Preserving Our Heritage

Jan 2015 | 702pp

Price: £79.95
CILIP members price: £63.95

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Preserving Our Heritage
Perspectives from antiquity to the digital age

Edited by Michele V. Cloonan

2016 Society of American Archivsts' Preservation Publication Award Winner

This book aims to introduce students and professionals to readings that will help them in their studies and their professional practice. Curated by an advisory board from across the cultural heritage sectors, it offers a unique compilation of key texts from a range of international contributors, charting the development of preservation from its origins to modern day practice.

Drawing on historical texts, this all-encompassing, accessible volume provides a comprehensive understanding of preservation for librarians, archivists and museum specialists. By grounding key readings in context, Michèle V. Cloonan offers students and professionals an overview of longevity, reversibility, enduring value and authenticity of information preservation. In considering the history and context of preservation, she provides significant insight into conservation, historic preservation, moving images, and other cultural heritage institutions.

The text is divided into eleven themes designed to provide specific readings in context with this broad subject:

  • Early perspectives on preservation
  • Perspectives on cultural heritage
  • Preservation in context: libraries, archives, museums, and the built environment
  • Collections: development and management
  • Risks to cultural heritage: time, nature, and humans
  • Conservation
  • Frameworks for digital preservation
  • Preservation policy
  • Ethics and values
  • Multicultural perspectives
  • Sustainability.

Each section has historical works that form the basis of contemporary thinking and practices, readings from a variety of fields that are primarily concerned with the preservation of cultural heritage, and hard-to-find publications that shed new light on how to approach contemporary problems. Cloonan’s selections and her insightful commentary on each comprise a truly global view of preservation.

Readership: This rich book acts both as a reader for heritage professionals, a textbook for students and researchers in archives, museums and libraries courses around the world and as a reference work for professionals and scholars.

