The article discusses the problem of the relationship between history and memory as two independent forms of using the past within the framework of P. Ricoeur’s philosophy. The value of Ricoeur’s approach lies in the fact that he analyzes this problem at different levels, starting with the essence and mechanisms of work of both phenomena. The analysis of the interrelation and rivalry between history and memory allows us to take a fresh look at the problem of the referentiality of historical texts, namely, to shift the focus from the gap between the sign and the referent to their necessary connection. On the basis of the phenomenology of memory proposed by Ricoeur, it is possible to organize various forms of reference to the past. As forms of saving experience, history and memory carry a fundamental claim to truth, despite the fact that in both cases the image of the past is produced by the imagination. Imagination can be visualizing (allowing to see) or derealizing (cutting off from reality), therefore both memory and history need ways to verify this claim to truth. For memory, this way is recognizing, which is a subjectively experienced sensation, and for history it is the possibility of a permanent revision of its constructions in a process that Ricoeur calls standing for (représentance (Fr.)). These ways must remain autonomous, allowing both to realize its function. For memory, this is the keeping of the identity, the continuity of the subject, and for history, it is the implementation of a critical assessment and reorganization of experience, which is constantly enriched with new challenges and new data. Recognition of the memory independence restrains some actors usurping access to the past so far as they believe only they have the correct memory. History, on the other hand, through critical procedures, performs a corrective function and treats the past as the claim to truth, despite the subjectivity of memory.