The digital collections of the Women and Leadership Archives serve to showcase some of the artifacts and documents available in our collections. The Mundelein College Skyscraper Digital Collection and the Mundelein College Class Photo Digital Collection represent digital versions of the archives complete holdings of the Skyscraper Newspaper and Mundelein Class Photos. All other digital collections contain only a snapshot of the available information at the archive.
Click on any of the digital collections below and explore some of the featured objects in each collection. To view all the digitized material in a collection and to search within that collection, click the "browse all" button on the top banner.
These digital collections are meant to give researchers an idea of what our collections entail. The images and documents in these digital collections may not be downloaded, reproduced, or published without the express permission of the Director.
The “Feminism in Chicago” exhibit focuses on the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1970s through highlighting documents from the Connie Kiosse Paper, housed at the Women and Leadership Archives. Kiosse was an active member within Chicago’s Women’s Liberation movement throughout the 1970s and was among the founding members of The Feminist Voice, one of Chicago’s first feminist newspapers. The Feminist Voice focused on topics its editors believed were important to women of the time. Unafraid to address controversial topics, the publication included articles focused on socialism, gay rights, the Vietnam War, as well as more mainstream topics such as mental health issues and education. The majority of this exhibit is made up of selections from The Feminist Voice. Also included within the exhibit is information from the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union, an active voice of the Chicago women’s movement with a strong focus on education. This digital exhibit, however, only includes a fraction of the information and documents available within the Connie Kiosse collection. Please contact the archives at email@example.com for more information.
Virginia Gaertner Broderick is one of the most well-known and influential religious artists of the 20th Century. Her artwork has been featured in various publications, exhibits, auctions, and can be seen in churches across America. Along with her husband Robert, Virginia's contributions to the religious community has been incalculable. Broderick's artistic talent became apparent at a young age when she took classes at the Layton Art School in Milwaukee at the age of nine. She graduated at the top of her high school class in 1934 and earned a scholarship to attend Mundelein College in Chicago, a Catholic women's college. While at Mundelein, Virginia continued her artistic and literary success by serving as editor of Clepsydra and The Mundelein College Review. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1939. Virginia received additional art training at the Art Institute of Chicago, studying under Samuel Giesbert, and at the Layton Art School, studying under Gerett Sinclair. The Virginia Broderick Exhibit highlights her artistic talents and her influence within the Christian community. This exhibit only features a small sample of her collection, for more please visit the Women and Leadership Archives.
The Women in Science exhibit focuses on the contributions women have made to the field of science over the past 100 years, highlighting several key collections in the Women and Leadership Archives. Such specific areas as biology, botany, chemistry, earth science, nursing, physics, and psychology both within the world of academia and outside of it are just a few of the disciplines that women have contributed to. Numerous photographs, articles, authored textbooks, awards and certificates of achievements, correspondence, pamphlets, and various forms of scientific paraphernalia help illustrate just how large of an impact these women have had throughout the years. The exhibit includes materials from such collections as the Alice Bourke Hayes, Ph.D. Papers, the Katherine DeLage Taft Papers, the Mundelein College Archives, and the Visiting Nurse Association North Records. Please contact the archives at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Artist Mary Ellen Croteau, 2011
Chicago has been home to many female artists for years, each with her own unique career, point of view, politics, and form of expression. Whether teaching, creating art for public spaces, or making a social commentary, these women have all made contributions to Chicago’s dynamic art community. The Chicago Women Artists online exhibit provides a sampling of several women artists’ collections that have been recently acquired by the Women and Leadership Archives. The exhibit includes a variety of materials that provide an overview of ten artist’s careers: artwork, exhibition catalogs, press coverage, correspondence, photographs, resumes, artists’ statements and other unique documents. The ten featured collections include those of Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman, Mary-Ellen Croteau, Kathryn Kucera, Margot McMahon, Jacqueline Moses, Linsday Obermyer, Eileen Ryan, Susan Sensemann, SisterSerpents Artist Collective, and Mary Tobin.
This exhibit is intended to be a sampling of the WLA’s holdings related to Chicago Women Artists. We also have collections related to the following Chicago women artists: Barbara Blades, Barbara Cooper, Nichole Ferentz, Karen Hanmer, Linda Lewis Kramer, Margaret Lantermann, Silvia Malagrino, Olivia Petrides, Nancy Plotkin, Fern Shaffer, Michelle Stone, Maureen Warren, and Toby Zallman. Please contact the archives at email@example.com for more information.
