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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.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 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 Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

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.


11.419 linear feet (12 containers)


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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Jude Elbaum, 2007 and 2012-2013.

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger

Processing Information

Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.

Cynthia Ellen Elbaum papers
Finding Aid
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063