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Thessaloniki YMCA Archives

100th anniversary of the YMCA of Thessaloniki
2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the YMCA of Thessaloniki, Greece

To mark its 100th anniversary, the Y will showcase the ground-breaking social, sporting, cultural work done for the youth of Greece, from 1921 to the present day. It will trace the Y’s early history to its American and Greek pioneers, reconnect with their descendants in Greece and abroad and celebrate the spirit of selfless service. The Centennial will also highlight the Y’s ongoing effort to safely store, catalogue and study the Y’s collection of early 20th century documents, through the establishment of a new Archives and Research Center facility, open to researchers from around the world.





“To remember our past, honor the pioneers, safeguard the present and forge ahead.”

What does the Y archive hold?

The YMCA of Thessaloniki Historical Archive represents one of the most important private archives in Greece. Its collections are a record of the Y’s founding, operation and multifaceted contribution to the youth of Greece from 1921 to the present day.

The documentary contents of the archive comprise:

Paper materials: Original historical documents (hand-written and typed manuscripts or photocopies of documents), hand-written books of minutes from general meetings and board of directors meetings,  membership registers, correspondence registers, financial statements, individual athlete and camper records, topographical maps and architectural plans, amongst others.

Printed materials: Brochures, posters, invitations, newspapers and magazines published by the Thessaloniki YMCA.

Audiovisual materials: Photographs, film reels, microfiches, cassette tapes, video tapes, camera tapes, DVDs.

Electronic materials: Records of electronically recorded texts, sound, images, video and records of items which have been digitised.

The items included in the YMCA archival material document the activities of the precursor American YMCA in Greece, starting in 1918, and the founding and work of the Greek YMCA starting in 1921 and well into the 21th century.

The rare historical artefacts in the archive include reports on the operation of soldiers’ “Huts” and tents by the YMCA in Thessaloniki during World War I, as prepared by the Y’s first American directors. These, and subsequent reports, are filled by fascinating early 20th century photographs and bound as attractive, hand-crafted photo albums.

How the YMCA of Thessaloniki Archive was formed

The YMCA of Thessaloniki archival collections occupy 1,800 linear feet of shelf space and were gradually assembled, either when clearing out the administrative records of various YMCA of Thessaloniki departments, or through items contributed by its members.

The Archive is overseen by a five-member scientific committee which includes expert historians and an archivist-librarian.

Sample archive photos & records
Camp Pelion, Camp Halkidiki, Camp Nymfaion, Camp Pindos Yearbooks


1. Centennial Celebration Gala
The Centennial celebration’s main event will be a gala attended by dignitaries from around the world. The event will celebrate the Y’s rich history and enduring legacy. Local authorities, city organizations, and Church and State representatives of the highest echelons will be among those invited to attend. Descendants of the American and Greek pioneers, the first Y workers who were instrumental in founding the Greek YMCA, will be invited to the event where their forefathers’ legacy will be honored.
2. Opening of a new Archives and Research facility
A representative of the Greek government and the project sponsors will be invited to inaugurate the Archives and Research facility at the Y, where important historical documents about the YMCA in Greece will be permanently housed. International and local Press will cover the main event.

Estimated cost: € 140,000

3. Publication of an anniversary book
Never before seen photographs, documents and material from the YMCA Archives will be published in a large-format bilingual edition (Greek/English), for sale to the general public in Greece and abroad, with a print-run of 1,000 copies. The book launch will take place during the main gala event.

Estimated cost: € 15,000

4. Academic conference
An academic conference to trace the history of the Y in Thessaloniki and highlight the contribution made by the Y to the youth of Greece. Scholars from Greece and around the world will be invited to submit proposals. Selected researchers will present their findings in a one-day conference held in Thessaloniki. The Conference will involve inviting a US keynote speaker and providing him/her with accommodation, publishing the proceedings of the conference, and hosting a reception in honor of conference speakers.

Estimated cost: € 7,000

5. Series of History Booklets
To showcase the range of the YMCA’s activities, local historians will be invited to pen a series of short 32-page long “History Booklets”on the following topics, using material from the Y archives never before published: “Soldiers’ Huts and the YMCA 1918-1923”, “YMCA Honorary President Bishop Gennadios 1919-1951”, “The American Pioneers and the YMCA of Thessaloniki 1918-1939”, “Smyrna Refugees at the Y”, “Introducing Team Sports in Greece”, The “Camp history in Greece”, “A treasure trove discovered: The YMCA archives”.

Estimated cost: € 11,000

6. An exhibition of printed materials, photographs and historical records
The exhibition will take place in the last four months of 2021.

Estimated cost: € 20,000

7. University of Minnesota YMCA Archives & Geneva World YMCA Archives
  • Acquisition of the Thessaloniki YMCA’s digitised archives currently located at the University of Minnesota (Kautz Family YMCA Archives). Records of YMCA International Work in Greece, 31 boxes.

