A similar effect occurred with Lincoln's assassination a century before.37 These presidential assassinations completely changed the course of American history and have since been fully ingrained in our collective memory. One occurred before the nation had full pulled itself out from under four years of civil war, and the other happened within the lifetime of people today-people who can still talk about it with others. Not surprisingly, events that result in 'virtually no major institutional alterations are much less likely to become part of a society's collective memory.'38 Lincoln and Kennedy were not the only presidents to be murdered, yet there can be no argument that any other presidential assassination has entered American collective memory in ways similar to those two. Rather then exist as a nation's collective memory, archives preserve 'documents of enduring value that represent the collective memory of society.'39 However, archives and collective memory do not always overlap, as not everything in an archive joins our collective memory, nor is everything in a culture's collective memory in its archive. Archives equally record events with and without institutional alterations. Records relating to the Revolutionary War as well as the War of 1812 can be found in the National Archives in the United States, despite the fact that the War of 1812 is significantly less ingrained in its collective memory. Words and names like Lexington and Concord, Paul Revere, George Washington, Benedict Arnold, Valley Forge, Yorktown are all deeply set in the American memory, while the War of 1812 is largely forgotten. In Washington, DC one can walk into the National Archives and see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and understand their role in the national collective memory.40 There is little doubt that all Americans have their own ideas as to what those two documents are and how they fit in our cultural landscape. They form a major part of the collective memory, but we must separate the records and the archive from the idea of collective memory. As archivists know, archives run much deeper than priceless historic documents, and contain an innumerable amount of records that would not excite your average tourist if on display. Often times these records have little or no bearing in collective memory, yet they constitute the bulk of an archive's collection. Archives may hold valuable artifacts that are physical representations of collective memory, but we must be careful when using that phrase, and take into consideration what it would mean if archives were a nation's collective memory. The ramifications of viewing archives as the collective memory for ex-colonial states rest on one simple fact: archives were created to 'sustain cultural traditions and values.'41 In the case of colonial archives, these traditions and values were of the colonizer and not the people who may currently be retaining the records. As South African archivist Verne Harris puts it when describing how archives are only 'a sliver of a sliver of a sliver' of the historical record, ifas many archivists are wont to argue, the repositories of archives are the world's central memory institutions, then we are in deep, amnesic trouble.'42 To that I would like to add that if archives are our central memory institutions, then what ex-colonial states are 'remembering' needs to be looked at with a discerning eye. Cultural 35 MICHAEL KARABINOS POST(-)cOLONIAL ARCHIVES 38 Banasik and Pennebacker, 'On the Creation', 17. 39 Brunero, 'Archives and Heritage in Singapore', 428. 40 Also on view are the Articles of Confederation - the national constitution in use from 1781 to 1787. However, like the War of 1812, the Articles of Confederation have almost no place in our collective memory, yet the National Archives houses both constitutions. 41 Foote, 'To Remember and Forget', 29. 42 Harris, 'The Archival Sliver', 65.

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Jaarboeken Stichting Archiefpublicaties | 2012 | | pagina 37