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Elisa Leonelli Photographs and Essays

Identifier: H-Mss-1102

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

The collection contains materials relating to the career of photojournalist Elisa Leonelli. The majority were created for general interest periodicals, particularly fashion and travel magazines. Items include photographic slides, photographs, photograph negatives, press releases, model release forms, and magazine clippings.

Series 1 contains 35mm slides of various subjects and accompanying supplemental materials such as press releases, release forms, and photographic prints. Series 2 contains magazine clippings from various international fashion magazines for which Leonelli had photographed and conducted actor and director interviews.


  • Creation: 1973-2017

Language of Materials

Languages represented in the collection: English, German, Japanese, Italian, Russian, and Spanish.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.

Biographical / Historical

Elisa Leonelli was born in Modena, Italy. In 1970 she graduated from the University of Bologna with a BA in Film Aesthetics and became a film critic for the Pesaro Film Festival. During that time she developed an interest in photography and soon after moved to the United States to work on the production of avant-garde television (The Chicken Little Comedy Show, 1972; Beneath the War of the Worlds, 1974). In Los Angeles she began working as a photojournalist; her first assignment was to photograph the 100 best places in Los Angeles for Coast in 1974. She went on to photograph for Time, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, Herald Examiner, Los Angeles Magazine, Westways, and others. Between 1981 and 1986 Leonelli specialized in travel photography, visiting such countries as China, Mexico, Japan, Peru, Brazil, India, and Nepal. In 1984 she covered the Los Angeles Olympics and had her work published in the book Olimpiadi 1984. In 1987 Leonelli became the Los Angeles correspondent for the Italian film magazine Ciak, and served as the film editor of Venice Magazine from 1990 to 1999. In 1997 she received an MA in Critical Studies from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. In 2007 she wrote the book Robert Redford and the American West. Leonelli has written feature articles about film actors and directors for numerous Italian publications, including Epoca, Elle, Marie Claire, Gioia, Donna Moderna, Glamour, Myself, and the Spanish film magazine Cinemanía. She has been the Los Angeles correspondent for the Italian monthly Best Movie since 2005, editor of the Reynier Village Blog since 2009, and a regular contributor to Cultural Weekly since 2015.


10 Linear Feet : 10 record boxes.


The collection contains 35mm photographic travel slides and international fashion magazine clippings by photo-journalist Elisa Leonelli. The slides cover a wide range of subjects and geographic locations, including extensive coverage of the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics. The fashion magazines are from a variety of countries, predominantly Italy, and include celebrity photographs and interviews.


This collection has been arranged into the following series:

Series 1: Slides and supplemental materials, 1973-1999 Series 2: Magazine clippings, 1987-2017

Materials have been organized alphabetically by subject or periodical title.

Physical Locaction

Please consult repository.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Elisa Leonelli, 2018.


No additions to the collection are anticipated.

Related Materials

Leonelli maintains a website featuring her photographs and interviews:

Processing Information

Processed in 2018 by graduate students Alan Schooling and Myles Mikulic at Claremont Graduate University, in the Special Collections branch of the Honnold Mudd Library with assistance from Lisa Crane. Materials have been stored in acid free folders and placed in record boxes. The slides are in their original slide pages and include any supplemental materials. Folders have been organized alphabetically by subject, based on the original slide page titles by Leonelli. Magazine clippings have been arranged alphabetically by publication title, then chronologically.

Elisa Leonelli Photographs and Essays Collection
Finding aid prepared by Alan Schooling and Myles Mikulic
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the 01 - Special Collections & Archives, The Claremont Colleges Library Repository

800 North Dartmouth Ave
Claremont CA 91711 United States