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.

Prepping for the American Institute for Conservation / Canadian Association for Conservation Meeting in Montreal

Preservation professionals are getting ready for the joint American Institute for Conservation/ Canadian Association for Conservation’s joint meeting in Montreal, May 13-18. I like to use the term “preservation professionals” rather than conservators. Many of us work closely together to … Continue reading

Survey for Collection Managers and Registrars about Developing a Preventive Conservation Major at Winterthur

As collection managers and registrars, we are charged with a wide array of responsibilities in administrating the balance between preservation and access for collections. Preventive conservation has grown expansively since the 1980s. With it came new technologies, new procedures, and … Continue reading

Share the Care: AIC’s Collection Care Network and the International Association of Museum Facility Administrators Joint Meeting in Montreal, May 13-14, 2016 at AIC and CAC Annual Meeting

Think about it: how much time do you spend working with colleagues to achieve preservation-conducive conditions at your institution and managing expectations? How much of that work have you had to do on the fly? In the hall? At lunch? … Continue reading

The Brutal and the Beautiful New York State Museum

This weekend, Dr. V, Jake, and myself went up to Albany to visit the New York State Museum. We had the very good luck of running into Kate Weller, Chief of Museum Education, Visitor Services and Public Programs. She gave … Continue reading

You May Now Weep, Then Get Vocal! Transit in the Balto-Wash Area in 1921

That helpful, helpful guy over at Greater, Greater Washington, David Edmondson, makes maps of pure fascination for those of us who love getting around by public transportation. Now he’s compiled all the rail service in the Baltimore, Washington, Richmond area … Continue reading

The Genealogy of Privilege

I’ve been a fan of Henry Louis Gates’s programming since he launched African American Lives in 2006. In Gates’s programs, he introduces celebrities to their past through various documents and photographs. I find the most compelling work to explore lesser … Continue reading

Mansion Maniac! Access to NYPL Architectural Resource Made Fun

I’m getting Atari flashbacks playing with the New York Public Library’s new tool/game Mansion Maniac. It uses a little Haunted House/Pac-Man figure to explore the rooms within apartment house floor plans, each room revealing itself as you navigate through. The … Continue reading

Get Ready! Snow in the Mid-Atlantic

Stay safe, stay warm, and make sure you’ve updated your emergency plan, whether at home, at work, or protecting our cultural heritage. … Continue reading

Crafting an Elevator Pitch for Preservation

Originally published at rebeccafifieldpreservation.com. If you’ve ever taken a management or marketing course, you’ve probably heard of the elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a short, 30-second statement about you, your business and goals, and what you can do for … Continue reading

The Crazy Things We Do for Cultural Heritage

I was at a children’s playgroup in Beacon, New York yesterday with my son. Yet again, I was trying to pull together in a coherent thread that thing I do. This challenge can be difficult among my cultural heritage peers, … Continue reading