The term Collective Memory has been the topic of books, news articles, and college seminars. To me, collective memory, as it relates to family history, was described well by by John H. Byrne in his book CONCISE LEARNING AND MEMORY: THE EDITOR'S SELECTION (Academic, 2009) on page 12:
"In a literal sense, collective memory refers to remembering that occurs within any social context."
Most all the students who attended Margaretta High School in Castalia, Ohio during the decade of the 1960's will recall Andy Orshoski passing out candy to students in the hallway before school started, and his often said phrase, "What d'ya know, Joe?" And I will never forget where I was on November 22, 1963, leaving classes Mrs. Arheit's music class and going on to Mr. Bracy's math class, when we all got that news that President John F. Kennedy had been shot.
Mom and her siblings and cousins have unique memories from playing at their grandparents' farm in Perkins Township in the 1940's, and I'm sure they recall Grandma Ada's good cooking too!
The enthusiasm, joy, and the basics of learning to play as a team, will long be recalled by these Little League ball players from Bay View in the 1960's though their coaches are now deceased.
Everyone was who able to make the Summer of 2007 Orshoski Family Photo Shoot, is thankful that we have these memories of a time before we knew that cancer was soon to take her Mom from us.
I encourage you to document your own memories in a journal or a blog and to identify the individuals in your photos. Ask your older relatives and neighbors some of their fondest recollections. Collective memories are a precious thing!