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Collective Memory

October 28th, 2005 · 4 Comments · Collective Memory, Terms & Definitions

Collective memory is a term used to describe the recollections that are shared in common by a group of people. Communities inherently go through a selective and subjective process of recounting past experiences to help shape their collective identity. This is true for all types of communities whether these are families, peer groups, neighbourhood associations, social clubs, online gaming communities, religious organizations, ethnic groups and nation states.

In my research I am interested in enabling technologies that integrate archives access systems with personal digital archives and the effects that might have on notions of collective memory.

Related issues include the extent of the archivist’s role in nurturing collective memories.

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jane Zhang // Sep 4, 2006 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Peter,

    Very much interested in the combined notion of archives access and collective memories. Hope to read more from your blog.

    Jane Zhang

  • 2 Catherine Yasui // Mar 22, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    Hi Peter,

    Very interesting research idea. In a personal project I am gathering information pertaining to Japanese-Canadian history along the west coast, and this has involved talking with many people/groups doing the same. One such project – PROJECT NAMING – is a collaborative effort involving youth and Elders in Nunavut (http:www.collectionscanada.ca/inuit/054301-e.html) It is supported by LAC, the Dept. of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth (CLEY) Gov’t of Nunavut, and a youth training program in Ottawa known as the Nunavut Sivuniksavut. It follows a simple concept of identifying people in thousands of photographs (a very labor intensive quest given the vast region over which communities are spread) and makes these images available on the Project Naming website. I am hoping to adapt such a strategy into my own project design with the hope of using enabling technologies (not sure what software programs to consider at this point) to help provide access to both conduct the front end work and, later, to prepare for a viewing audience.

  • 3 Peter Van Garderen // Mar 26, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Hi Cathy. Good to hear from you. I assume you graduated from SLAIS last year, right?

    I’ve heard about Project Naming on the CBC and in a talk by Ian Wilson. Great project. Your project also sounds very interesting. Get in touch and I’d be happy to give you feedback on technology and tools that might be useful.

  • 4 Cathy Yasui // Mar 31, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    Hi Peter,
    Thanks for your response and for the offer to speak with me at some point about potentially useful technology & tools.

    At this point I am only at the preliminary stages of designing a project plan to get a direction and set some priorities. As I speak with a number of organizations, I’m sure I will get a chance to see what technology(ies) they employ. Thank-you and I’ll be in touch.