Young Friends of North America, 1910-1994
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Brief Description:

The Young Friends of North America organization began with a conference organized by Indiana Young Friends (most but not all members of Indiana Yearly Meeting) affiliated with the Five Years Meeting of Friends at Winona Lake near Warsaw, Indiana, in the summer of 1910. The third conference, held in 1912, was expanded to include representatives and participants from other yearly meetings in the Five Years Meeting. Almost all had been involved in Christian Endeavor societies affiliated with their meetings and churches. Christian Endeavor was an interdenominational Protestant young people's organization founded in 1881. In 1912, the Five Years Meeting approved formation of a Board of Young People's Activities with Thomas E. Jones, a 1912 Earlham College graduate and later the college's president, as the first field secretary.

Friends outside the Five Years Meeting, particularly in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox), London Yearly Meeting, and Friends General Conference, had organized similar young people's groups, dating back to the 1880s. As interest in reunion in some yearly meetings grew after 1920, it was natural that Young Friends in the Five Years Meeting would form ties with other Young Friends. The result was the formation of the Young Friends of North America at a 1947 conference.

The collection consists of three different series. The first series contains information about conferences held by Young Friends of North America (YFNA) between 1947 and 1969. The information about conferences may include: lists of who attended, information about the physical location, the planning, and publicity of conferences. Some conferences had specific committee meetings and their minutes and activities are included. There is also often financial information, correspondence, and discussion about worship for specific conferences. The conferences are listed in chronological order, with deference to the order that the materials arrived in.

            The second series consists of all the internal communication amongst the members of YFNA. This includes clerk’s files, steering committee minutes, other committee minutes, and all other internal correspondence. This series also includes financial data from YFNA from 1962-1976. This series includes all information on YFNA, excluding specific conferences, and activities with outside organizations. Again, the files are largely arranged chronologically. The inclusive dates for internal information are 1948-1976.

            The final series includes all external communication and efforts by YFNA. This includes all correspondence with other organizations and an extensive effort towards intervisitation. This intervisitation occurred between YFNA and various colleges, Yearly Meetings, and international communities. Most of the international intervisitation is focused on the USSR and China, although Mexico, Canada, Germany, and England are also included. Much of the intervisitation information can be found in boxes that include information on “caravans.” The inclusive dates for this series are 1931-1986

Held at:
Friends Collection and Earlham College Archives
Email: archives [at] earlham.edu
Record Series Number: FRG/002
Volume: 17.0 Linear Feet
Acquired: Periodic additions expected.
Access Restrictions: The collection is open without restriction.
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Some published materials may be protected by copyright. Permission to reproduce and to publish must be requested from the Archivist.
Technical Access Notes: Some photographs, and One box of Vinyl recordings (34 records)