Public memory and its Science

October 28, 2016

 

Besides museums, archives, libraries and monuments and sites, - whole of heritage comprises all that use or communicate heritage like non-collecting museums, but also, arbitrarily the discernible collective and social memory resources. Most of them in the shortened list though being heritage occupations, pretend to possess attributes of profession. As in diagram, their theories exist but concern mostly the history of institutions, practices, technologies of planning and their public.

 

Since 1982 when I proposed a theory and then science of Heritology, there has been a constant accumulation of arguments in its favour. The heritage occupations kept converging. Sciences exist only if formed upon a concept not upon an institution, - the obvious concept seemed to be the heritage. However, in order to denote the active societal role of the sector and the emerging science, I have proposed the name Mnemosophy. So the concept it is based upon can be described as that of public memory, - a zone of overlapping interests, competencies and practices.

 

All public memory institutions have to understand is that their practices will retain their independence and continue having their proper theories. The increasing need for ever more efficient concerted effort will remind them that, being based upon the same concept they also share that upper level of theoretical reflection. There they will find solutions to the very nature of their existence and the meaning of their mission. They are part of the societal guidance system, a sort of cybernetic response to the threats and challenges posed to the contemporary society. The science, whatever its name, will become also an attribute of their status of a new profession of public memory. United instead of being dismembered, public memory institutions will, like any profession, exercise their major role in the social contract. Thus they will prove their responsibility and decisively contribute to the common good.   

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Some rights reserved. European Heritage Association, 2016.