Remembering when events occur in time is fundamental to episodic memory. Yet, many experiences repeat over time creating the potential for interference when attempting to recall temporally specific memories. Here, we argue that temporal memories are protected, in part, by reinstatement of temporal context information that is triggered by stimulus repetitions. We motivate this argument by integrating seminal findings across several distinct literatures and methodologies. Specifically, we consider key insights from foundational behavioral studies of temporal memory, recent electrophysiological and neuroimaging approaches to measuring memory reinstatement, and computational models that describe how temporal context representations shape memory processes. We also note several open questions concerning how temporal context reinstatement might influence subsequent temporal memory, including potential mediating effects of event spacing and event boundaries. These ideas and questions have the potential to guide future research and, ultimately, to advance theoretical accounts of how we preserve temporal memories.

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