International audience ; In the past few years, an increasing number of scholars have begun working to develop an integrated field introduced as a new discipline. From now on, these ‘memory studies’ have their own scientific journals, academic departments and international conferences. Now the scholars involved in this institutionalization situate themselves in an intellectual genealogy headed by the French sociologist, Maurice Halbwachs. Going back to Halbwachs’s original writing, this article argues that this genealogy rests upon a misreading. For the author of Collective memory, ‘memory’ was not a specific topic of research, but rather should be studied within and with the help of the ordinary tools and methods of general sociology. This article pleads the cause of this alternate route and, in doing so, hopes to introduce the reader to Halbwachs’s original theory and to its promising developments for contemporary studies in collective memory.