Museum Monday: Off to Miami! American Institute for Conservation’s Annual Meeting

I’m headed to Miami for the American Institute for Conservation’s Annual Meeting. I look forward to seeing friends and hearing about the hard work they have been doing in preserving our cultural heritage. I’ll be seeing a lot of the inside of a modern meeting space, but will see more of Miami at AIC conference events at HistoryMiami and when I finally break free of the building for dinner. My schedule is full and varied; here are some highlights:

  • Influencing for Impact: Leadership Strategies for Collection Care Professionals. This workshop, led by Bob Norris, with myself and Courtney von Stein as mid-career and entry level preservation professionals, will explore the relationship, communication, and leadership strategies for those who champion collection care. Not only is Bob a recognized management consultant, he’s the husband of Debbie Hess Norris, so he is very familiar with conservation! One takeaway I’ve had in planning the workshop so far: what do you want your leadership legacy to be? While “capable” was the first word at the top of my list, immediately after that was making sure that all on my team know that their role is integral and valued. Preservation is built on systems that must endure over time. The greatest resource is the people who make it happen.
  • STASH Flash II! Wednesday, 4:30pm. A rapid fire ideas session for object storage supports, hosted by the minds behind the Storage Techniques for Art, Science, and History collections website.
  • Collection Care Network Session, Thursday afternoon. The CCN formed in 2012 to further preventive conservation, network with allied professions, and support all preservation professionals who contribute to it. This year, we will have presentations on microclimates, preservation self-assessment tools, food and drink policies, the Connecting 2 Collection Care program, exhibition case design, and considerations on conservation as a prevention of harms or a social good.
  • The Heritage Health Information survey lunch on Friday, the kick-off session for the 2015 version of the state of preservation in American collections. I think that many share my sadness at the closure of Heritage Preservation, long the mind and energy behind very important preservation and emergency preparedness resources and projects. I look forward to hearing the initial results of this project, and celebrating the move of so many important HP projects under AIC’s wing.

Please make sure to stop me and say hello in Miami!

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.