election of its officers. In addition to various religious services the Association generally provides a library and reading-room (open to the public), a gymnasium, bathroom, lectures, special instruction and proper amusements; and its power for good has been demonstrated so clearly as to command universal recognition. The first association organized in the United States was at Boston in the winter of 1851–2, but on account of the Civil War the growth of the institution hardly began until 1866. In 1906 there were in North America 1,952 associations in cities and towns, 577 in universities and colleges, 161 among railroad men, 321 with the army and navy, 86 among the negroes and 43 among the Indians, making a total of 1,997 associations, with 405,789 members. In 400 associations special work was carried on for boys. The associations own and occupy on this continent 589 buildings valued at $34,132,245, with 654 libraries, containing 555,320 volumes; and there were 2,500 secretaries at the heads of the various branches. There are nearly 8,000 associations in the world. See Williams, Sir George