Cultural memory in the museum and its dialogue with collective and individual memory

  • Merike Lang
Keywords: Aleida Assmann and the German school of cultural memory, museological communication schemes, the medium of collective memory, pedagogical programme, Estonian Open Air Museum


This article analyses the forms of cultural memory (storage and functio- nal memory) relying on the work of Aleida Assmann and the German cultural memory school (Assmann, 1999; 2004), and their changes in memory institutions in connection with the institution’s dialogue with individual and collective memory. Assmann’s theory is supplemented with museological communication schemes (Hooper-Grenhill, 1996) and a definition of the medium of collective memory (Erll, 2004). The aim of this article is to discuss the effect of functional memory in the context of the mediation work of a modern museum. The article will deal more thoroughly with the functionalizing process of cultural memory in the museum based on a specific pedagogical programme at the Estonian Open Air Museum.