Loyola University Chicago

Women and Leadership Archives

Chicago Area Women's History Council Project


In 2008, the Chicago Area Women's History Council launched an ambitious and exciting new project to document the women's movement in the Chicago area over several decades. The project hopes to identify significant personalities, issues, actions, organizations, institutions, and legislative initiatives that contributed to the social, cultural, and political changes of the period. This project embraces feminism in all of its diversity and contradictions including advocates of equal rights, equal opportunity, women's liberation, social feminism, issues of sexuality, racial, and class identity, socialist feminisms, liberal and even conservative feminisms. The geographic area of the project includes Chicago as well as its suburbs. Most recently, in March 2012, the CAWHC launched the oral history part of the project.

For additional information please visit the Chicago Area Women's History Council.

Role of the Women & Leadership Archives

The principal role of the Women & Leadership Archives (WLA) is to serve as an archives interested in receiving materials related to women in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois and the midwest. Collecting these materials is central to our mission and purpose. As a newer archives, founded just 18 years ago, we have the space and resources to conserve and preserve the records for many generations to come.

If you are interested in having a conversation about your materials or those of your organization, please feel free to contact the WLA at nfreeman1@luc.edu or wlarchives@luc.edu.

Donating Materials to an Archives

Donating personal or organizational records is often a deeply personal process which can take from a few hours to a few years to complete depending on the concerns and materials involved. It is simply different for everyone. But how to start the process? For most people that's with a general conversation with a professional archivist about what materials they have and what it means to donate records. Very often the donation process is shrouded in mystery which leads to the perception that it is exceptionally complex. This is not true. An archivist will be able to help you along the way, including identifying your rights as a donor, appraising the materials, arranging the pick up or shipment of the materials, and the legal transfer.

But what to deposit? Each archives is very different and are limited by space and resources. Within these limitations, however, there is usually a great deal of diversity in the types of records that are donated. The following are not exclusive lists, but are typical of some of the materials that can be found in an archives. Also listed are some of the typical (and not so typical) formats of material found in archives.

Personal PapersOrganization Records
Clubs and/or Associations
Personal Correspondence (email, paper, cards, notes)
School Course Schedules
Report Cards, Performances, Assignments
Curriculum Vitae or Resume
Materials related to Family History (partner, spouse, children)
Scrapbooks and/or Photo Albums
Loose Photos
Lectures and/or Speeches
Unpublished & Published Research
Subject Files (relevant to research)
Interviews (tapes and transcriptions)
Awards and/or Certificates
Newsletters, Fliers, Brochures
Committee Work (agendas, meeting minutes)
Community Activity and/or Public Service
Major Projects/Positions/Employment
Professional Affiliations
Proposals and/or Grants
Staff Related/Rosters
Community Activity and/or Public Service
Major Projects
Proposals and/or Grants
Ephemera (posters, banners, editorials, buttons)
Speeches, Press Releases
Subject Files (relevant to interest)
Tapes (audio or video) public events
Articles of Incorporation
Bylaws and Revisions
Legal Documents
Membership Lists
Planning Documents
Newsletters/ Brochures, Pamphlets, Fliers
Committee work (agenda, meeting minutes)


Paper (Regular, Newspaper, Fax paper, tissue, laminated)
Digital (flash drive/pendrive, cd, cd-rom, CD-RW, DVD, zip, floppy)
Audio-Visual (vinyl, 8-track, cassettes, reel-to-reel, slides, VHS, BETA)
Photographs (almost any condition, size, age, framed or unframed, slides)
Ephemera (Banners, signs, posters, awards, plaques, pins, pens, busts, trophies, clothing)