How have visions, realities and heritage ideologies informed and shaped the collection policies, preservation strategies and dissemination work of the tradition archives? Questions regarding the production of knowledge at the tradition archives form the basis for discussion in this panel.
In many countries, tradition archives have played a significant role in extending historical awareness and the concept of culture to include the experiences of common people and daily life. Establishing tradition archives was also a means of turning folklore studies and ethnology into research disciplines. The reservoirs of knowledge accumulated in this process still characterize these disciplines against related fields. In the 1970s - 1990s, the collections at the tradition archives faced extensive critique in many countries. A new generation of researchers found the old collections one sided and tendentious. Among other things, the collected material was considered tainted by outdated ideologies and visions. Simultaneously, the perception of the archives has changed from being seen as neutral sites of storage to being acknowledged as highly politicized sites of power. How have visions, realities and heritage ideologies informed and shaped the collection policies, preservation strategies and dissemination work of the tradition archives? In what ways is the production of knowledge at the archives affected by the challenge of transforming paper-based institutions to operate in a world of electronic communication? Today, there are increasing demands on the archives to change roles from "guardians" to "disseminators" of cultural heritage - what are the implications, challenges and potentials? These and other questions regarding the production of knowledge at the tradition archives, whether historical or contemporary, are welcomed as a basis for further discussion.