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.

Museum Monday: The London Transport Museum

Transit Tuesday is moving on in on Museum Monday. If I didn’t live in New York City, I would live in London. It feels like home. And for fans of transit, the London Transport Museum is an excellent time. In … Continue reading

The Historic Fabric of Philadelphia: James E. Taylor’s Sketchbook

Using Winterthur’s online collections resources last night, I stumbled onto James E. Taylor’s sketchbook of historic buildings in Philadelphia. A newspaper illustrator, Taylor sketched historic buildings in Philadelphia’s Old City area in 1861, just before most of the structures in … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: The Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, Pennsylvania

Beer. Mmmm. Recently, my friend Ms McC and I travelled to Maryland for a eighteenth century event at Fort Frederick State Park (see my posts on nearby Hagerstown and the CCC Museum at Fort Fred). Being like-minded in our love … Continue reading

Transportation Tuesday: Two Loves Collide – Historic Preservation, Transportation, and the Susquehanna River Bridge

Sorry for the pun. Since I was a little girl, driving into Havre de Grace meant curving around the high stone embankment to the right and passing under the hulking iron bridge that carries the Pennsylvania Railroad over the Susquehanna: … Continue reading

Writing Fiction – Business Trips Aren’t a Loss

Business travel breeds ideas. My business trips involve some off days, waiting around at my destination, combined with really long stretches of being “on.” Combine that with jet lag, and ideas that I’ve stowed away in the corners of my … Continue reading

Farewell Tomatoes

Last weekend, I pushed it. I bought two tomatoes at the local farmer’s market on 67th street. New York state tomatoes are okay (they aren’t tidewater Maryland tomatoes, alas), and I thought I’d have just one more shot at a … Continue reading

Eating Alone

I can travel a fair amount for my job. Anyone who travels on business has eaten alone in a restaurant. Some cringe. I don’t. Evening finds me in a restaurant, not eating grocery store finds in my hotel room. That … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: Seattle

It wasn’t supposed to be like that. Brilliant sun and a cloudless sky marked my days in Seattle. Like San Francisco and Vancouver (see my post here), Seattle has that feeling that the gold rush just went bust. Yes, it … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: Rail – Stories of Our Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated

Call me a dreamer. A romantic. Impractical. Head in the clouds. One of those city folk (that’s hilarious, you should see where I grew up). Trains will become more important, even necessary, in the near future for transportation. I recently … Continue reading

Museum Monday: Some Humor, and Some Food for Thought

I think I heard about this study on the Registrar’s Committee of the American Alliance of Museum’s listserve, a very long time ago. If anyone knows the source, please comment below – I’d love to give credit where it is … Continue reading