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Memory vs history: the role of Museums

Dominique Poulot explains how the writing of history distinguished itself from the writing of memory.

Dominique Poulot, from the University of Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne discusses the distinction between memory and history.

He explains that critical history emerged in the 18th century, which led to the professionalization of history and the generalization of the use of archives. This new field replaced the “art of memory”, which prevailed in the 16th and 17th centuries.

He then moves on to discuss the role of museums. He explains that the 19th century museum was dedicated to celebrating the nation and the rise of people’s freedom. He draws on the case of the Louvre and stresses the coincidence between the birth of the nation state and that of the museum.

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Cultures and Identities in Europe

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