From antiquities to heritage. Transformations of Cultural Memory

Anne Eriksen is the author of this first publication in the new Kultrans series by Berghan Books, "Time and the World: Interdisciplinary Studies in Cultural Transformations".

Eighteenth-century gentleman scholars collected antiquities. Nineteenth-century nation states built museums to preserve their historical monuments. In the present world, heritage is a global concern as well as an issue of identity politics.

What does it mean when runic stones or medieval churches are transformed from antiquities to monuments to heritage sites?

This book argues that the transformations concern more than words alone: They reflect fundamental changes in the way we experience the past, and the way historical objects are assigned meaning and value in the present.

The book presents a series of cases from Norwegian culture to explore how historical objects and sites have changed in meaning over time. It contributes to the contemporary debates over collective memory and cultural heritage as well to our knowledge about early modern antiquarianism. Contents.

Anne Eriksen, Professor in Cultural History at the University of Oslo, was the leader of the Kultrans research area "Cultural Production".


Series: Time and the World: Interdisciplinary Studies in Cultural Transformations, Berghahn Books, New York | Oxford.

Series Editor: Helge Jordheim, University of Oslo.

Time is moving faster; the world is getting smaller. Behind these popular slogans are actual cultural processes, on global and local scales, that require investigation. Time and the World draws on research in a wide range of fields, such as cultural history, anthropology, sociology, literary studies, sociolinguistics, and law, and sets out to discuss different cultures as sites of transformation in a global context. The series offers interdisciplinary analyses of cultural aspects of globalization in various historical and geographical contexts, across time and space.





  • Research Questions and Perspectives
  • Between Heritage Studies and Antiquarianism
  • The Scope and Content of the Book

Chapter 1. Heritage and Cultural Memory

  • Regimes of Historicity
  • The Cult of Monuments

Chapter 2. In Search of Ancient Heroes

  • Topographies and the Space of Experience
  • What’s in a Name?
  • The Implications of Space
  • Hallingdal and Thrace
  • A Familiar Realm

Chapter 3. Antiquarianism and Epistemic Virtue

  • Facts from Stones
  • From Mortar to Grammar
  • Epistemic Virtues
  • Schøning, the Historian

Chapter 4. Ruins and Time

  • Rudera: Decay, Vestiges and Remains
  • Ruin Romanticism
  • Sensibility and National Glory

Chapter 5. Mediaeval Monuments

  • The Discovery of the Stave Churches
  • Material Evidence – a New Approach
  • J.S. Dahl and the Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments
  • History and the Nation
  • A Change of Regimes?

Chapter 6. Museums to Preserve Our Past

  • Systems, Specimens and Antiquities
  • National Awakening
  • Between Temporality and Topography
  • Conflicts and Invisibilities
  • Museums and History

Chapter 7. Monuments and Memorials

  • From Royal Glory to Civic Virtue
  • Standing Stones and Universal Values
  • All of Us – Resistance as a Collective Project
  • Time Witnesses
  • At the Museum

Chapter 8. Cultural Property, Cultural Heritage

  • Bring Him Home!
  • From Property to Heritage
  • Unique, but Not Particular

Chapter 9. Heritage Today

  • Cultural Heritage in the Age of Digitalisation – Heritage Year 2009
  • The Heritage of Everyday Life
  • Doing Heritage
  • From Change to Choice – by Way of a Conclusion


Publisert 7. feb. 2014 09:18 - Sist endret 10. apr. 2014 09:11