Estimated cost: € 6,500

  • Acquisition of the Thessaloniki YMCA’s digitised archives currently located at the World YMCA headquarters in Geneva. Records of World YMCA Work In Greece, 10 boxes.

Estimated cost: € 8,500

8. Reprints of early YMCA hand-crafted photo albums and reports
The first annual reports produced by the Thessaloniki YMCA were a handcrafted design marvel, intended to document, in minute detail, the achievements of its staff and volunteers. They were also meant to impress local and foreign officials with the groundbreaking educational and social work done by the Y with the aim of attracting much needed attention and financial support. Selected albums and reports will be reproduced and published in limited, numbered copies.

Estimated cost: € 7,000

These actions and events scheduled to celebrate the Thessaloniki YMCA’s 100-year anniversary are just some of the events to take place in 2021 in honor of the Association’s centennial.


Fundraising Posters

Donor Levels
  • Silk Donor
    up to 499€
  • Bronze Donor
    500€ to 999€
  • Silver Donor
    1000€ to 4,999€
  • Gold Donor
    5,000€ to 9,999€
  • Platinum Donor
    10,000€ to 19,999€
  • Diamond Donor
    20,000€ and up


Platinum Donors:
John & Emily Custer Family

Gold Donors:
Godis Family
Tad Lansdale & the Lansdale Family Fund
Spirit of America

Silver Donors:
Abatzi Lena
Ananiadis Dionysis
Boutaris Stellios
Bowles Robert & Marjorie
Florentin Albertos
Kaltsidis Family
Kontogoulis Achilleas
Lansdale David
Lansdale Jeff
Lansdale Michael
McGrew W. William
Theocharides Family
Willis Family

Bronze Donors:
Georgopapadakou Eleni Nafsika
Megas Giannis
Sossidis Ioannis
Spyros Xanthopoulos Family
Zachariadis Kostas

Silk Donors:
AA & Partners
Aghios Lefteris
Agiou Flery
Amanatidis Efstathios
Amanatidou Aimilia
Ananiadis Prodromos
Anastasiadou Evdoxia
Anastasiou Anestis
Angelis Alexandros
Anonymous Donor
Artemiou Stefanos
Arvanitidis Theofilos
Asimakopoulou Theodosia
Athanasiadou Eleni
Avgerinou Lydia-Paraskevi
Bachtsevani Evdoxia
Bakis Konstantinos
Balotoglou Nikolas
Belenioti Melina
Boitsi Silia
Chalvatzakis Alexandros
Chatzicharalampous Natali
Chatziioannou Dimitris
Chatzisotiriou Giorgos
Chatzopoulou Konstantina
Chekimoglou Maria
Choromidou Athina
Christaki Eirini
Christakis Vasilis
Dafnakis Stefanos
Dalamagkas Stathis
Damaskinidis Antonis
Damaskos Stergios
Daravigka Ioanna
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Dimou Anna
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Madaraki Konstantina
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Manou Ntemi
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Markou Nikos
Marmaridou Paressa kai Athina
Mastora Maria – Elli
Mataftsi Asimina
Mavridis Giorgos
Mavroulis Athanasios
Mertzios Vasilis
Metaxas Kostas
Michailidis Dimitris
Michailidis Venizelos
Minopoulou Maria – Argyro
Minoudi Maria
Mouchtari Maria
Nakou Konstantina
Nikitas Katsaros
Oikonomou Dimitris
Oikonomou Giannis
Oikonomou Katerina
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Tournas Antonis
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Tsiota Andria
Tsiouras Evangelos
Tsourmas Spyros
Tzika Maria
Vasilikiotis Tzortzis
Vlachopoulou Natalia
Vogias Dorotheos
Vrochidou Giouli
Warner Randall
Zacharopoulou Evdokia
Zacharopoulou Maria
Zafeiriadis Iordanis
Zafeiriou Maria
Zioga Vasiliki

Donate materials to our archive

If you wish to donate personal or family YMCA-related material to our archives (photos, letters, diaries, memoirs, YMCA publications, original YMCA reports, club minutes, etc.) either in original or in copy (digital or paper) please email us at [email protected]

Please share your or your family’s YMCA history with us!

The Y Archive in Social Media and the Press

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If you wish to donate by bank wire transfer please email us at [email protected] and use the following bank account details:

Bank name: EUROBANK
Bank address: Tsimiski 114, Postal Code 546 22, Thessaloniki, Greece
IBAN: GR2902600370000060201210185
Account Holder Address: YMCA Square, Postal Code 54 621, Thessaloniki, Greece

YMCA respects your privacy. If at any time you decide you do not want photographic material or your name listed, or if you notice an error, please contact [email protected] so that we may correct our content.

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