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.

Wanderlust Wednesday – By the Side of the Road

To sleep in your car – completely American? Or not normal? I was listening to Here’s the Thing, Alec Baldwin’s excellent radio program. I’m not much of a culture vulture for a New York City resident. I live here for … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday – Where Vintage is Just Fine

It’s one of my first memories of Rome after sleeping off my first bout of European jet lag: opening my Stazione Termini hotel room shutters to find a rather ancient streetcar below. Decay has a different meaning in Europe. I … Continue reading

Museum Monday – A Young Patron Gets Critical

This was too good not to share. I work at a large NYC art institution (you can figure out which one). We welcome guests from the neighborhood, across the country, and around the world. I was walking through the gallery … Continue reading

Digging in the Archives: Philadelphia City Archives

Nothing like a little research day on my birthday. During my stay at Winterthur, I popped up to the Philadelphia City Archives. This is made super simple from Wilmington by taking SEPTA. The archives are located a block from 30th … Continue reading

Mexican Ice Cream in Kennett Square, PA

I usually think of mushrooms when I think of Kennett Square. This corner of Pennsylvania is known for growing famous fungus. Check out any tub of mushrooms you buy at the grocery store and they usually read West Grove, Avondale, … Continue reading

Museum Monday – Chester County Historical Society

In addition to Swarthmore College’s Friends Historical Library, Wednesday also took me to the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester, Pennsylvania. This is local history at its best – and very well-supported. CCHS has a complex in West Chester’s … Continue reading

Digging in the Archives: Swarthmore College’s Friends Historical Library

My time here at Winterthur is wrapping up. I took yesterday to visit two incredible local institutions, the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College, and the Chester County Historical Society. I only wish I had more time, but as any … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday – The Charcoal Pit

One benefit of being at Winterthur this month is my proximity to The Charcoal Pit on Route 202. This commercial stretch is somewhat at odds with the posh ribbon of nearby Route 52, which travels by private schools, manicured shopping strips, … Continue reading

A Squeal of Delight at the Indianapolis Museum of Art: Miniature Dresses

I attended the American Institute for Conservation’s Annual Meeting in Indianapolis at the end of May. The opening reception was on a steamy night at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA). While the reception was welcoming, it was difficult for … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday – The Market at Loches

Dr. V, Jeremy Witteveen, (of Le Cafe Witteveen), and Tina Serafini and I all decamped to France in June. Our cheery, sunny French vacation was mostly cloudy and frequently chilling during an unusually cold and rainy summer. No matter! We … Continue reading