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Recovering Past Stories for the Future: A Synergistic Approach to Textual and Oral Heritage of Small Communities

Project description

Unveiling hidden narratives to revive cultural roots

To revive forgotten traditions and reconnect communities with their past, the EU-funded RESTORY project aims to delve into the untold stories of small communities. Departing from the conventional focus on monumental heritage, the project synergises textual and oral narratives to spotlight the overlooked cultural treasures of yesteryear. By exploring collective agency through texts and interviews, the project sheds light on sustainable practices in schooling, recycling, and affective-based communication. Specifically targeting Transylvanian Saxon heritage, RESTORY combines methodologically-hybrid case studies with international collaborations. Beyond academia, the project invites cultural professionals to training sessions, fostering a bridge between historical wisdom and contemporary needs for sustainable development.


The project builds synergistically upon textual and oral stories to explore the past of small communities, with the goal of restoring the public’s emotional connection to discontinued traditions. In doing so, it pays greater attention to segments of cultural heritage that have long been overshadowed by monuments or sites of larger significance. Texts and interviews encapsulate expressions of collective agency, allowing current-day SSH academics to investigate those natural processes that gave prominence to the effective management of limited supplies of human and material resources. With a focus on schooling, recycling practices, and affective-based communication of group agents, RESTORY intends to investigate the formation of sustainable attitudes and strategies, learn from the lessons of the past, and integrate them into the future configuration of commitments. Ultimately, emulating the resource maximization frameworks intuitively designed by small-scale communities over a long period of time will allow the transfer of know-how from academia to local memory institutions, stakeholders, and citizens, contributing to the sustainable development of the continuously transformative heritage contexts. The research aspects of the project will consist of methodologically-hybrid case studies, targeting the textual and oral heritage of the communities inhabited in the past by Transylvanian Saxons, a group of German-speaking colonists settled about 800 years ago in nowadays Romania, in conjunction with 10 international case studies, all offering a wider range of expertise and accumulation of knowledge within the research target. RESTORY also presents the opportunity to attract cultural professionals from archives, museums, and libraries to training sessions designed to enhance the correct and comprehensive management, conservation, and capitalization of cultural heritage, all in relation to the needs of the wider public and administrative decision-makers at a local level.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 289 420,00
400084 Cluj Napoca

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Macroregiunea Unu Nord-Vest Cluj
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 289 420,00

Participants (19)