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Joan Ellis Shatkin Papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0200-0038

Scope and Contents

The papers of Joan Ellis Shatkin offer a glimpse into the lives of the Ellis and Shatkin families, both long standing Buffalo families. This collection should be combined with the Temple Beth Zion collection in which further biographical materials relating to the Ellis and Shatkin families can be found.


  • 1890s-1986
  • Majority of material found within 1951-1986


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The personal papers of Joan Ellis Shatkin, 1890s-1986 (bulk 1951-1986) are open for research. There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of this collection.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

Joan was born on April 28, 1930 in Buffalo, New York to parents Corine and Michael Franklin Ellis. She attended the State University of Buffalo and entered the family advertising business: Ellis Advertising Company. She was heavily involved in lay leadership within a number of Buffalo institutions that ranged across educational, special interest and Jewish organizations. Her board activity included the Better Business Bureau, the Heart Association, Daemon College and the United Jewish Federation among others. From 1972 to 1976, she served as international president of the college sorority, Sigma Delta Tau and from 1976-1978 she served on the Amherst Central Junior-Senior High School PTA. She was a member of the Zonta Club if Buffalo and president of the Buffalo chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), as well as a local NCJW publicity chair. Formerly the chair of Temple Beth Zion's Religious School Committee from 1974 to 1978, she also served for three terms on the synagogue's Board of Trustees. She was appointed president of Temple Beth Zion in 1978, being the first woman to hold this position and was also re-elected to this position, serving until 1981. During this period, the synagogue opened the Cofeld Museum on October 6, 1978, celebrated Rabbi Martin Goldberg's 25th Anniversary and saw the introduction of life membership for synagogue members.


0.2 Linear Feet (1 half manuscript box)


Personal papers documenting aspects of the Ellis and Shatkin families. Materials include photographs and newspaper clippings.


This collection is arranged in two series as follows:

  1. Photographs
  2. Clippings

Acquisition Information

Cynthia Oppenheimer donated her mother’s family materials in 2014. The papers were arranged in January 2016 and it was deposited at the University Archives, Special Collections by the Jewish Buffalo Archives Project in March 2016. The Jewish Buffalo Archives Project was founded in late 2007 under the auspices of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Buffalo with a seed grant from the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies. The Archives Project collects mainly twentieth century documentation relating to the diverse histories, religious traditions and cultures of Jewish communities within the Greater Buffalo area of Western New York, encompassing the geographic areas of Erie and Niagara Counties and partners with the University Archives at the University at Buffalo to make these records accessible. The arrangement and description of the Joan Ellis Shatkin Papers was made possible by funding obtained through the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies.

Accruals and Additions

Accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Materials

Processing Information

Collection was processed by Chana Revell Kotzin in January 2016. Finding aid encoded by University staff, March 2016.


Finding Aid for the Joan Ellis Shatkin Papers
Finding aid was finalized by Chana Revell Kotzin.
March 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)