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.

“Omelettes – Plain or with Rum”

What? Where in culinary history did I miss the inclusion of rum in an omelet? New York Public Library announced recently the availability of thousands of their images in the public domain available for free and open use. A long-time … Continue reading

Apple of My Eye: Lead Pesticide Use in 1920s Orchards

Over the Christmas holiday, I unearthed a small journal with a heavily damaged tooled vegetable-tanned leather cover. Within were pre-printed dated pages with intermittent journal entries by my great-grandfather Hugh Ross Stephens, the Orchardist (according to the 1940 census) at … Continue reading

Railroad Dreams: Danbury Railway Museum

Yesterday found Dr. V, Mr. J, and I at the Danbury Railway Museum. I had used the Metro North Danbury station before but never made it inside the doors of Danbury’s 1903 New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad Station. … Continue reading

Snapshots from New Orleans

Aiji is a taxi driver. He is also the founder of the first burrito bar in Rwanda and a vegan chef. For right now, it’s the taxi while he’s between ventures. Aiji also seems to be the only taxi driver in New … Continue reading

An Unfortunate Title for a “Great” Article on Penn Station

David W. Dunlap writes the rather fun Building Blocks column for The New York Times. On December 30, 2015, his contribution was titled “Longing for the Old Penn Station? In the End, It Wasn’t So Great.” Really? The pun is … Continue reading

Samuel Adams’s Mother Was a Fifield

Back in the early aughts, I was a Collection Care Specialist in Textiles and Fashion Arts (TFA) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I was working on a National Endowment for the Arts grant to photograph and perform condition … Continue reading

Great Collection Care Webinars at no cost!

Under the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, the Connecting to Collection Care (C2CC) resource continues to build on the great work Heritage Preservation began, with the support of the Institute for Museum and Library Services. These webinars really get to … Continue reading

Wanderlust Fodder: Atlas Obscura’s Interactive Map of Roadtrips in American Literature

Mr. I sent me a link recently to Atlas Obscura’s “The Obsessively Detailed Map of American Literature’s Most Epic Road Trips.” It is obsessive. Richard Kreitner (writing) and Steven Melendez (map) partnered to create a compelling interactive map over which colored … Continue reading

Five Reasons to Take My Emergency Preparedness Course at MuseumStudy.com Starting Jan. 4

I’m bringing my experience in building robust emergency management programs for cultural institutions to MuseumStudy.com in January. It’s a web-based course that will partner with later sessions on Collection Risk Assessment by Rob Waller and Disaster Salvage and Recovery by Susan Duhl. … Continue reading