Immaculata High School, also known as “The Immaculata,” was a Catholic, all-girls school located in Uptown on Chicago’s northeast side. The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) conducted the school from its opening in 1921 to its closing day sixty years later, preparing thousands of young women during its operation for their futures as women of faith, household managers, mothers, college students, and career women.
The student population increased steadily over the first forty years and peaked in the early 1960s with 1,225 students. From that point on, however, enrollment declined, and although Immaculata could boast of student representation from over 70 different countries, enrollment barely reached 500 during the 1980-1981 school year. Coupled with rising expenses of building maintenance, increased cost of faculty, and enrollment trends accelerated the Board’s decision to close the school.
The campus buildings, including Mary Hall which made the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and was named a Chicago landmark in 1983, still stand at Irving Park Road and Marine Drive.
Mercedes McCambridge was born March 16, 1916 in Joliet, IL. Her acting career began while a student at Mundelein College where she was discovered performing with the Laetare Players. She pursued careers in radio, theater and film and in 1945 won an Academy Award and two Golden Globe Awards for her portrayal of Sadie Burke in the feature film All the Kings Men. In 1969, McCambridge testified in front of the United States Senate about her struggles with being an “alcoholic person.” From that point until her death in 2004 she was a leading force in the international fight against alcoholism.
Margaret (Peggy) Roach was born in Chicago on May 16, 1927 and had a career than spanned over fifty years, only retiring five years before her death on April 20, 2006. The Peggy Roach online exhibit explores Peggy's early life, her leadership in high school and college, her accomplishments as a front line civil rights activist in the 1960s, her continuing work for civil rights and social justice for the disadvantaged and poor, her commitment to justice through religious inspiration, and her many awards. This exhibit is only a sample of materials available in the collection.
See also: Peggy Roach's inclusion in the Women and Social Justice digital collection below.
The Women and Social Justice online exhibit highlights several important collections of the Women and Leadership Archives. The exhibit focuses on the contributions of women through a variety of social justice activities in the 20th and 21st Centuries in the United States. Such causes include women’s rights, civil rights, peace movements, workers’ rights, homelessness, poverty, business ethics, and health care reform. The Women and Social Justice online exhibit includes an array of manuscript materials including correspondence, brochures, photographs, fliers, and research. The exhibit includes papers from individuals and organizations active in Chicago politics and social causes as well as movements around the United States. Those women and organizations featured in the exhibit include Peggy Roach, Mollie Lieber West, Bari-Ellen Roberts, 8th Day Center for Justice, Chicago Catholic Women, and Project I.R.E.N.E. among others.
The Mundelein College Photograph collection consists of approximately 20,000 photos and negatives. We have digitized a small selection of photographs that will be added to regularly.
The Mundelein College Yearbook Collection contains all eight of the yearbooks produced over the life span of the college. The years covered include 1931, 1932, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, and 1985. Every page, including advertisements, front and end matter, has been digitized.
The yearbooks are a welcome new addition to the digital collection of the Women and Leadership Archives and are a perfect pairing with the also newly digitized Class Photos, 1932-1993. See below.
Mundelein College: The Skyscraper Newspaper
Mundelein College published the inaugural issue of its student newspaper The Skyscraper on January 30, 1931. The Skyscraper informed the Mundelein community about local and national events as well as "all the news, views, rumor, and humor of the students of Mundelein College." The newspaper was an entirely student-run operation and continued to be published until May 1969. Various other student newspapers replaced The Skyscraper after 1969 until 1991, but none equaled the longevity and prominence of The Skyscraper.
The Skyscraper Newspaper Collection contains digital scans of the complete run of The Skyscraper from 1931 to 1969. The entire collection is keyword-searchable. The original Skyscraper newspapers are a part of the Mundelein College Records and Photograph Collection, held at the Women and Leadership Archives. Access to the originals copies and other items in the Mundelein Collection can be facilitated by a visit to the archives.
The Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVMs) founded Mundelein College in answer to Cardinal George Mundelein's call for a Catholic college for women in Chicago. The college opened its doors to its first students in 1930 as the world's first self-contained skyscraper college for women. During its sixty year existence, Mundelein offered its students a comprehensive liberal arts education, pioneering such programs as Weekend College, graduate religious education for women, graduate liberal studies, and Latina outreach.
The Mundelein College Foundations exhibit collection consists of 64 items, spanning from the groundbreaking for the school's Skyscraper building in 1929 to its dedication in 1931. These items were selected from the Mundelein College Records and Photograph Collection and include correspondence, architectural drawings, newspaper articles, and photographs related to Mundelein College's founding, construction, and dedication.
Please note: the photographs have been watermarked; however, copies of both the images and documents can be obtained from the Director of the Women & Leadership Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-508-8837.