Mellon Foundation funds GSLIS faculty work on preserving intangible cultural heritage

Jerome McDonough
Jerome McDonough, Associate Professor
Lori Kendall
Lori Kendall, Associate Professor

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been awarded a grant of more than $25,500 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the efforts of GSLIS Associate Professors Jerome McDonough and Lori Kendall and Senior Lecturer Maria Bonn to cultivate a new research community focused specifically on the preservation of intangible cultural heritage.

The project, “Preserving Intangible Cultural Heritage,” will assemble a meeting of scholars, practitioners, librarians, and conservationists who will formulate a research and action agenda outlining important questions for the scholarly community. The group plans to meet in early 2016, and a white paper detailing their conclusions will be published later in the year.

Discussing the new project, McDonough observed, “Librarians, archivists, and museum curators have long worked to preserve the tangible artifacts of human culture. With the advent of new information and communication technologies, cultural heritage institutions can extend their reach to support local communities in their efforts to sustain intangible forms of heritage, such as language, cuisine, performing arts, and traditional craftsmanship. But successful preservation requires better knowledge of the nature of intangible heritage and the conditions for successfully sustaining it.”

McDonough and Kendall have been on the GSLIS faculty since 2005; Maria Bonn joined the GSLIS faculty in 2013.

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