Cloonan publishes book on cultural heritage preservation

Michele Cloonan
Michele Cloonan, Research Associate Professor

Michèle Valerie Cloonan (MS '84, PhD '88), iSchool research associate professor and professor in the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons University, has authored a book addressing the social, cultural, and political issues in cultural heritage preservation. Her book, The Monumental Challenge of Preservation: The Past in a Volatile World, was recently published by The MIT Press.

The book examines the enormous task of preserving the world's heritage in the face of war, natural disaster, vandalism, neglect, and technical obsolescence. Among the monuments that are offered as examples of preservation dilemmas are the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, which were destroyed by the Taliban, and the symbolic objects that visitors leave at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the U.S.

The Monumental Challenge of Preservation

According to the publisher, "Cloonan makes the case that, at this critical juncture, we must consider preservation in the broadest possible contexts. Preservation requires the efforts of an increasing number of stakeholders . . . In the end, Cloonan suggests, we are what we preserve—and don't preserve. Every day we make preservation decisions, individually and collectively, that have longer-term ramifications than we might expect."

Cloonan served as dean of the Simmons School of Library and Information Science from 2002 to 2012. Previously, she was chair and associate professor in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has worked at the Newberry Library, Brown University, and Smith College as a conservator, preservation librarian, and a special collections curator. Cloonan has published extensively in the areas of preservation, book trade and publishing history, and other areas such as intellectual freedom and international librarianship. 

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Chin to join iSchool faculty

The iSchool is pleased to announce that Jessie Chin will join the faculty as an assistant professor in August 2019, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. She is currently a research assistant professor in biomedical and health information sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Jessie Chin

2019 ISAA award recipients recognized

The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) honored its 2019 award recipients at the ISAA annual meeting and reception, which was held on June 23 during the annual meeting of the American Library Association in Washington, DC.

Wang to join iSchool faculty

The iSchool is pleased to announce that Yang Wang will join the faculty as an associate professor in August 2019, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. He is currently an assistant professor and co-director of the Social Computing Systems Lab (SALT) in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University.

Yang Wang

Hinchliffe Awarded IMLS Grant to Develop Training on Privacy in Library Learning Analytics

Affiliate Professor Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, professor and coordinator for information literacy services and instruction in the University Library, in collaboration with Kyle Jones, assistant professor in the School of Informatics and Computing at the Indiana University-Indianapolis (IUPUI), has been awarded a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for Prioritizing Privacy: Training to Improve Practice in Library Analytics Projects.

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe

Knox selected for leadership positions in FTRF, Beta Phi Mu

Associate Professor and BS/IS Program Director Emily Knox was recently appointed president of the Board of Trustees of the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), a nonprofit legal and educational organization affiliated with the American Library Association, and elected vice president/president-elect of Beta Phi Mu, the international honor society for library and information studies.

Emily Knox