Loyola University Chicago

Women and Leadership Archives

History Fair

Visiting the Women and Leadership Archives

The Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) is excited to welcome History Fair participants! WLA staff are happy to work with both students and teachers on topic ideas and use of primary sources from the archives. When visiting the WLA, students may feel free to talk with staff about what records pertain to a potential subject and how to use finding aids. WLA staff are well-versed in working with primary sources and eager to help.

Teachers may also feel free to contact the WLA Director to discuss potential topics and archival resources. Sometimes archival records are a bit "hidden" and specific pertinent collections are not readily visible through finding aids or other online resources.

The WLA is open by appontment only, Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm. We are sometimes able to offer special/weekend appointments with advance notice. Find more information at luc.edu/wla/contactinfodirectionshours/.

To make an appointment or to learn more about our collections, contact us at 773.508.8837 or WLArchives@LUC.edu. The WLA is located in Piper Hall on Loyola University Chicago’s Lake Shore Campus, 970 W. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL. View a campus map (Piper Hall is #29 along the lakefront).

Using Primary Sources

Unsure where to begin? We're here to help. Primary sources provide a wealth of interesting information ‌to the historical researcher, but if you've never done research with primary sources before, it can be an intimidating prospect.

So what is a primary source?
Where do I begin?
What kind of sources are reliable?
Can I take what my source says at face value?
How do I analyze and interpret a primary source?

If you've found yourself feeling unsure about how to approach primary sources, be sure to explore our Primary sources guide for explanations and suggestions as well as exercises to improve your research abilities.

Want to see what it is really like to do research at the WLA? Watch this short video of Lu Wolf, Loyola's mascot, visiting the archives!

Additionally, the Library of Congress has fantastic resources for teachers about using primary sources in the classroom. Check them out here.

Finding a Topic

The WLA holds a wide range of collections that might be of interest to students working on History Fair projects. Many of our collections also contain a variety of materials, including documents, correspondence, photographs, videos, oral histories, and more! Check out our History Fair Flyer for suggestions or browse the list of WLA collections for inspiration. Click on "Finding Aid" to learn more about a specific collection or view collections by subject. Visit the websites for National History Day and the Chicago Metro History Fair for more information. The 2024 theme is Turning Points in History.