Cultural Heritage Collaborators


Cultural Heritage includes the tangible items that are considered worthy of preservation for the future due to their reflection of a society’s identity. It also encompasses intangible values and customs that are passed from one generation to another. Cultural Heritage Collaborators work to preserve knowledge by making sure appropriate tangible items are retained for the future and that intangible information is identified and recorded. Everyone has the potential to be a Cultural Heritage Collaborator. This article explores the reasons we would want to become one and how we can participate.

The focus of the discussion is on archives. Archives form the foundation of what we know about society and are found in every home and institution in the civilized world. Archives are records that should be kept permanently because of their long-term value. Unique among other materials created by humans, archives are the original documents made by the participants in an event of activity. Also referred to as “primary sources,” archival materials include manuscripts, ledgers, diaries, photographs, original recordings and digital material. They are not mass- produced. They are not necessarily old and are not always produced by well-known people. Because of archives’ common character, every member of society has the potential to support cultural heritage through our archival foundation.

Cultural Heritage Collaborators

Cultural heritage collaborators include professionals such as museologists, librarians, and archivists who care for the materials humans create that reflect history. Though only archivists specialize in retaining historic records, all of these professionals manage items that are vital to our cultural heritage. In fact, they all use archives in their daily activities to help support their specialized cultural knowledge and collections. The collaborators also embrace clerks, secretaries, records managers and others charged with retaining a specific history. Finally, there are “Citizen Archivists.” These are people who may or may not know much about cultural resources. They may have some interest in collecting or preserving materials. Or, they may not be conscious of any personal interest in retaining cultural items, but possess records that hold importance for historical memory. Working with diverse people across society, we can properly identify and protect the resources that should be saved for our future.

You are likely a “Citizen Archivist,” retaining family papers and documents that tell about individual life stories. The records you keep in your home — letters, diaries, account ledgers, calendars — reflect your life and who you are. These materials are important to you because they help you define your own identity, ensure your legacy when you pass them down to the next generation, and help you preserve your own cherished memories of family, friends and community. However, every individual story helps make up a larger community history and your personal records have a broader appeal. Many professional repositories, such as historical societies, build a large portion of their collections on personal papers. It is important for people to realize that the documentation that preserves their memories and reflects their family history often has importance in a larger context that relates to neighborhoods, states, or nations.

Why Value Cultural Heritage and Archives?

Valuing a common heritage allows us to better understand our place in the world, boosting self esteem and a sense of belonging. Cultural heritage appreciation fosters a sense of community and strengthens civic pride based on a shared and documented history. There are even more concrete reasons to value and preserve our documented community history:

1. Archives provide primary information about society’s activities to help everyone recognize and evaluate events for themselves. Primary sources allow us to go to the source of information so we can try to discern truth and reality from fiction and biases without relying on secondary opinions. Original documents have the potential to give us multiple perspectives so we may contemplate diverse ideas that develop due to people’s different ways of thinking and different environments.

2. Records ensure administrative continuity as organizations and businesses function and evolve. They help ensure a smooth-running society governed with order and efficiency. They allow us to hold public officials accountable through organized public records that can be viewed by citizenry, also ensuring our rights and freedoms. Archives allow us to hold liable those who stifle more, repress societies and otherwise degrade human rights. They provide evidence against those who break laws.

3. Recorded materials allow us to plan for the future by reviewing past mistakes and successes. They allow us to evaluate society and distinguish trends from more permanent traits of diversified culture.

4. Historical records can be used to market a community and promote tourism using a deep knowledge about the community’s history and strengths. They can serve to promote the value of an area to researchers, encouraging them to study and write about local history.

Archives also support education and lifelong learning, preserve memories, provide fodder for programming and entertainment, and help ensure our legacy. Due to all these roles, archives should be valued and protected.

What Can You Do?

– Learn what organizations in your area collect archives. Support their efforts by becoming a member of their institution, visiting, serving on a board, or spreading the word about their work.

– Examine the materials in your possession and make note of what cultural items you keep. Properly care for them by preserving and organizing

– Educate yourself about culture and archives by noticing cultural heritage resources all around you. Your knowledge will help you become an informed supporter.

– Become a cultural heritage collaborator by directly reaching out to a professional cultural heritage collaborator at your local historical society, public library or museum. Talk to a special librarian or archivist about your own materials. Learn about their collections and donate items in your possession that are valuable to community history.

