Loyola University Chicago

Women and Leadership Archives

Collection and Acquisition Policy

Collection Policy

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. Part of the Ann Ida Gannon, BVM, Center for Women and Leadership, and the Loyola University Chicago Libraries, the WLA serves a wide variety of users ranging from students and scholars to the general public. The WLA makes records available at the Archives and through remote reference services, as well as provides programs and online resources.

Collecting Priorities

Activism and Women’s Issues: Papers of women and women’s organizations that focus on activism and/or women’s issues

Authors: Books, publications, and papers of authors

Education: Records of organizations or individuals regarding women’s education and/or educational organizations founded by women

Environment: Papers of women involved in environmental issues

Mundelein College: Records of Mundelein College, published information about Mundelein, papers of graduates that fit topically and geographically into the WLA collecting scope

Public Service: Papers of women in politics from the local, regional, and national levels

Social Justice: Papers of women and woman-focused organizations concerned with social justice activities and social justice oriented organizations that were founded by women, and/or have a strong woman’s component

Fine, Performance, and Visual Arts: Papers of women in the fine, performance, and visual arts. Individual works of art will not be accepted except on a case by case basis

Women Religious: Records about or produced by women religious that fit topically and geographically into the WLA collecting scope

Geographical Considerations

Collecting will adhere to the following geographic criteria, in rank order.

  • Chicago, the surrounding areas, and the state of Illinois
  • Midwest: East North Central Division that includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin
  • United States

Collections of donors who work internationally will be considered if they are based in, or at one point resided in one of the aforementioned geographical areas.

Record Formats & Chronological Considerations

Records focus is on the 20th and 21st centuries. Materials from the 19th century will be collected when possible to acquire exceptional collections within the WLA scope.

Formats accepted include paper, photographs/slides, and audiovisual materials. Medium to large three dimensional objects may also be accepted on a case by case basis to ensure they can be properly cared for.

Donations that include electronic or born digital records will be evaluated prior to acceptance to determine the WLA has sufficient resources to preserve and make them available.

Acquisition Process

Collections may be acquired for the WLA via gift or bequest. The acquisition process for an item or collection is guided by the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the WLA collection policy.
  • Size and condition of the item/collection.
  • Ability of the WLA to process, preserve, and make the records available.

Collections may not be accepted under the following conditions:

  • If legal ownership is in question.
  • If it consists of a partial collection when major portions of the collection have been donated elsewhere.
  • If requirements come with the gift that cannot be met.

The WLA Director makes the final decision regarding collection acceptance to ensure the donation fits with the WLA collecting policy; that resources are available to preserve and make available collections to researchers; and that the university’s gift policy is followed. All donation negotiations will be handled by the WLA Director, who may enlist the assistance of the Dean of Libraries and/or the Director of the Ann Ida Gannon, BVM, Center for Women and Leadership. If a collection is not suitable for the WLA, the WLA Director will refer the donor to more suitable repositories.

In addition to the WLA Director, the Director of the Ann Ida Gannon, BVM, Center for Women, and the Dean of Libraries have authority to accept collections for the WLA. When possible, they will consult with the WLA Director prior to accepting a donation.

Deed of Gift

All donors, or legal designees, are required to sign a deed of gift transferring legal title to the WLA. The signed deed of gift becomes a part of the permanent collection record. Collections without a deed of transferring legal title will not be accepted. The deed of gift includes transfer of copyright to the WLA. Copyright may also be shared between donor and the WLA or reside with the donor for a number of years and then transferred to the WLA. Cases when copyright is not transferred outright to the WLA will be clearly noted in the deed of gift.

If the donor requests the return of material for which there is a deed of gift, the Dean of Libraries and University legal counsel will be consulted prior to a decision of return. No donation will be accepted that is not open for public access immediately or upon some specific future date.

Donors, working with the WLA Director, may specify that parts or all of a collection may be temporarily closed or restricted for a reasonable period of time. Such restrictions will be clearly stated in the deed of gift. Donations that a donor wishes to see all, or parts of, closed permanently will not be accepted.

Because of Internal Revenue Service regulations and conflict of interest issues, the WLA may not appraise donated materials, provide tax advice, or interpret tax laws.


Loans of materials will only be accepted in rare cases. Deposits of materials will not be accepted without the explicit agreement that such materials will be gifted in the future to the WLA, for example, by the estate of the donor.

Deaccessioning Policy

Occasionally it may be necessary to remove material from a collection. Deaccessioning is the term used regarding formal removal of materials from the custody of an archives through return to the donor, transfer to a more appropriate institution, or destruction.

The following factors are considered when considering de-accession of an item or collection:

  • The item or collection can no longer be properly stored, preserved, or used.
  • The item or collection no longer retains its physical integrity, identity, or authenticity.
  • The item or collection is duplicated elsewhere in the WLA collections.
  • The item or collection is too costly to store, display, or maintain.
  • The item or collection no longer fits within the WLA collection policy.

When one or more of these factors have been met, deaccessioning may be initiated by the WLA Director. If more than 20% of a collection is considered for deaccessioning, the WLA Director will determine the best procedure for handling the materials, make a recommendation to the Dean of Libraries and the Gannon Center Director, and carry out the recommendation. A permanent deaccession list will be created and maintained by the WLA Director.

Collection and Acquisition Policy last updated August 2014.

To download a pdf of the policy, click here.