“There is a story to tell based on what an individual, corporation, or non profit entity has learned over time. Wisdom is gained from the trying, failing, persevering, and eventual success and refinement of a vision. I have found that the materials held in an archives have a unique power to teach, inspire or motivate, and this is why I love managing an archives. One begins to see a rhythm embedded within the stories in a collection. An arc emerges. The seeds of the original vision are found within any collection. When given the chance to linger with this material, themes rise to the surface, and one recognizes lessons being reframed and played out over time. These stories hold an extraordinary ability to inspire others to reflect, reach, and take action.”
Janine St. Germain guides corporate, non-profit, and private sector clients in leveraging their archival holdings to support an institution’s strategic plans, publicity, marketing and fundraising efforts.
Her career began twenty years ago when she created the archives for Prospect Park’s landscape architects during the restoration of Brooklyn’s Last Forest. She organized and provided access to the park’s earliest photographic print collection, including early documentation of the park by its designer Frederick Law Olmsted, as well as historic images donated to the archives by local residents.
St. Germain’s first visual arts archives project was that of theater artist Robert Wilson. Her engagement with his visually stunning and extensive collection led to a variety of artist archives projects. Fine artist Robert Kushner and performing/visual artist Christopher Knowles are among her longest-standing clients.
She is a member of the Society of American Archivists, The Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc. and the Mid Atlantic Regional Archives Conference. She is an Advisory Board Member for the IMLS-funded project “Learning from Artists’ Archives: Preparing Next Generation Art Information Professionals through Partnerships with North Carolina’s Artists’ Archives.”
St.Germain serves on the Board of Trustees and the Makerspace Steering Committee for Croton Free Library in Westchester, NY., and currently provides support in the archives of St.Bernard’s School, Vassar College’s Archives and Special Collections Library, the estate of earthworks artists Nancy Holt/Robert Smithson, and the studio of fine artist Robert Kushner.