Museum of Memories

“ Memories keep yesterday alive.”- Anonymous

Memories are integral parts of our life and all of us hold something or the other dear to us like objects, photographs, and even people.These memories are a celebration in themselves.The idea of the museum and capturing these memories is why Ashoka University’s History Society organized a Memory Museum.

This museum commemorated memories from the past and brought together some 30 objects that belonged to students and professors. The History Society celebrated history in ways people generally do not celebrate it- by appreciating and sharing memories.

The museum consisted of the following memories-

  1. A brass plate that traveled from Kishoreganj to Calcutta after Partition. It is a family heirloom that has been preserved as part of a family history. The plate has initials of the owner’s great-great-grandfather, who used it as a serving dish during Durga Puja.
  2. The collection’s highlight was Professor Mukherjee’s prized possession of a pen owned by Ranajit Guha, who is the author of Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency in Colonial India. The pen was a highlight because it was used by Guha to write the book. He gifted the pen to Professor Mukherjee.
  3. The museum showcased a student’s postal stamp collection.The collection holds stamps from all over the world. It started out as a school project but turned into a hobby. The collection has a stamp of the commonwealth games which was attached to a joining letter for the student’s brother from the National Defence Academy.
  4. In this world of media and technology, the art of writing letters has been lost. However, it was still popular when we were children. One of the exhibits was a set of cards and letters that a student wrote to her mother as a child.
  5. British India coins that were found by a student which turned changed the course of his life. He found some British India coins hidden in a closet and the thirst for the same turned him into a history student. The coins are of different years and have pictures of different monarchs on them.
  6. The display also contained a diary from the year 1999. This diary holds many suggested names for a child before birth. It also has a few doodles made by a child. The student who owns this diary said that her father used it to jot down names for her; it became an object they bonded over it when she was young.

The memory museum also held the memories of the people who curated it. The team added another memory for visitors to take away. Every visitor had an opportunity to write a memory of their own on a postcard and pick up someone else’s memory. This exchange of memory reminds me of Gilbert Parker when he says- “Memory is man’s greatest friend and worst enemy”.

Even the worst of memories can make for a happy one in exchange.


Edited by Vasudha Malani.

All the images are courtesy of History Society of Ashoka University.