Digital memories and media of the future

Authored by: Joanne Garde-Hansen

The Routledge Companion to British Media History

Print publication date:  September  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415537186
eBook ISBN: 9781315756202
Adobe ISBN: 9781317629474


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Pierre Nora (2002) has argued that “[u]nlike history, which has always been in the hands of the public authorities, of scholars and specialised peer groups, memory has acquired all the new privileges and prestige of a popular protest movement.” It is not surprising, then, that the emergence of memory studies has coincided with a period of increasingly democratized media. For example, The Collective Memory Reader (2011) edited by Olick, Vinitzky-Seroussi and Levy devotes a whole section to Media and Modes of Transmission. They recognize the “material and technological substrata of individual and social memory” and that “there is an important interaction between brains and cultures and that brains are not the only or even the most important technologies of memory” (Olick, Vinitzky-Seroussi and Levy, 2011: 311). Technologies of memory have been commonplace for centuries and now there is a desire to organize and connect them. In a 2011 public lecture for the UK Arts Council, Jake Berger, Program Manager of the BBC’s Digital Public Space, suggested:

I would like you to imagine that every museum, archive, gallery, library, theatre and studio in the country could all be found next to each other and they each had each item in their collection on display. And imagine if the smallest organisations, archives and objects had the same level of visibility and accessibility as the big nationals. And imagine that all of this material and information were linked together. Now hold that thought for a minute.

(Berger, 2011)

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