Loyola University Chicago

University Newsroom

Press Release - September 28, 2022

Primary Contact:
Emily Reiher

Secondary Contact:
Matthew McDermott 

Women and Leadership Archives at Loyola University Chicago to Digitize Mundelein College Materials with Illinois History Digital Imaging Grant 

CHICAGOSeptember 28, 2022 

The Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) at Loyola University Chicago completed the first year of the Mundelein at 90 digitization project in July 2022 after receiving an Illinois History Digital Imaging grant of $84,000. 

The Mundelein at 90 project, named in honor of Mundelein College’s 90-plus years of existence, aims to digitize and provide online access to unique historical records from Mundelein College previously only available in person at the WLA.  Items will be available through the Illinois Digital Archives.

The Secretary of State and Illinois State Library administer the Illinois History Digital Imaging grant program, which provides funding for eligible libraries to carry out projects involving the digitization and provision of web access to their important historical and cultural collections. Digital Imaging grants support the creation of digital collections while expanding access to those collections through the Illinois Digital Archives, a repository for digital collections of the Illinois State Library as well as other libraries and cultural institutions in the State of Illinois. 

The grant project includes the hiring of student Digitization and Metadata Assistants, who began scanning and creating metadata for photos in the Mundelein College Photograph Collection in spring 2022. Over 4,000 photographs, slides, and negatives have been digitized to date. This collection contains photographs of Mundelein College’s students, faculty, architecture, and special events. These photographs document the many changes in women’s education, Catholicism, and American culture throughout the school’s history. Student Digitization and Metadata Assistants will continue throughout the next academic year to prepare these digitized images to be published online. 

An archival digitization vendor is working to digitize a selection of 18 scrapbooks and 748 issues of student publications and other unique materials from the Mundelein College Records. These items, which contain photographs, writings, and artwork created by Mundelein students, require additional care and expertise in the scanning process due to their fragile and complex nature. These digitized materials will be available online for the first time on the Illinois Digital Archives in 2023. 

The WLA will continue to share the progress of the project on their website and through posts on Facebook. A video detailing how to view the items online will be shared on the WLA’s YouTube channel at the end of the project in summer 2023. 


About Loyola University Chicago 
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with nearly 17,500 students. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in in Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens), and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 15 schools, colleges, and institutes. Ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations including AmeriCorps and the Carnegie Foundation. To learn more about Loyola, visitLUC.edu or follow us on Twitter via@LoyolaChicago. 

About Women and Leadership Archives at Loyola University Chicago 
Established in 1994, the 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. Mundelein at 90 directly supports the WLA’s mission to make these records available.

About Mundelein College 
Mundelein College, founded and operated by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was constructed mere days after the stock market crash of 1929. Enrollment numbers were beyond initial expectations, despite obvious hardships. This indomitable spirit as well as a dedication to social justice would remain constant at this new college. The history of Mundelein College, the last private, independent, Catholic women’s college in Illinois, continues to intrigue alumni, genealogists, history buffs, and architectural historians alike. 

For updates on the Mundelein at 90 project, visit LUC.edu/WLA/Mundeleinat90 or follow WLA on Facebook. For more inquiries about the grant, please contact us at WLArchives@LUC.edu.