Zonta International: A History of Service in Clippings

By Dariel Chaidez

Over the next several months, the WLA Blog will feature posts written by guest writers. These writers are graduate students in the Public History program at Loyola University Chicago. Each visited the archives during Fall 2021, delved into the collections, and wrote about a topic not yet explored here. We are excited to share their research and perspectives! 

In 2012, the last President of Zonta International Oak Park donated an extensive collection of Zonta records to the Women and Leadership Archives. Within this collection, is an assemblage of newspaper clippings dating back to 1934 detailing the history of club activity through the years. These clippings reveal the impact of Zonta International’s service orientation in the village of Oak Park.

Figure A. Zonta Code of Conduct, Illustrated by Helen. L. Smith, 1921.
Theresa de Langis, Advancing The Status of Women Worldwide: A History of Zonta International 1919-1999 (Paducah, Kentucky. Turner Publishing Company, 2000), 5.
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Collection Highlight: Corinne Wood Papers

In 2018, the Women and Leadership Archives’ (WLA) political collections grew with a donation from Corinne Wood, Illinois’s first female Lieutenant Governor. The collection covers Wood’s time as Lieutenant Governor 1996-2003, her time as a state representative, as well as her political campaigns. Along with papers documenting her work and life, Wood gave the WLA a large collection of memorabilia including awards, plaques, and items gifted to her from people all over Illinois.  

Sadly, Wood passed away earlier this year.  The WLA is honored to care for these papers and looks forward to sharing the collection with researchers who want to learn about the career of a groundbreaking politician.

Read on to learn Corrinne Wood’s story and get a sneak peek at a few of the items in her collection.

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Two Years of Memories and Discoveries: Scarlett’s Salutations

How can it be two years already? My time at the WLA has been a whirlwind of learning, creativity, and collaboration. I’m so delighted to have met and worked with such wonderful people here, and grateful for these two years!

Pink clouds and a blue sky glow in the distance beyond Piper Hall's main stairs, with green foliage in bloom in the foreground.
Piper Hall at dusk, August 2019–just before I started at the WLA. Photo by Scarlett
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Artists in the WLA: Judith Roth

Artists in the WLA: Judith Roth

The Women and Leadership Archives is proud to be the home of the Judith Roth Papers. This collection includes items from 1945 until 2018, right before her passing. Roth started her life on the East Coast in Boston, Massachusetts. She earned a degree from Boston Museum School and her B.F.A from Tufts University in 1957. Eventually settling in Chicago, she continued her studies and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College. Roth worked to promote the work of women artists, including herself. Having a varied career, Roth worked with Marshall Field & Company and the Ravenswood Community Council, saw her work displayed all the way in Switzerland, worked with dancers to capture their life, and so much more. 

Figure 1: Judith Roth sitting in front of her artwork, undated.
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Social Distance Archiving: In-person Operations at the WLA

In March of 2020, the onset of COVID-19 swept through the United States bringing with it a sense of insecurity and fear, and to protect the WLA staff we transitioned to work from home. Before that happened, we heard rumors that a shutdown may occur but nothing more than three weeks. Well, here we are a year later and still nowhere near back to normal. However, WLA staff is coming back in a hybrid basis. Graduate workers are able to come back to work in-person once a week. So let me walk you through a day in the life of a graduate assistant in the age of COVID-19.  

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Black History Month Resources

Black History Month (or African-American History Month) is an annual commemoration of Black achievements and acknowledgement of their central role in the history of the United States of America. Although only officially recognized in 1976, the month-long celebration traces its origins much further back to February 1926 as a week-long celebration known as Negro History Week. Since 1996, United States Presidents have also issued commemorative annual proclamations.  

In honor of Black History Month, we are highlighting three resources at the Women and Leadership Archives – documents related to the Mundelein College United Black Association (shortened to “MuCuba”), the annual “Living in Color” issues of BROAD, a student publication by the Women’s Studies and Gender Studies program, and the papers of Carol Moseley Braun, the first African-American female senator.  

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