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Cynthia Ellen Elbaum papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00560

Scope and Contents

The Cynthia Ellen Elbaum Papers document Elbaum's career as a photojournalist, notably in Chechnya during the war with the Soviet Union. It consists primarily of biographical information, correspondence and documentation of photo exhibits compiled and curated, respectively, after her untimely death in 1994.


  • 1984-2012


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections ( at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

The material in this collection is protected by copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights for permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Permission must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Biographical / Historical

Cynthia Ellen Elbaum grew up in Ashfield, Massachusetts and attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston before graduating from Smith College in 1989, where she pursued her interest in photography and also studied Russian. She taught English while studying on a scholarship in Moscow, and then moved to New York where she taught English to Russian refugees. Elbaum began her career as a photojournalist in 1992, after she witnessed dead bodies on a Moscow street following Boris Yeltsin's takeover of the Russian parliament. On December 1, 1994, she went to Chechnya to cover the gathering of Russian forces there; she was killed three weeks later by a Russian bomb.


7 boxes (5.25 linear feet)


Photojournalist. The Papers document Elbaum's career as a photojournalist, notably in Chechnya during the war with the Soviet Union and include biographical information and photographs.


This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time. Note that in most cases, container numbers start over at 1 with each new accession.

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger
Cynthia Ellen Elbaum papers
Finding Aid
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:18-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2019-04-29: Added paper FA pencil edit changes.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063