1. Early Perspectives on Preservation
  • Jeremiah 32:14, ca. 630–580 BC
  • Isaiah 30:8, ca. 740–700 BC
  • Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, Excerpts from De Architectura libri decem, ca. 75–15 BC 
  • M. Valerii Martial, Epigrammaton Liber 10.2, ca. 40–104 AD
  • The Koran, Excerpt from Surah 85, “The Constellations,” ca. 632
  • Hakīm Abul-Qāsim Ferdowsī Tūsī, Excerpt from “When the Sword of Sixty Comes Nigh His Head,” from the Shahnameh, ca. 977–1010
  • William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18, “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” ca. 1593–1598
  • Gabriel Naudé, Advis Pour Dresser Une Bibliothèque, 1627
  • John Weever, Excerpts from Ancient Funeral Monuments, of Great Britain, Ireland, and the Islands Adiacent, 1631
  • Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Ebenezer Hazard, February 18, 1791
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ozymandias,” 1818
  • John Murray, “On the Bad Composition of Paper,” 1823 
  • Francis Lieber, Excerpts from General Orders No. 100: The Lieber Code: Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, 1863
  • William Morris, et al., “The Manifesto” of The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, 1877  
2. Perspectives on Cultural Heritage
  • Jan Assmann, “Collective Memory and Cultural Identity,” 1995
  • Pierre Bourdieu, Excerpts from Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, 1984
  • Peter Burman, “What is Cultural Heritage?” 2001
  • Australia International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS Inc.), The Burra Charter, 1999
  • Susan M. Pearce, “The Making of Cultural Heritage,” 2000
  • Laurajane Smith, Excerpts from Uses of Heritage, 2006  
3. Preservation in Context: Libraries, Archives, Museums, and the Built Environment
  • Paul N. Banks, “A Library Is Not a Museum,” 1983
  • David W. Carr, “In the Contexts of the Possible: Librarians and Museums as Incendiary Cultural Institutions,” 2000
  • Stanley Chodorow, “To Represent Us Truly: The Job and Context of Preserving the Cultural Record,” 2006
  • Michèle Valerie Cloonan, “The Preservation of Knowledge,” 1993
  • F. Gerald Ham, “The Archival Edge,” 1975  
  • Pamela W. Darling and Sherelyn Ogden, “From Problems Perceived to Programs in Practice: The Preservation of Library Resources in the U.S.A., 1956–1980,” 1981
  • Ross Harvey, “Developing a Library Preservation Program,” 1993
  • Jan Merrill-Oldham, “Taking Care: An Informed Approach to Library Preservation,” 2002  
  • David Bearman, “Retention and Preservation,” 1989
  • Richard J. Cox, “Digital Curation and the Citizen Archivist,” 2009
  • Kenneth E. Foote, “To Remember and Forget: Archives, Memory, and Culture,” 1990
  • Anne J. Gilliland, Enduring Paradigm, New Opportunities: The Value of the Archival Perspective in the Digital Environment, 2000, updated 2011
  • James M. O’Toole, “On the Idea of Permanence,” 1989  
  • Edward Porter Alexander and Mary Alexander, “To Conserve,” 2008
  • James Cuno, Excerpt from “The Object of Art Museums,” 2003
  • John Cotton Dana, “Why This Series Is Begun: The Old Museum and the New,” 1917
  • G. Brown Goode, “The Relationships and Responsibilities of Museums,” 1895 
Historic Preservation/Architectural Conservation
  • Cesare Brandi, Excerpts from “The Concept of Restoration,” in Theory of Restoration, 1963
  • James Marston Fitch, “The Philosophy of Restoration: Williamsburg to the Present,” 1992
  • Jukka Jokilehto, “Preservation Theory Unfolding,” 2006
  • Paul Philippot, Excerpts from “Historic Preservation: Philosophy, Criteria, Guidelines,” 1972  
4. Collections: Development and Management
  • Ross W. Atkinson, “Selection for Preservation: A Materialistic Approach,” 1986
  • Paula De Stefano, “Selection for Digital Conversion in Academic Libraries,” 2001
  • Dan Hazen, Jeffrey Horrell, and Jan Merrill-Oldham, Excerpts from “Selecting Research Collections for Digitization,” 1998
Collections: Time-Based Media
  • Karen F. Gracy, “Preservation in a Time of Transition: Redefining Stewardship of Time-Based Media in the Digital Age,” 2013
  • Howard Besser, “Digital Preservation of Moving Image Material?” 2001
  • Gregory Lukow, “The Politics of Orphanage: The Rise and Impact of the ‘Orphan Film’ Metaphor on Contemporary Preservation Practice,” 1999
  • Mark S. Roosa, “Sound and Audio Archives,” 2009
  • Dietrich Schűller, “Socio-technical and Socio-cultural Challenges of Audio and Video Preservation,” 2008   
5. Risks to Cultural Heritage: Time, Nature, and Humans
  • Rebecca Knuth, “Understanding Modern Biblioclasm,” 2006
  • Pip Laurenson, “Inside Instillations. Preservation and Presentation of Instillation Art. Part 1: Risk Assessment,” 2007
  • Dennis S. Mileti and Lori Peek, “How Do Societies Manage Risk?” 2001
  • Peter Waters, Excerpts from Procedures for Salvage of Water-Damaged Materials, 1993  
6. Conservation
  • Paul N. Banks, “The Laws of Conservation,” n.d., with new material added by the editor
  • Christopher Clarkson, “Minimum Intervention in Treatment of Books,” 1999
  • Douglas Cockerell, Excerpt from A Note on Bookbinding, 1904
  • Caroline K. Keck, “The Role of the Conservator,” 1972
  • Sheldon Keck, “Further Materials for a History of Conservation,” 1976
  • Andrew Oddy, “Does Reversibility Exist in Conservation?” 1999
  • Jan Paris, “Conservation and the Politics of Use and Value in Research Libraries,” 2000
  • Nicholas Pickwoad, “Distinguishing between the Good and Bad Repair of Books,” 1994
  • Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler, Excerpts from “Conservation Treatment,” Preserving Archives and Manuscripts, 2nd ed., 2010  
7. Frameworks for Digital Preservation
  • Task Force on Archiving of Digital Information, Excerpts from Preserving Digital Information: Report of the Task Force on Archiving of Digital Information, 1996
  • Paul Conway, Excerpts from Preservation in the Digital World, 1996
  • Margaret Hedstrom, “Understanding Electronic Incunabula: A Framework for Research on Electronic Records,” 1991
  • Brian Lavoie and Lorcan Dempsey, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at . . . Digital Preservation,” 2004
  • Clifford Lynch, “Repatriation, Reconstruction, and Cultural Diplomacy in the Digital World,” 2008
  • Jeff Rothenberg, “Ensuring the Longevity of Digital Documents,” 1995
  • Abby Rumsey, Why Digitize? 1999
  • Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, Excerpts from Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-Term Access to Digital Information: Final Report, 2008  
8. Preservation Policy
  • Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa, “Exploring Cultural Policy at Humanities Texas,” 2010, updated 2012
  • John H. Hammer, “On the Political Aspects of Book Preservation in the U.S.,” 1992
  • John Henry Merryman, “Art Systems and Cultural Policy,” 2009   
9. Ethics and Values
Selected Conventions, Charters, Declarations, and Professional Association Codes of Ethics
  • United Nations, Excerpts from Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948
  • UNESCO, Excerpt from Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, 1954
  • UNESCO, Excerpt from Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1972
  • United Nations, excerpts from Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007
  • Salzburg Declaration on the Conservation and Preservation of Cultural Heritage, 2009
  • American Alliance of Museums, Code of Ethics for Museums: A Sampling, 1991, amended 2000
  • American Association for State and Local History, Excerpts from Statement of Professional Standards and Ethics, 2012
  • American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Excerpts from Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice, 1994
  • American Library Association, excerpt from Code of Ethics, 1939, amended 1981, 1995, 2008
  • Association of Moving Image Archivists, Excerpt from Code of Ethics, 2009
  • Society of American Archivists, Excerpts from Code of Ethics for Archivists, 2005, revised 2012
  • Richard Cox and James O’Toole, “The Impulse to Save,” 2006
  • Richard Cox and James O’Toole, “The Impulse to Destroy,” 2006
  • Samuel Jones and John Holden, “Conservation and Its Values,” 2008
  • Ellen Pearlstein, “Restoring Provenance to a Native American Feather Blanket,” 2010
  • Ernst van de Wetering, “Conservation-Restoration: Ethics and the Problem of Modern Art,” 1999
10. Multicultural Perspectives
  • Lourdes Arizpe, “Cultural Heritage and Globalization,” 2000
  • Miriam Clavir, “First Nations Perspectives on Preservation and Museums,” 2002
  • Virginia Greene, “‘Accessories of Holiness’: Defining Jewish Sacred Objects,” 1992
  • Sven Haakanson, Jr., “Why Should American Indian Cultural Objects Be Preserved?” 2004  
11. Sustainability
  • Erica Avrami, Randall Mason, and Marta de la Torre, Excerpts from Values and Heritage Conservation, 2000
  • David Lowenthal, “Stewarding the Future,” 2005
  • Rebecca Meyer, Shannon Struble, and Phyllis Catsikis, “Sustainability: A Review,” 2012  
12. Epilogue

