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Lennig Sweet Papers

Call Number: RG 150

Scope and Contents

This small but substantive collection of letters, reports and printed material is particularly useful for its documentation of the work of the Beijing (Peking) YMCA, which was sponsored by Princeton-in-Peking. The papers complement other holdings at YDSL, including the papers of Sweet's colleagues Dwight Edwards (RG 12) and Lyman Hoover (RG 9) and extensive documentation of the Princeton work in China available in the Archives of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (RG 11 and RG 11A).

The Correspondence of Series I includes twenty-seven letters, primarily from Sweet to his parents and grandparents, which provide insightful description and comment of political conditions, famine relief projects and subjects like industry in Beijing (Peking). The reports of Series II are substantive documents, primarily written to provide information to supporters in the U.S.


  • 1915-1974


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Sweet family.


  1. I. Correspondence, 1916-1932, n.d.
  2. II. Writings/ Reports, 1916-1946, n.d.
  3. III. Printed Material, 1916-1935, n.d.
  4. IV. Biographical Documentation, 1917-1974
  5. V. Photographs, 1915-1956,n.d.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Letters, reports, and printed material document the work of the Beijing (Peking) (Beijing) YMCA, which was sponsored by Princeton-in-Peking. Lennig Sweet served the YMCA in Beijing, China between 1916 and 1934. He later worked for United China Relief from 1942 to 1947 and as YMCA Secretary for Overseas Staff and YMCA Secretary in Seoul, Korea.

Biographical / Historical

1893 September 24
Born in Denver, Colorado, son of Joyeuse Fullerton and William Ellery Sweet. William Sweet was Governor of Colorado, 1922-1924.
B.A., Princeton
1916 September-1917 August
Princeton University Center in China YMCA, Beijing (Peking), teacher of recreation and English.
1918 April-1919 January
U.S. Army Signal Corps
1918 October
Married Helen Firman of Oak Park, IL, a graduate of Mt. Holyoke who later received Master's degree from Columbia and taught home economics at Yenching University. Children: Joyeuse (b.1922), Helen (b.1929), Elizabeth (b.1932)
1919 January-1920 September
YMCA Secretary-in-training, Cleveland
1920 September-1936
Employee of International Committee of YMCAs of U.S. and Canada
1920-1926; 1930-1934
YMCA, Beijing (Peking). Boys work Secretary; Director, Training Center; General Secretary; Yenching University, Peking Lecturer, Group Work and Social Work Administration.
Graduate study: Columbia (M.A. 1928, Ph.D. 1930); Union Theological Seminary (Ph.D. 1929)
National Committee, YMCAs of China, Personnel Secretary and Director of Training.
National Board, YMCAs of U.S., Public speaking and fund raising.
1936 July-1942 March
Social Security Administration, Washington, D.C.
1942 May-1947 September
United China Relief, N.Y. and Chongqing (Chungking)
1945 January-August
UNRRA, China
YMCA Secretary for Overseas Staff
YMCA Secretary, Seoul, Korea
1973 November

Processing Information

Place names were modernized in the description, with the name originally used in the collection material or in an older version of the finding aid in parenthesis: e.g. “Beijing (Peking)” or “Benin (Dahomey)”.

Guide to the Lennig Sweet Papers
Compiled by Martha Lund Smalley
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Local Divinity Library Descriptive Practices
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale Divinity Library Repository

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