Friday, April 29, 2005

Memories made visible

I was at a lecture several weeks ago where the phrase "memories made visible" was used. A person there spoke of how memories are private, yet by sharing them, we make them public. Private memories (kept to ourselves) need no explanations, but a memory shared may need to be explained in order to be understood.

When we digitize items such as journals, diaries and photographs, we are making memories visible and sharable. Hopefully we are building context so that the memory is not standing alone, but has the supporting material its needs so that it is fully understood. For example, a socialite's diary containing her written memories of her daily activities may be meaningless without information on the events of the time or materials from other people. Her views may seem skewed until we "connect the dots" even with other text in the same diary.

Is your project making someone's memories visible? If yes, have you ensured that the memories will be understood? Have you built the correct context?

No comments: