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Title:The Paradox of Preservation
Author(s):Cloonan, Michèle V.
Abstract:This article explores historical, political, and professional paradoxes that underlie efforts to preserve cultural heritage. These paradoxes are illustrated through five case studies: the discovery of the Nag Hammadi bindings, approaches to the preservation of Auschwitz, the Danish cartoons depicting Muhammad, the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, and the creation of a protective structure for the Hamar Cathedral ruins. Although it is not possible to preserve everything, it is suggested that the shift from the traditional custodial model of caring for collections to one with greater community input may lead to new preservation strategies—and to new ways of defining preservation. Through our attempts to preserve under highly complex circumstances and equally complex issues, our standard notions of what constitutes preservation come into question, and some aspects of preservation remain paradoxical.
Issue Date:2007
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In Library Trends 56(1) Summer 2007: 133–147.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 2007 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-03-14

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