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.

Transit Tuesday: Grand By Design Exhibition at Grand Central

After a boozy brunch with Dr. V’s cousins, we wandered up the sunny side of the street to Grand Central Terminal, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The former waiting room space is used for exhibitions and events, and currently … Continue reading

Museum Monday: Collection Care Isn’t A La Carte – Washington Conservation Guild

On Thursday, February 7, I was invited to speak to the Washington Conservation Guild about the state of collection care. Regular readers will know that this is a topic about which I’m passionate. Preventive care maintains our tangible heritage. End … Continue reading

Book: The Look of Architecture by Witold Rybczynski

It’s a little bit untrue to title this small volume solely a book. It caught my eye while I was perusing the stacks last week at the New York Society Library. I love small books – they are a small … Continue reading

What I Ate: Montreal

Knowing that my time in Montreal was short, I had my dinners planned out when I hit the ground. The cold weather gave me some leeway for big meals – or so I felt. I arrived at 11pm on Wednesday, … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: How do you get to Annapolis without a car?

I was peeved. During my Christmas break in Maryland, a winter storm blew in on the day I’d picked to spend some time at the state archives in Annapolis. My plan had been to look at criminal cases involving runaway … Continue reading

(Music Plays) Lydia, The Tattoed Lady – An eighteenth century woman’s tattoo

The New Yorker Photo Booth blog highlighted tattoed women and a book about them Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo by Margot Mifflin (1997). The photograph of Maud Wagner caught my eye, my first perception of a Gibson … Continue reading

Wildlife Sighting at Airport Restaurants

I had extra time to kill in the airport on Friday night. My flight fell right over the dinner hour and I’d had an early lunch. Airport offerings are hardly lauded (Food and Wine Magazine did do an article on … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: Montreal

I spent a day in Montreal, QC last week. I had forgotten how cold it can be up north.  I quickly relearned that northerners find ways to snake through buildings and basements to get from point to point. Here are … Continue reading

Transportation Tuesday: Great American Stations Project

Amtrak has built some humdingers of depressing rail stations over its forty year history. Compare the current Cleveland, Ohio shed where passengers now alight, compared to the glorious Terminal Tower. Recently, I switched trains at Springfield, Massachusetts. A grim 1970s … Continue reading

On the Subject of Duck…

Duck is tasty. It was popular fare in New York’s turn-of-the-century restaurants. Havre de Grace, located just a few hours from New York on the Pennsylvania Railroad, was a ready source of the fowl for New York City. Boats known … Continue reading