n.the information that serves to unify a group of people and provide a group identityBombard 1955, 124The new oral history makes no pretense of serving as the collective memory of a social group, nor does it aspire to the epic sweep of an Icelandic saga. It is simply a means of recording in readily available form the memories of men who have been the actors in events of historical significance.Halbwachs 1992, 40Collective frameworks are, to the contrary, precisely the instruments used by the collective memory to reconstruct an image of the past which is in accord, in each epoch, with the predominant thoughts of the society.Hinding 1993, 59Just as Thomas sees our Superorganism building language, I believe we are also constructing another edifice. All of our individual acts of memory, from neighborhood reminiscence to oral history, from keeping a family scrapbook to keeping archives, cumulate to a body of human memory that is both physical and nonmaterial. We are only partially conscious of this collective act of conjoined intelligence, though some members of our species now speak of “collective memory.”Millar 2006a, 118–119It is in this transition from remembering to knowing that we move from the realm of individual to collective memory. It is a move that involves sharing our inner thoughts with others, creating stories from memories, and preserving, interpreting, and mediating external evidence—documents, artifacts, architectural sites, geographic places—to create a factual basis for individual memories and to communicate those recollections, and the emotional resonance they carry, outside of our single selves to our wider community.Millar 2006a, 120But the terms “social memory,” “public memory,” “collective memory,” and “community memory” have all come to refer to a sense of shared knowledge or experience, even if we acknowledge the impossibility of transmitting particular episodic memories, complete with emotions and sensations, from one person to another.O’Toole and Cox 2006, 16Records are saved because they are a form of individual or collective memory.Bastian 2009, 116Collective memory, identified as a legitimate aspect of memory studies by Maurice Halbwachs in the 1920s, is a social phenomenon that refers specifically to a group’s recollection of the past in the present. The collective memory of a group of people whether a family, a community, or a nation at a particular moment in time is generally manifested through such forms of commemoration as monuments, parades, websites, books, exhibits, storytelling, or traditional gatherings like Thanksgiving. The form of the commemoration is the way in which the group chooses to remember and represent its past.Jimerson 2009, 201The concept of collective memory posits that collections of individuals, such as members of an ethnic group or citizens of a nation, share some common perceptions of the past. This does not mean that all members of the group “remember” past events in the same way, but but that there is enough overlap in personal memories to warrant depiction of common perceptions. Such group memories often shape collective identities.Blouin and Rosenberg 2011, 103Although there is substantial disagreement among historians, archivists, and others about the nature and conceptual value of social memory, not to say its meaning, the concept can be quite useful analytically. This is especially so when it is used in careful ways to describe common understandings about the past that are formed when shared narratives, institutions, and broader sociocultural practices define and give meaning to what members of the group recognize as constitutive experiences.Jacobsen, Punzalan, and Hedstrom 2013, 218Archivists too express considerable interest in collective memory and many claim a special affinity between archives and memory. Archives are frequently characterized as crucial institutions of social memory, and many professional activities are considered forms of memory preservation.