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.

It’s the Fourth of July

I like July 4th. I’ve met people who don’t, but I can’t identify. I grew up attending the east coast’s largest July 4th parade in Havre de Grace, Maryland. It’s a time I associate with classic cars, waving men and … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday – Cyril E. Power

Yes, I’m a museum professional, but that doesn’t mean I don’t use museum databases to see objects I enjoy when I get home. I’m responsible for long-term preservation activities for a group of objects from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, … Continue reading

Museum Monday: The CCC Museum at Fort Frederick State Park

Acronym Quiz: What does CCC stand for? The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942.  While most noted for civil engineering projects like Hoover Dam and the creation of woodsy infrastructure inside … Continue reading

Poem

More train poetry, spawned by the parade of deteriorating industrial buildings which may be viewed by Amtrak and NJ Transit passengers along the Northeast Corridor. Decay And if I think of flaking steel Red brown and sparkling driving into the … Continue reading

Refreshing Drink? How about a Sauerkraut Cocktail?

  I found this gem while flipping through Meta Given’s Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking. Originally written in 1947, my copy is from 1959. Beverage recipes containing alcohol are noticeably absent from Given’s cookbook, with menus noting that meals should be … Continue reading

Books That Shaped America at The Library Congress

Go now, and visit the list at the Books That Shaped America  project at The Library of Congress. The exhibition opens June 25 on the 2nd floor of the Jefferson building. The list celebrates books by Americans that have shaped the … Continue reading

Museum Monday: Tripping Over a New Museum at Steelyard Commons, Cleveland

I wasn’t sure what to feel about Steelyard Commons. It’s a rather run-of-the mill (pun, ha) shopping center created on lands once occupied by a Cleveland steel mill in 2007. Other steel mills are located nearby. It’s identifying characteristic is … Continue reading

Eighteenth Century Maryland Beer

I was looking for some family members using the American Antiquarian Society’s America’s Historical Newspapers database, and found this advertisement for Rock Run Beer. Lower Ferry was located between Havre de Grace and Perryville, Maryland. Rock Run beer was likely … Continue reading

Names of the Forgotten – Runaway Clothing Database Project

The Runaway Clothing Database project uses newspaper runaway advertisements to catalog the garments of indentured and enslaved women in the American colonies from 1750-1790. These advertisements are often the only glimpse of these women in the documentary record. Personal information, such … Continue reading