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.

Digging Up My Ancestors

Yes, literally. After the application of  trowels, sticks, and small brushes, out of the ground came the fragments of people with whom I share DNA. It’s a long story, so I’ll offer snippets of the story over a few non-consecutive … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: Philadelphia

Philadelphia – it’s not all founding fathers and liberty bells. I went to Philly as an adult for the first time in 2008. Gilded Age progress hangs in the air, the 19th century railroad baron, the masonry curlicue. I find … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: NYC Vintage Subway Ride

  On Sundays in December, with a little luck and timing, you can catch classic New York City Subway R1/9 cars from the 1930s. It’s quite a party on the train, with railfans, musicians, and gawkers all piling on to … Continue reading

Museums 101: A Few Thoughts

Interesting? Boring? A memory from a long ago childhood field trip?  If I ask a person on the street to visualize a museum, they might conjure a place with columns. Some people shrug, some mention, “yeah, I should go there, … Continue reading

In Praise of the Pickle

Few foods send my palate soaring like pickles. The only definitive parts of a pickle include vinegar, salt and/or sugar, with the goal of preservation. Beyond that, let the fun begin. Any additional flavors are added for pure pleasure. Pucker … Continue reading

Road Trip: The Lincoln Highway

In May of 2005, my friend Mrs G. (back then, Miss C.) and I struck out on a road trip: seven days, seven states, and 2100 miles. Our goal was to do as much of the Lincoln Highway in the … Continue reading

Apple of My Eye: Red Apple Rest

  A photo moment for the wayside respite that was the Red Apple Rest, on Route 17 in Southfields, New York. I stopped there in October of 2007, on my way to an outing at Storm King. It was one … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: It All Began in Rome

International travel was not a priority when I was a child. There were visits to battlefields in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, trips to see family in Maine, and a bunch of back and forth drives when we moved to Wisconsin. … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: Good news in Washington DC. Streetcars are back, Baby

Streetcar service ended in Washington DC on January 28, 1962. But the nation’s capital is bringing them back, starting with two lines serving H Street/Benning Road and Anacostia in 2013, and extending to 8 lines in all. Go here to … Continue reading