BE/942855/322 Archives International Young Christian Workers (IYCW), 1925-2012 (Archief)

Archive plan context

Information on identification

Ref. code:BE/942855/322
Title:Archives International Young Christian Workers (IYCW)
Archival type:archief
Creation date(s), remarks.:1925-2012

Information on extent

Extent:ca. 84 running meters

Information on context

Name of the creator / provenance:International Young Christian Workers (IYCW)
Authority link:Internationale Kristelijke Arbeidersjongeren / Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne Internationale / International Young Christian Workers / Juventud Obrera Cristiana Internacional (1945-heden)
Archival history:The archive of the International Young Christian Workers was conserved at the International Secretariat in Brussels. A large attempt at inventorization was made by members of the IYCW in the early half of the 1980s. After the completion of a complete inventory in 1986, a new classification system was designed. From that moment onwards, every four years additions to the archives were inventorized based on this new system. Three seperate, though also YCW-related archives were also conserved at the International Secretariat. (1) The personal archive of Jacques Hanon numbered ca. 30 small boxes and was likely deposited shortly after 2000, (2) the archives of the Pan-African YCW numbered ca. 100 small boxes, were previously kept at the Panafrican Secretariat in South-Africa and were moved to Brussels sometime after 2006 and (3) the archives of JOC Suisse numbering ca. 50 archive boxes and ca. 5 large moving boxes were previously kept in Switzerland by the Swiss YCW and moved to Brussels sometime after 2000. These three archives were moved to KADOC together with the archive of the International Young Christian Workers in February 2021.
Acquisition:The archives of the International Young Christian Workers were given into custody of the KADOC in February 2021.

Information on content and structure

Content:The archives of the International Young Christian Workers (IYCW), more widely known as Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne Internationale (JOCI), is the primary source of information on the IYCW. It roughly covers the period from the establishment of the International Secretariat of the Young Christian Workers in 1945 up untill 2012. The archive is extensive, rich, coherent yet very diverse and covers all aspects of the IYCW. Documents on founder and first International Chaplain Jozef Cardijn are present throughout the entire archive. The 'structures'-section covers all managment-structures of the IYCW, ranging from the quadrennial International Councils to the weekly meetings of the International Secretariat and the working of the chaplaincy. In addition to meeting reports and correspondence, this section also contains more personal dossiers of the permanent representatives in Brussels. The 'Activities'-section sheds light on various actions undertaken by the IYCW on the international level such as international solidarity campaigns and international formation sessions. In the 'Services'-section, we mainly encounter pieces concerning the distribution of the IYCW-publications and the gathering of documentation. Given its predominantly administrative nature, this section is of lesser value with the exception of the rubric concerning the 'Extension-service', which offers some insight into the IYCW's efforts to expand into new countries and regions. The section on 'External Relations' is essential for any researcher attempting to study the IYCW. It contains the meticulously documented relations with the Vatican and with official organizations affiliated to the UN. These pieces offer an insight into the representative actions undertaken by the IYCW in bodies such as the Pontifical Council for the Laity and UNESCO. The material reflecting the relations with the Catholic Church are also of vital importance in order to understand the crisis within the IYCW that started in the 1970s and led to the eventual withdrawal of Papal recognition for the IYCW. With regards to this crisis, the rubric concerning the relations with the concurring International Coordination of International Young Christian Workers (ICIYCW/CIJOC) is also key. The relations with other youth-movements and development aid-agencies are also very well documented. The 'History'-section contains several studies and working documents of different members and -commissions who were tasked with writing a history of the IYCW. It is a useful starting point in order to get acquainted with the IYCW. The 'International Coordination' is where the archives reach their broadest scope in geographical terms. The rubrics of the continental coordinations contain the most important documents concerning the intermediate-level managment of the IYCW. The country files are perhaps even more valuable. They not only offer an insight into the working of national YCW movements and their contacts with the IYCW, but also an intriguing perspective on the political, economical, social and religious reality in said country. One of the reasons for that are the numerous bulletins, newsletters and other periodicals of national movement from across the globe. We have chosen to keep these publications together with the archival documents: they can be found in the country rubrics. The 'International Cardijn Association' and 'Members' section are smaller and in relative terms of lesser importance.

Upon re-inventorizing we opted to base the new inventory on an annotated inventory made in 1986. We chose to apply less depth but to conserve the old classification numbers where possible, as well as the old inventory. The old inventory is kept under the 'International Secretariat (Administrative)' rubric. Because it offers a more detailed description of files dating from before 1986, it is a valuable tool for the researcher.

Next to the IYCW-archive, the three seperate archives are also relevant. The personal archive of Jacques Hanon contains pieces on his activities as European- and International Chaplain in the 80's and 90's. Concerning the crisis within the IYCW it offers complementary material to the IYCW-archives and as such, is certainly worthwile. The Pan-African YCW offers a more detailed insight into the workings of a continental coordination. In some way it is a smaller version of the IYCW-archives, for it contains interesting information on continental activities and also a series of country files. The archive of the Swiss YCW on the other hand is an archive of a national movement, complete with managerial pieces, publications and reports on activities.

The audiovisual archives of the IYCW contains pictures, slides, posters, photoalbums, audio- and video recordings and other media that reflect all aspects of the IYCW.

Conditions of access and use

Access regulations:The archive is consultable with permission.
To request permission for the consultation of this archive, fill in a verzoekformulier .
Clearly state the numbers of the files that you want to consult.
Finding aids:Inventory of the archives of the International Young Christian Workers (IYCW)


Entries:  jeugd (Subjects\J)
  KAJ (1924-heden) (Organizations\K)
  maatschappelijk leven (Subjects\M)
  christelijke arbeidersbeweging (Subjects\C)
  internationale organisatievormen (Subjects\I)
  sport en ontspanning (Subjects\S)
  internationale samenwerking (Subjects\I)
  arbeidersbeweging (Subjects\A)

Related units of description

Related units of description:BE/942855/103 Archief Jozef Cardijn, 1900-1980 (Archief)


Permission required:Bewaargever / archiefvormer
Physical Usability:Without restrictions

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