The memory plays an important role in building the present. We become what we remember as it is the memory that is the source of most of the images that accompany our everyday life.The significance of memory is particularly visible in the case of nationalities and societies. It is often referred to as collective memory as opposed to the one that accompanies us as individuals. ; The article aims at reviewing the contemporary collective memory theories of French, German and Polish researchers. Definitions and aspects of the phenomenon of memory presented by Maurice Halbwachs, Pierre Nor, Aleida and Jan Assmann and Barbara Szacka are discussed in the paper. The analysis attempts at answering the question if it is possible to formulate one definition of collective memory suitable for all fields of science or does every field require its own, suitable for its particular character of research.