• Tomislav S. Šola

Defining Museums - a task that goes beyond the obvious (2)



Explaining further, let me just add, that in some cases the process is done by museums, - institutions of distinct variety and most dynamic among the memory institutions. Heritage is the matter of transfer and it can be immaterial or very much physical, or in the latter case very specific by material, be it artificial or natural, extremely varying in size or concept. So, in a way, the process being the essence, it comprises that some memory institutions, museums included, - can be non-collecting or temporary.


At the constantly shifting end of the continuous re-negotiations of the norm (which is what definitions are and why they change & evolve), there will always exist two, by nature, equally processual accumulations of the inner, institutional experience that will enable the proponents of the collective experience transfer to improve and adjust to the changing world.


One accumulation is practical, - functioning as a rising understanding of all different practices, and building up the criteria of excellence. Their specificity sometimes depending upon the civilisation or culture they belong to is however, subject to persistently converging processes: the same “3C” working process (collecting, care and communication), the use of the same technologies (especially ICT), the same user-orientation and the same societal mission.


The other accumulation is theoretical, basing museums and other memory institutions on the concept of heritage or, better, public memory. This institutional experience forms upon the same conceptual understanding of humankind and its memories, - the processes by which all types of memory, from individual, communal, cultural, and societal are finally made useful for the improvement of the human condition. This happens as the preservation of beneficial values and the richness of equal differences and the preservation of natural variety, - both indispensable context of dynamic-quality survival.


First, pragmatic accumulation should find its way into all possible channels of transfer of occupational expertise. It makes the contents of the handbooks by which we learn the job, a process enhanced by our colleagues (through internship, conferences, workshops) and our particular creativity. The second is what we usually get during some expanded, more ambitious training, preferably at the academic level, specialist or doctoral studies as entering a job should comprise obligatory professional education.