My business started off slowly in 2001 when a photographer colleague asked me to look at her client's closet and office in Manhattan. Her client had a large closet and an entire street level office filled with old photo albums, slides, negatives VHS tapes, films, books and tear sheets from newspapers. There were CDs of photos from pharmacies and school photo shoots and precious old photos from the 1800s saved during WWII from Europe.
I looked through the collection quietly and then she said, "Can you help me organize and restore this into something I can give back to my ex-husband and pass on to my children?" I replied, "I can, I grew up doing this and do this everyday at work. I'll do this for you, but don't tell anyone, it's my family business and I don't want to end up doing this forever."
She was very pleased with the results, and my client did indeed tell a few people. I found myself with a business I never expected to have, and one that I love.
I officially opened up Cyndi Shattuck Archiving in 2004 after leaving WSJ.com. I am a trained professional photographer (BFA in Photography), a trained metalsmith, Photo Editor and Creative Director with 10 years experience in the news business working for the Philadelphia Weekly, Main Line Weekly, The Wall Street Journal and WSJ.com. I also have over 30 years experience shooting film and digital cameras. My darkroom and studio photography experience — working with everything from Minox and Polaroids to 8” x 10” negatives — helps me identify and understand the needs of every client’s varied archive.
My parents are professional bookbinders in Princeton, NJ, they own Smith-Shattuck Bookbinding, and I grew up as their apprentice learning about handmade book construction, conservation, restoration and specialty binding. I evaluate each project with my clients on a one-to-one basis determining the best way to preserve your collection based on your budget, display needs, deadline and storage space.
My resume includes work with The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, fashion companies, art galleries, advertising agencies, celebrities, visual artists, WWII Nuremberg Trial memorabilia, memoirs, genealogies, private recipe collections, private run books, and countless old crumbling albums!
I am a member and board member of NAPO-NY and NAPO-NNJ (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) and a member of the Society of American Archivists (SAA). Photo by Fabiola Garcia