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.

Haplessly Crafty: Block Printing

I’m having some fun with block printing textiles recently. I’ve been experiencing a “sewing block” so I’ve moved on to playing with acrylic screen printing ink, foam brayers, and lino gouges. Nothing like getting out the stresses of the work … Continue reading

Snapshot: Fabric Shopping in NYC

Tuesday, 2/12/2013, was, amazingly, a holiday at my place of employ. I took advantage of everyone else having a normal work day and went off to NYC’s Garment District. I have two motives when I visit that west side community, … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: Sewing in Sheffield

Sheffield resident Lisa R. and I met through Revolutionary War reenacting. Looking for ways to extend the fellowship of the hobby outside of encampments and to coax local crafters out of their homes, Lisa scheduled a couple of dates for … Continue reading

Transportation Tuesday: Move Madison Square Garden NOW

If you enter Penn Station through the Long Island Rail Road entrance, you’ll see reliefs along the corridor that depict the tumbling Corinthian columns of McKim, Mead, and White’s Pennsylvania Station (1910). If you’d like to grumble along with me, … Continue reading

Museum Monday: Get Rid of Those White Cotton Gloves. Time for Nitrile.

They’ve been with us for years. The basket of white cotton gloves we were taught to use to handle objects, to protect objects from the oils and dirt on our hands. Many of us have moved on to using nitrile, … Continue reading

Communities Past: Former Commerce in Rock Run, Harford County, MD

Driving through the countryside anywhere in America, you may pass any number of signs proclaiming towns that no longer exist. My grandfather was in the car  sometime in the 1990s, when we were driving on Rock Run Road toward the … Continue reading

Overheard in the Subway…

Much of NYC’s life takes place underground. Last Tuesday was a holiday for my place of work, and I used the morning to get some errands for some projects done. On the subway, sometimes you are just traveling. This is … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: Subway Station Renovation – A Few Thoughts About Getting It Right

New York City’s subway opened in 1904. During an era of competing private lines that radiated from the heart of Manhattan into the boroughs, 468 stations were built through the completion of the Independent Subway in 1932. Time is hard … Continue reading

The Gardening Itch

At this point during the winter, I start to get the itch for digging in the dirt. Alas, it’s a rather pointless itch as I must confine my green thumb activities to a few boxes hanging from the windows of … Continue reading

Curious Objects: Portrait Collages at the National Portrait Gallery

I was killing time before my talk for the Washington Conservation Guild on February 7. The old Patent Office serves as the home to two Smithsonian Institution museums, the National Portrait Gallery, and the American Art Museum. The Patent Office … Continue reading