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 – Most Popular Questions in the Gallery

I’m a museum collections manager. This means I handle project management and long-term preservation for the collections I oversee. While our visitors enjoy the galleries, much of my job takes place behind my computer, in our department’s storerooms, and in … Continue reading

It’s Sunday – Make Whafles!

This eighteenth century spelling of waffles was too good not to share. From Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery (1747/1805): To Make Whafles One pound of sugar, one pound of flour, one pound of butter, half an ounce of cinnamon, … Continue reading

The Not So Big Movement

Nearly fifteen years after its publication, Sarah Susanka’s The Not So Big House has turned into a movement. Visit the website here. I first encountered this volume when it was brand new, sitting in the gift shop of The National … Continue reading

Lolita Dresses – WTF?

I was minding my own business on Facebook (hardy har), and all of a sudden – an ad for Lolita dresses popped up. Always a fan of Nabakov and a costume historian (and a healthy interest in the foibles of … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday – What I Did with Spare Time in Ohio

Last Tuesday, I was somewhere in eastern Ohio. I had access to a car, and nothing to do for eight hours. You got it – it was Lincoln Highway time. When I last traveled this portion of the Lincoln in … Continue reading

Museum Monday: Collection Care Speaks – The Knole House Conservation Team Blog

How to cover a 400 year old mattress? Comparing dusts vacuumed from a chair every three years to tell if it is deteriorating? Condition survey of a stone floor, tile by tile? A mummified rat from the attic? That’s a … Continue reading

Patterns of Thought in Early America

In three short chapters, the small gem of a book Circles and Lines; The Shape of Life in Early America (2004) explores the shift from a traditional, circular path of thought to the evolution of a linear experience brought on by … Continue reading

Mid-Atlantic Material Culture: McKee Crab Baking Dishes

An orange not seen in nature. These 1950s McKee Glass Company “Glasbake” crab baking dishes were intended for deviled crab. Interestingly, in my go-to historic Maryland cookbook Fifty Years in a Maryland Kitchen, deviled crab is nothing more than crabmeat … Continue reading

Asparagus – Time to Pickle

Asparagus season is drawing to a close, depending where you live. If you’ve reached your limit of fresh asparagus, and can’t possibly make any more asparagus soup, try Hannah Glasse’s recipe for pickled asparagus. From The Art of Cookery Made … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday – Rotterdam

When you mention Rotterdam to so many Europeans, they sigh. Ms. A’s Dutch friend remarked “Well, Rotterdam isn’t a very nice city.” But I don’t agree. The streets are full of people at most hours, it’s lively, the trams and … Continue reading