Summer Researchers at the WLA or How To Spend Summer Vacation

Every summer is a busy time at the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) and this past one did not disappoint. Of the various folks who came to research, three spent a significant amount of time over multiple visits.

Researcher Jill Plummer

Researcher Jill Plummer

Jill Plummer, a Ph.D. student at the University of Notre Dame, is a 2015 WLA Summer Research grant recipient. In July and the first full week in August, Plummer immersed herself in the archives. She used the following question to guide her research: how did Catholic nuns turn out to be one of the few visibly active legacies of the 1960s New Left today? Plummer’s future dissertation project aims to answer this question by tracing the growth of American sisters’ religiously-inspired peace and justice activism against U.S. foreign policy in Central America and for anti-nuclear and disarmament campaigns.

. Dr. Suzanne Bost is a Professor in the Department of English and the Graduate Program Director for Women’s Studies and Gender Studies at Loyola.

Dr. Suzanne Bost is a Professor in the Department of English and the Graduate Program Director for Women’s Studies and Gender Studies at Loyola.

The other WLA Summer Research Grant recipient visited the archives many times throughout the summer. Dr. Suzanne Bost is a Professor in the Department of English and the Graduate Program Director for Women’s Studies and Gender Studies at Loyola. WLA collections aided her analysis of the ways women religious write about their social justice work with Latina/o communities. Dr. Bost focused on exploring the reciprocity, identification, and affection established between the primarily white social justice workers and the Latinas they worked to serve.

Documentary Filmmaker Marleen McCurtis doing research.

Documentary Filmmaker Marleen McCurtis doing research.

Documentary filmmaker Marleen McCurtis came to the WLA this summer to delve into the collection of Margaret (Peggy) Roach. McCurtis is working on a film that details Wednesdays in Mississippi (WIMS), the only civil rights project organized by women for women. WIMS brought interracial, interfaith teams of northern, middle aged, and middle and upper class women to Jackson, MS, to meet with their Southern counterparts. Peggy Roach participated in WIMS and her collection is rich with details of the program.

Nancy became Director of the WLA in spring, 2013. Prior to that, Nancy was an archivist and records manager at a wildlife research facility for the USDA in Colorado. Nancy has worked in the archival field since 1999. When not at the WLA, Nancy enjoys spending time with her family and knitting.

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About Women and Leadership Archives

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. Collection strengths include the subject areas of activism and women’s issues; authors; education; environmental issues; public service; social justice; women religious; and the fine, performance, and visual arts. The WLA is part of the Gannon Center and Loyola University Libraries and serves a wide variety of users, ranging from students and scholars to the general public. The WLA makes records available at the Archives in Loyola’s Piper Hall, offers remote reference services, presents programs, and provides online resources. Staff include a Director, Assistant Archivist, and graduate assistants from Loyola’s Public History Program.

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