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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 11/26/2014)