– Help create a collaborative that focuses on gathering and preserving documentation that will preserve community memory.

A community of collaborators has a greater opportunity to raise awareness, increase enthusiasm, build support, boost goodwill, fully document a community or place, and encourage pride than any one of us working alone. Valuing your history, learning about the resources upon which we base our history, and actively promoting the preservation of these materials. This will help us sustain our communities and the things we value while propelling us successfully toward the future.

An Educational Visit to Explore the Musical Heritage of Salzburg

As the fourth largest city in Austria, nestled along the northern boundary of the Alps, Austria enjoys picturesque views across the River Salzach and a history that stretches back to around the fifth century BC. An educational visit to Salzburg is a great introduction to this UNESCO World Heritage Site to learn about the history. The name of the city is derived from the term ‘Salt Castle’, which relates to the large salt barges that were tolled in the eighth century for travelling along the river, for example. However, aside from the fascinating history of Salzburg, there is also a very important aspect that makes it attractive to students – its musical heritage. Salzburg is a music lover’s paradise; students can visit the place where Mozart was born, followed by a trip to the International Mozart Foundation, take in a show at the Jazzit Jazz club, and view some of the locations where The Sound of Music was filmed.

Mozart– Anyone who appreciates classical music will gain a valuable insight from Salzburg to see the way the city relates to its native son, Mozart. A trip to here will be musically very educational; visit Mozart’s birthplace, on Getreidegasse 9, when you arrive in the city and experience one of the most visited museums in the world. Here, you will find the new permanent exhibit that shows Mozart’s life and circumstance while he was growing up. On the third floor of the museum, the individual members of Mozart’s family are introduced and their connections to Mozart’s career are explored. From here, head to Makartplatz 8, the place where Mozart lived from 1773 to 1781. While the building was mostly destroyed during World War II, it has been faithfully reconstructed and now showcases original documents and portraits that tell the family history.

Jazzit – Officially known as “Jazzit-Jazz at the Theater” and located at Elisabethstrasse 11, an educational visit to Salzburg should not overlook the popular forms of music that have also thrived in this city. Jazzit has been running jazz-based culture clubs in various venues around the city since its inception in 1981. In 2001 it was given a permanent home in the basement of the former Austrian Communist Party’s “Volxheim”. You can book tickets to see the concerts that are held weekly and have featured such jazz greats as Henry Threadgill, Cecil Taylor, and Steve Coleman. If you have time, you should plan to see some of the new talent that Jazzit is known for spotting and supporting with their own record label, the Jazzit:Edition, before heading off.

Musicals – Love it or hate it, it cannot be denied that The Sound of Music is one of the most famous musicals of all time. Based on the memoirs of Maria von Trapp, it started as a Broadway show in 1959 and was adapted to film in 1965. While in Salzburg, an excursion to see the Mirabell Castle will be fun as well as educational. Visit the gardens to see where Maria and the children sang Do-Re-Mi, and perhaps try a rendition yourselves; then head over to the ‘Sound of Music’ pavilion in the gardens of Hellbrunn Caslte (Fürstenweg 37) to see where ‘I am 16 going on 17’ was filmed and see what musical inspiration this brings!

Bring Home Education Back to the Biblical Principle Approach

I have been asked many, many a time — What do you mean by Back to the Basics? Classical Approach? What does it all mean. I through you just opened a book and taught. Oh, Dear Friend, it is my hope to answer these questions and more, very simply in this article.

Back to the basics – the biblical classical approach to learning and teaching is a simple form of daily home teaching that brings us back to the Basics of the Bible and Life. While we full embrace our Old Testament Heritage, we are fully acknowledging our New Testament belief in Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior.

We believe that daily home education should instruct and nurture our children in the following ways:

  1. We believe teaching of a Biblical World view in Every Subject. We do this by incorporating The Holy Scripture (The Bible) and biblical thinking throughout our full school day, school year; and the curriculum that we choose to teach from and/or author.
  2. We believe teaching to and instilling into our children the core character value system that is modeled after the Life of Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer.
  3. We further believe that the most vital part of home education is to teach the CRIMSON THREAD (Jesus Christ) has a part in our every day life. That our Biblical Heritage should be taught side-by-side along with our American Heritage through every aspect of our curriculum and lives.
  4. We also desire to teach our children The Biblical Principle Approach to Christian Family Heritage, Christian American Heritage, Education and Government.”

By: Karina C. Struven