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Cynthia Connolly Collection

Identifier: 170

Scope and Contents

The collection contains flyers for musical performances and events, and general promotional flyers. Additional materials include correspondence, newspapers, zines, and other files Connolly accumulated while booking artists, and promoting events for the Washington, D.C. music and arts venue, d.c. space.


  • Creation: 1987 - 1992


Conditions Governing Use

Collection has no known restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

Cynthia Connolly is a photographer, artist, and curator. She became involved in the punk scene in the District in 1981. From 1987-1992, Connolly worked for d.c. space, located at 7th Street NW and E Street NW as the Director of Entertainment, Public Relations, and on occasion, Art Curator. d.c. space was a Washington, D.C. music and arts venue that hosted local, national, and international concerts; film screenings; live theatre; poetry readings; and other performances. Punk bands and avant-garde artists whose styles were not especially suited for large commercial venues found a home in the small club. Connolly was responsible for booking performances, negotiating contracts with artists, promoting events through newspapers, radio, printed advertisements, and distributing flyers. She remained in this role until d.c. space closed December 31, 1991.

Connolly was one of the first employees of the independent punk music label, Dischord Records, located in Arlington, Virginia, where she was the Director of Public Relations and Promotions, from 1992 to 2002. In this position, she initiated, oversaw and managed the promotions department. sent promotional records to zines,magazines and radio stations and also distributed advertising for print media, including a growing network of national and international zines and magazines, and independently published magazines. Connolly developed an archive system for the press for all bands signed to the label, in addition to her other duties.Perhaps Connolly is most known for her cover art design for Minor Threat’s album, Out of Step. She also served as one of the editors, with Sharon Cheslow and Leslie Clague, of Banned in DC: Photos and Anecdotes From the D.C. Punk Underground (79–85), published n 1988, through her small press Sun Dog Propaganda. Banned in DC documented the early hardcore punk scene in Washington, D.C., including bands like Bad Brains and Minor Threat. Since it was first published, Banned in DC has had seven editions.

Connolly’s photography is included in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Smithsonian Museum of American History, National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and private collections.

As of 2019 Connolly serves as Special Projects Curator at the Arlington Arts Center, and resides in Arlington, Virginia.


3.5 Linear feet

4 Boxes

Language of Materials



Series I: Flyers, 3 linear feet, (1987-1992; undated)
This series contains flyers for concerts, performances, and special events held at d.c. space and other local venues. This series also contains calendars, catering advertisements and menus, and additional promotional materials for d.c. space. Arranged alphabetically by subject heading.
Subseries 1: d.c. space flyers
This subseries contains flyers from events held at d.c. space. This subseries includes mock-up and final versions of flyers with artwork created by Cynthia Connolly, Vivian Van Praet, and Bess Powell (Taylor).
Subseries 2: Other venues
This subseries contains flyers from events held at other venues.

Series 2: Working files, 0.25 linear feet (1987-1992; undated)
This series includes correspondence, copies of newspapers that contain advertisements for d.c. space, blank performance agreement forms, zines, and a d.c. space ink stamp used by Cynthia Connolly while working for the venue. Arranged alphabetically by subject heading.

Series 3: Zines, 0.25 linear feet (1987-1990 and undated)
This series includes four zines collected by Cynthia Connolly. The Crack D.C., and Pit Magazine zines contain advertisements for d.c. space.

Custodial History

The collection was donated by Cynthia Connolly, 2015.

Related Materials

Internal collections include those from the D.C.PL Punk Archive:
John Davis Collection No. 175
Eddie Janney Collection No. 181
Rachel Sengers Collection No. 173
Cynthia Uleman Collection No. 176

Related external collections include Cynthia Connolly’s donation of several books and postcard sets to the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, at the University of Maryland. Additionally, Maryland’s D.C. Punk and Indie Fanzine Collection includes zines featuring Connolly’s photography. Collection 0195-SCPA

Processing Information

Basic/Standard archival procedures were used at the time of processing. Duplicates of flyers were separated from the collection.

Cynthia Connolly Collection
An inventory of the Cynthia Connolly Collection at DC Public Library
Emily Flint
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 The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001