Home    Number 1, 2024

From “Vernacular Museums” to the “Do-It-Yourself Past”

[Ot “vernakuliarnykh” muzeev k “proshlomu svoimi rukami”]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541524010033


Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 24.08.2023

Accepted: 23.11.2023

About author(s)

Ekaterina Melnikova | https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6764-9240 | Melek@eu.spb.ru | European University at St. Petersburg (6/1a Gagarinskaya Str., St. Petersburg, 191187, Russia)


museums, heritage, commemorations, collective memory, vernacular memory, memory activism


This article examines the idea of “vernacular museums” as it was put forth by Irina Kyzlasova and Elena Chesnokova in an earlier issue of the journal. In response to the authors’ idea, I aim to further develop the line of argumentation, proposing to broaden the scope of analysis for this phenomenon. The article explores the issues surrounding the application of the term “vernacular museum.” These obstacles include the presence of previous iterations of such museums, the inherent contradictions within the categorization of museums’ diversity, and the challenges associated with conceptualizing vernaculars as a signifi cant Other of the offi cially recognized museum models. The article presents a novel approach to examining modern museum activities, suggesting that they could be placed alongside broader grassroots commemoration activities and memorial activism.


Melnikova, E.A. 2024. Ot “vernakuliarnykh” muzeev k “proshlomu svoimi rukami” [From “Vernacular Museums” to the “Do-It-Yourself Past”]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 1: 60–76. https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541524010033 EDN: YJBSDW

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