Biography and History

Nancy Crawshaw was born Cecilia Anna Mary Jenkins in 1914 in Vevey, Switzerland, to British parents. She trained as a photographer at the Reimann School of Photography and Commercial Art at their Vienna and London locations. (The rise of Nazism and World War II made the switch between these two necessary.)

After temporarily working as a wartime civil servant, she began a career in journalism, starting out initially as a photo-journalist in 1946. Continuing in this specialty during the next three years, she worked in the Balkans and the Middle East. She accompanied the United Nations investigation team in Communist-held Northern Greece, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria as an independent photo-journalist, and was commissioned by G.B. Instructional Films Ltd. to make six film strips on “The Geography of the Desert,” traveling to Iraq, Kurdistan, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.

In the next phase of her career she focused chiefly on print journalism, although she continued to take photographs which occasionally accompanied her articles. She became an accredited special correspondent for the Manchester Guardian in Greece (1949-1959) and Cyprus (1955-1959). From this point on, she regularly took extended trips to both Greece and Cyprus and was seen as a British expert on the international political issues regarding Cyprus. She wrote numerous articles for foreign policy periodicals, gave lectures and papers at academic conferences, and contributed sections to books on Cyprus and the Encyclopedia Americana. This standing as an expert was greatly bolstered in 1978 with the publication of her book The Cyprus Revolt, which focused on the period between World War II and the international agreement that created the independent Republic of Cyprus, and the struggle of the Greek-Cypriot population for union with Greece.

She served as one of two British consultants to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in connection with a major research project that resulted in the book Le Conflit de Chypre by Professor Francois Crouzet (2 vols., Bruylant, Brussels, 1973). During the 1950s, she was twice employed by the British Foreign Office, once in 1953 to research the Arab States and their oil industries, and once in 1958 to aid their publicity efforts by giving lectures in connection with the Cyprus Crisis and the Cyprus debate in the UN. In addition, she served as a specialist adviser on the Cyprus Problem to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee from 1980 to1983.

She married J.T. Crawshaw (a Lloyd's underwriter) in 1939, and was a member of the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and a licentiate of the British Institute of Professional Photographers.

Source: From the finding aid for C0881


  • Journalists -- Cyrpus -- 20th century..
  • Nancy Crawshaw Papers. 1930s-1996 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C0881

    The Nancy Crawshaw Papers contains the correspondence, photographs, and writings of Nancy Crawshaw, as well as copies of her published work. Her writings include work on her book The Cyprus Revolt (1978), lectures, broadcasts and articles from her career as a journalist, and her notes and other writings.