A block oriented random access memory (BORAM) is disclosed as comprising a plurality of memory arrays of metal-nitride-oxide semiconductor (MNOS) memory elements. Each memory array includes a plurality of the MNOS memory elements disposed in rows and columns, and serial or sequential means such as a shift register for writing and reading data to and from the memory elements through column conductors associated with each column of the memory elements. A temporary storage means such as a latch is inserted between each stage of the shift register and the column conductor, whereby a multiplexing function can be performed between the stage outputs of the shift register and the columns of the memory elements. Address means is provided for the rows of memory elements, whereby a row may be selected for entry of data through its associated column conductor. In one illustrative embodiment, a plurality of such assemblies is assembled into a block capable of being separately addressed, wherein each such assembly is capable of storing one bit of a multi-bit word of data. In turn, a plurality of such blocks is assembled to form the block oriented random access memory, wherein each such block may be randomly accessed, and the data therein sequentially read and written.