Tanya Elder studied Experimental Theatre, History and Archival Management at New York University and Library Science at Wayne State University. She was a children’s librarian at the Philadelphia Free Library and the Queens Public Library; she worked as an Archives Assistant at the NYU University Archives; and as a project archivist at the Brooklyn Historical Society, the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives (New York City Council, 1898-1998), and the Stephen Wise Synagogue. She was archivist at the Riverside Church in New York City, and researcher for ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
As an NHPRC archivist at the Center for Jewish History, she re-processed the Raphael Lemkin papers, a lawyer who developed the theory of genocide, and wrote on the known American archives of Lemkin entitled, “’What you see before your eyes’: documenting Raphael Lemkin’s life by exploring his archival Papers, 1900–1959,” for the Journal of Genocide Research. She also published the essays “Hip v. Nice v. Nasty. v. Traditional v. Aaarrgghhh” and “What Do I Have to Be,” for two compilations of In Our Own Voices: The Changing Face of Librarianship.
She is currently the Senior Archivist of the American Jewish Historical Society.