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Authors:Mattias Bäckström: Department of History of Ideas and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Publication title:Reading the Official and the Unofficial: On the Practice of a Historical Investigation of the “Folk-Memory” at the Scandinavian folk Museums and Open-Air Museums during the Late 19th Century
Conference:Comparing: National Museums, Territories, Nation-Building and Change. NaMu IV, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden 18–20 February 2008
Publication type: Abstract and Fulltext
Issue:030
Article No.:012
Abstract:Official documents of the folk museums and open-air museums in Scandinavia demonstrate in many respects a history of similarities between themselves, while the unofficial documents contain a history of different local strategies to maintain the joint visions of the museum. Therefore, it is necessary for the historian to keep his gaze fixed on the texts, on the differences of the contents, but also to be aware of all distractions that originate in one’s self, distractions that creates imaginary meanings, which in their turn threaten the otherness of the documents. Thus, the task of a historian, I argue, is to maintain the otherness of the documents, and to dig out their different and presumed unessential contents, i.e. to uphold the straggly shape of the “folk-memory”.

This article gives some examples of the official and the unofficial sides of “folk-memory” in late 19th century Scandinavia, which a broader reading of the documents has unveiled. A study of the documents in filing cabinets and in cellar vaults of museums makes it possible to describe different similarities and differences than those which occur in a more limited reading of the published texts. Not until such an expanded and text-focused historical investigation has been carried out, is it possible to see the cracks in the “folk-memory”, and its other and more secret boundaries.

Language:English
Year:2008
No. of pages:7
Pages:167-173
Series:Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):1650-3686
ISSN (online):1650-3740
File:http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp/030/012/ecp0830012.pdf
Available:2008-05-20
Publisher:Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet

REFERENCE TO THIS PAGE
Mattias Bäckström (2008). Reading the Official and the Unofficial: On the Practice of a Historical Investigation of the “Folk-Memory” at the Scandinavian folk Museums and Open-Air Museums during the Late 19th Century, Comparing: National Museums, Territories, Nation-Building and Change. NaMu IV, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden 18–20 February 2008 http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_article/index.en.aspx?issue=030;article=012 (accessed 7/24/2014)