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.

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

Tune into AIC’s Cost Effective and Sustainable Packing, Moving, and Storage Webinar on Sustainable Conservation

AIC is hosting two webinars on sustainable conservation. On December 1 at 2pm EST, I’ll join Simon Lambert and T. Ashley McGrew in talking about sustainability in packing, storage, and long-term preservation management. Simon will discuss Re-Org, a program of … Continue reading

ARCS and PACCIN at New Orleans: Collections Stewardship’s Bright Future

Originally published at rebeccafifieldpreservation.com. Lots of folks go to New Orleans for conferences. Within the distinctive streets of the French Quarter, it’s not uncommon to trip across people tagged with conference badges. The overtones of business lend an air of … Continue reading

The Impact of Aging Infrastructure on Health

Ron Nixon’s New York Times article “Human Cost Rises as Old Bridges, Dams, and Roads Go Unrepaired” [Oxford comma mine] conveys how our society is sagging under lack of maintenance and repair. While bridges collapse spectacularly, illness from aging water management … Continue reading