Loyola University Chicago

Women and Leadership Archives

PWA Preservation Project

The PWA Preservation Project was a partnership between the Polish Women's Alliance of America (PWA) and the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) from 2016-2022. PWA records are housed at the WLA, and a fundraising campaign was launched in 2016 to support the preservation of PWA historical documents and photographs.

Preservation of oversized photographs and certificates was completed by specialists at the Conservation Center in Chicago. These materials were unrolled, flattened, digitized, and can be viewed online as part of the WLA's digital collections: PWA Digital Collection.


 , 1927


December 2022
With the final remaining funds of the PWA Preservation Project, two articles printed in the August 14, 1919 issue of Gɫos Polek were translated from Polish to English. One article discusses women’s role in the Polish military, and the other tells the journey of a Polish American woman who traveled to Europe to work with the Polish White Cross during WWI. Both articles were requested by a researcher, and the translations are available to the public online.

“A Woman in the Service of the Army”

“The Bravery of the Polish Woman from America”

Read the full issue of Glos Polek, August 14, 1919.

November 2022
With funds from the PWA Preservation Project, the WLA was able to procure additional preservation work on large bound volumes from the collection. 28 ledgers, most from the early 1900s with handwritten pages, were placed in the expert care of the Graphic Conservation Company in Oak Park, Illinois. All bound volumes were cleaned and custom boxes were created to fit each ledger precisely and provide long term storage. Three ledgers with extensive wear and damage to the spine and covers had additional treatment where the binding was restored and covers repaired.

Polish Women's Alliance

Custom ledger boxes

Polish Women's Alliance

1899 ledger before and after preservation treatment

June 2020
The preservation project between the PWA and the WLA is well underway! Read the latest update in the June 2020 issue of Fraternally Yours (Zenska Jednota), the official publication for the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association. READ

April 2018
120th Anniversary of the Founding of the Polish Women's Alliance of America: Sunday, April 29, 2018, celebrate the PWA 120th Anniversary with the WLA! A lunch and presentation of the WLA/PWA Preservation Project will take place in the Klarchek Information Commons 4th Floor. INVITATION

December 2016
The Polish Women's Alliance (PWA) and the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) have teamed up for the PWA Preservation Project. The PWA is one of the oldest fraternal benefit societies founded by women to help them and those they care about establish financial security and economic independence. LEARN MORE