Hoellen Family Foundation funds generously donated to the Women and Leadership Archives were used to conserve individual items across several collections of high research and historic value. Below are examples from each of the collections. Items were added to the WLA digital collections in Preservica in December 2020.
[Image: Conusl General Tytus Zbyszewski Testimonial Dinner, 1934, Polish Women's Alliance of America Records]
Founded in 1898, the Polish Women’s Alliance of America (PWA) is a fraternal society that originally focused on the needs of women and their families, as well as the promotion of pride in Polish heritage. This bilingual collection contains correspondence, ledgers, ephemera, publications, and audiovisual materials that document the PWA’s national efforts and local impact. Eight oversized photographs depicting notable gatherings in PWA history were selected for digitization.
[Image: Photo on scrapbook page (West seated 5th from right), 1945, Mollie Lieber West Papers]
The collection of Mollie Lieber West, a Mundelein College alumna, documents the struggles and achievements of women workers in the twentieth century labor union movement. Her collection encompasses her personal and professional life, including scrapbooks. This scrapbook documents West’s activities in 1945, when she served as an American Delegate to the Youth Congress held in London and the World Student Congress in Czechoslovakia. This period of time is largely undocumented in her papers and correspondence; the digitized scrapbook provides insight into a period of her life that has not yet been closely studied.
[Image: 67th Evacuation Hospital, c. 1943, Imogene and Ruby Martin Papers]
Imogene and Ruby Martin were cousins who served overseas as nurses in the U.S. Army during WWII. This photograph was previously rolled and underwent conversation treatment; the newly treated photograph can now be stored and handled more safely. This treatment also allowed for the digitization above. Although this collection remains unprocessed, we hope the images provide a glimpse of what is yet to come.