About Us

Established in 1994, the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) collects and makes available permanently valuable records of women and women’s organizations, which document women’s lives, roles, and contributions. The Women and Leadership Archives has its roots in Mundelein College, which was founded and operated by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary  (BVM), and provided education to women from 1930 to 1991, when it affiliated with Loyola University Chicago. After the affiliation, Mundelein’s spirit lived on in the creation of the Ann Ida Gannon, BVM, Center for Women and Leadership. The Women and Leadership Archives grew out of the need to preserve Mundelein College records and expanded to collect papers of women leaders.

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 also holds the records of Mundelein College. Geographically, the WLA prioritizes collecting first within Chicago, second within the Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin), and third within the United States.

Organizationally, the WLA is part of the Ann Ida Gannon, BVM, Center for Women and Leadership, and part of Loyola’s Library system. The WLA is staffed by a Director and Graduate Assistants from Loyola’s Public History Program. Interns and volunteers also work at the WLA. For more information or to view our finding aids, visit our website.

Header photo of Margaret (Peggy) Roach and other members of St. Dorothy’s Parish at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963.


Loyola University Chicago’s Women and Leadership Archives Blog is designed to provide a positive environment for the Loyola community to discuss important issues and ideas. Differences of opinion are encouraged. We invite comments in response to posts and ask that you write in a civil and respectful manner. All comments will be screened for tone and content and must include the first and last name of the author and a valid email address. The appearance of comments on the blog does not imply the University’s endorsement or acceptance of views expressed.


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