The Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) recently received an Illinois History-Digital Imaging grant award of $84,000 to digitize and provide online access through the Illinois Digital Archives to unique historical records of Mundelein College previously only available in person at the WLA. The Secretary of State/Illinois State Library funds the grant to support eligible libraries to carry out projects involving the digitization and provision of web access to their important historical and cultural collections. The WLA’s project is called Mundelein at 90, and its activities are taking place now until summer of 2023. Project updates will be displayed on the Mundelein at 90 project page in the upcoming months.
Established in 1994, the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) collects, preserves, and makes available permanently valuable records of women and women’s organizations, which document women’s lives, roles, and contributions. The WLA grew out of the need to care for the records of Mundelein College and expanded to collect papers of women leaders and women’s organizations. The Mundelein at 90 digitization project directly supports the WLA’s mission to make these records available. Built mere days after the stock market crash of 1929, enrollment numbers for Mundelein College were beyond initial expectations, despite obvious hardships. This indomitable spirit as well as a dedication to social justice would remain constants at this new college. The history of Mundelein College, the last private, independent, Catholic women’s college in Illinois, continues to intrigue alumni, genealogists, history buffs, and architectural historians alike. Digitization of items in high demand, such as photographs of student life and notable architecture, scrapbooks created by students, student organizations, and faculty, and early documents from Mundelein College’s foundation and construction, will help meet current demand as well as expand the reach of the archives, reach new audiences, and allow access to increase significantly.
About Women and Leadership Archives
The Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) is part of the Gannon Center and Loyola University Chicago Libraries and serves a wide variety of users, ranging from students and scholars to the general public. The WLA makes records available at Loyola’s Piper Hall, offers remote reference services, presents programs, and provides online resources. For more information, visit www.LUC.edu/wla.