"This volume makes a diverse array of articles and some from hard-to-find sources easily accessible for students of architecture, cultural heritage, historical conservation, book arts, and related programs of study. Taken together, the readings included here provide an excellent single-volume overview to introduce readers to the wide concerns of preservationists."

"There is a good balance between the historic roots of preservation and contemporary challenges surrounding digital preservation ... A sound investment for anyone seeking an overview of the field of preservation."
- Library Journal 

"A wonderful contribution to the preservation literature. The readings are expertly selected and organized in a highly successful way that cumulatively tells us much about where the profession has come from and where it is headed."
- Technical Services Quarterly

"Preserving Our Heritage is an excellent collection for preservation professionals, supporters, and students, and would work well as a textbook. While it can be read selectively for one or two chapters relevant to specific concerns, as a whole it provides a well-rounded, balanced perspective on the preservation concerns of generations past and present."
- portal: Libraries and the Academy

"Highly recommended."
- Technicalities 

"Overall, the book achieves its aims in assembling core texts...They are seminal papers and provide a solid foundation for students and new entrants into the profession. The juxtapositioning of the papers creates discussion which in turn provides an impetus for moving the subject matter forward."
-  Birthe Christensen, Archives and Records​


"The crossdisciplinary approach of this anthology is immensely useful and revealing as to how professionals across disciplines have been thinking and talking about longevity, reversibility, enduring value, and authenticity, among other topics."
- Christina Thomas, Brigham Young University, Journal of Western Archives

Michele Valerie Cloonan is Dean Emerita and Professor at the Graduate School of Library & Information Science, Simmons College. 

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