Memory institution

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A memory institution is an organization maintaining a repository of public knowledge, a generic term used about institutions such as libraries, archives, museums, sites and monuments records (SMR), clearinghouses, providers of digital libraries and data aggregation services which serve as memories for given societies or mankind. Increasingly such institutions are considered as a part of a unified documentation/information science perspective.[citation needed]

Lorcan Dempsey (1999) may have introduced the term into popular use in library and information science.

Michael Buckland (2012) wrote, "[p]rogress can be made towards a coherent, unified view of the roles of archives, libraries, museums, online information services, and related organizations if they are treated as information-providing services."[irrelevant citation]

Helena Robinson (2012) criticized the term when she wrote, "[r]ather than revealing the essential affiliation between museums, libraries and archives, their sweeping classification as 'memory institutions' in the public sector and the academy oversimplifies the concept of memory, and marginalises domain-specific approaches to the cataloguing, description, interpretation and deployment of collections that lead museums, libraries and archives to engage with history, meaning and memory in significantly different ways."

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