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

Diesner appointed R.C. Evans Data Analytics Fellow

Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Jana Diesner has been appointed as a 2018-19 R.C. Evans Data Analytics Fellow in the University of Illinois-Deloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics. Launched in 2016, the Center is part of the Gies College of Business at the Urbana campus.

Assistant Professor Jana Diesner

Cooke to present research at Harvard summit

Associate Professor and MSLIS Program Director Nicole A. Cooke will discuss her research on fake news, misinformation, and disinformation at the 2018 Public Interest Technology Summit, which will be held on October 13 at Harvard University. The summit is hosted by digital HKS, an independent project at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs that is committed to teaching public leaders to understand how to design, build, and engage with digital technologies as they relate to civic participation, digital equity and inclusion, governance of government platforms, and accountability.

Nicole A. Cooke

Join us at the 2018 ILA Annual Conference

The 2018 Illinois Library Association (ILA) Annual Conference will be held from October 9-11 in Peoria. The theme of this year's conference is "Libraries: All Inclusive." Visit with the iSchool at Booth #315 in the Exhibit Hall on October 10 and 11. The School will also host an alumni breakfast on October 11.

Bashir named 2018-2019 Centennial Scholar

Assistant Professor Masooda Bashir has been named the iSchool's Centennial Scholar for 2018-2019. Endowed by alumni and friends of the School, the Centennial Scholar award recognizes outstanding accomplishments and/or professional promise in the field of library and information science.

Masooda Bashir