Zbiór Wiadomości do Antropologii Muzealnej, Nr 5 (2018), s. 157-176
The beginnings of museums in Cieszyn Silesia reach back to 1802. Tracing their history
one can notice that their main popularizing and educative functions have always been accompanied
by cultural identity dimension including civilizational and local singularities.
Today’s practices of museums and collecting, in the form of, for example, regional or school
chambers of tradition and history, and private, nongovernmental organizations or parochial
museums, may be regarded as grass-roots strategies to protect the regional heritage and
substantial artifacts that refer to the past of a place and local communities. These initiatives
are addressed both to the inhabitants as well as to the people outside the region. The chambers
may be considered to be memory places (lieux de mémoire) for building and supporting
regional identity, while the latter, i.e. private and church museums, become one of the tools
used to construct cultural distinctiveness of the region and tourist’s experience.