Over the past few years I have been examining the key role of stewardship transitions in the preservation of cultural memory, both as points of risk and as points of opportunity. The risks are increasingly acute because of the changing nature of cultural memory in the digital age (and the legal and economic complexities of managing it) and because of a range of disruptions and economic stresses that threaten or render unsustainable various organizations that included stewardship roles. The opportunities arise because these transfers, if we can put the right policies, best practices, and transition support in place, give us opportunities to better address a great deal of both modern and historic cultural heritage.
Over the past two years we have examined various aspects of this issue in the seminar. In this talk, I will attempt a systematic framing and synthesis of our earlier discussions and map out open research issues.