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Linda Schein Greenebaum papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00655

Scope and Contents

The Linda Schein Greenebaum Papers consist of 1.5 linear feet of material arranged in three series: I. Biographical Material, II. Correspondence, and III. Writings. Covering the years from her childhood until the 2000s, the collection provides an intimate perspective on the self-described "over-educated and under-distinguished" musician, teacher, writer, and mother. Biographical material includes family and personal photographs, clippings, early writings, and music programs. Correspondence mainly documents her childhood years and European travels in the mid-1950s. Schein family history can be found in the biographical material and correspondence as well as her 1999 book, Elizer's Troupe. Greenebaum's diaries provide a rich record of self-reflection over the course of her life, encompassing the subjects of love, loss, profession, religion, and parenting, among others. She recounts such deeply personal events as extramarital affairs and depression. One set of diaries is related to therapy sessions; the other, more day-to-day reflections. Like the diaries, the memoir, Eta Bita Pi, is a candid exploration of her personal and professional development. Additions to the collection are expected.

Dates of Materials

  • 1930-2009


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that she owns copyright, Greenebaum has retained copyright until her death in her works donated to Smith College. After that time, copyright in these works will transfer to Smith College.] Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. 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. For those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by Greenebaum, 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

Linda Schein Greenebaum was born in Chicago in 1935 to Elizabeth (Cain) and Ernest Schein. Initially raised in Evanston, Illinois, her family moved to Washington D.C. in the mid-1940s. Though her father was of Jewish decent, and her mother's family Episcopalian, the family adopted Christian Science. The failure to seek medical intervention was a factor in the death of a younger sister, Paula, in 1947, of nephritis. The Scheins were a musical family, and Linda played violin, taking advance training in classical music and performing in orchestras and concerts. She graduated as valedictorian from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1952 and attended Radcliffe College, where she majored in European history. She was awarded the A.B. in 1956. She later earned a Master of Arts in Music Education from Smith College in 1978. After her undergraduate work, she travelled to Germany as a Fulbright Scholar. In 1960 she married Michael Greenebaum and settled in the Chicago suburbs. There, and in Cambridge and Amherst, Massachusetts, she raised the couple's four daughters--Sarah, Katherine, Deborah, and Susan. In these years she also gave music lessons and performed with local groups, sometimes with her children. As her children grew older, she took more steady work as a music instructor. Experiencing marital and emotional difficulties, Greenebaum began a journey through therapy, spirituality, and self-help in the 1970s that would continue over the subsequent decades. Her marriage ended in divorce in 1985. Exploring the Jewish and musical heritage of her paternal family, Greenebaum published a family history, Elizer's Troupe: Scheins in America, in 1999. She then converted to Judaism but later drifted from it. A 2008 memoir, Eta Bita Pi, took a frank look at her tumultuous past. She currently lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.


1.313 linear feet (4 containers)


Author, Musician, Teacher. The Linda Schein Greenebaum Papers cover the years from her childhood until the present and provide an intimate perspective on the self-described "over-educated and under-distinguished" musician, teacher, writer, and mother. Materials include biographical material, correspondence, writings, diaries, and family history.


This collection is organized into four series:


Other Finding Aids

Affiliated subject guides: Writers and poets, Local history, Diaries, autobiographies

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Linda Schein Greenebaum donated her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection in 2010.


Periodic additions to this collection are expected and may not be reflected in this record.

Processing Information

Processed by Olivia Mandica-Hart and Amanda Izzo, 2011.

Linda Schein Greenebaum papers
Finding Aid
Finding aid prepared by Olivia Mandica-Hart and Amanda Izzo
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:10-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

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

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063