The largest part of the collection consists of professional black and white photographs from noted Harlem photographers Austin Hansen and Walter Baker. There are also a few color photos, negatives and snapshots. Most of the images are from the period 1940-1970, although there are some earlier images. They focus on events, most frequently dinners, fund-raising events, and award ceremonies. Most of the people in the photographs are unidentified. However, some known prominent board members and long time employees appear frequently. In addition, local political figures, such as Shirley Chisholm, Charles Rangell, Percy Sutton, and John Lindsay are represented. National figures such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Ralph Abernathy also visited the Harlem Branch YMCA. Performers such as opera star William Warfield and comedian Richard Pryor made appearances at the Harlem Branch YMCA auditorium.