For the second year in a row, the Lituanica Department invited diaspora researchers to the seminar. During the one-day event, the participants heard three presentations about Lithuanian diaspora. Dr Ramūnas Čičelis, the lecturer at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU), talked about the philotopic aspect in Jonas Mekas, an American Lithuanian artist; Akvilė Šimėnienė, who studies in the doctorate program at the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, shared her findings about Dr Birutė Ciplijauskaitė’s literary criticism; and the doctorate student at the Lithuanian Academy of Arts, Jolanta Bernotaitytė, discussed the representations of the Lithuanian American art in the 20th century during the sixties and nineties. Vilnius University historian Dr Tomas Balkelis, who spoke about the international aspect of diaspora and migration studies, urged the seminar’s participants to write theirarticles and books not only to a Lithuanian, but a foreign reader as well and their research to look for Lithuanian connections with other nations and communities.
The Head of the Lithuanian Literature Department at VMU, Assoc. Dr Dalia Kuizinienė, noticed that a lot of important research in the field of the Lithuanian diaspora had been carried out over the past 25 years. However, she noted that there are still quite a few holes and gaps remaining. She agreed with Assoc. Dr Žydronė Kolevinskienė, dean of Lithuanian Philology Faculty at the University of Educational Sciences that not a lot has been done to research the most recent Lithuanian emigrant literature, Lithuanian foreign press, as well as theatre and visual arts.
At the end of the seminar, a book presentation, The nostalgia and mimicry: Lithuanian and Latvian post-war diaspora novels by Laura Laurušaitė (Vilnius: Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore), took place. Guests, Dr Manfredas Žvirgždas, Assoc. Dr Kuizinienė and Dr Čičelis, stressed the novelty of the book, especially the methodological tools, comparative and postcolonial perspectives, and their successful adaptation for Lithuanian and Latvian emigrant novels. The author of the monograph noted that one of her main objectives while writing the book was to introduce Lithuanian readers to a rich Latvian diaspora prose, especially bearing in mind that not a single work from more than 400 Latvian diaspora novels published in post-war is available in Lithuanian language.
The exhibition is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Lithuania’s independence. The title was inspired by the essay “No, my friends, we won’t go slow” written by émigré artist Jonas Mekas, published at the end of March 1990 in the New York Times, one of the largest circulation newspapers in the US.
The exhibition offers various articles by famous journalists and authors, as well as editorials in the regional press of 14 countries. The clippings were carefully collected and sent to the Library by Lithuanian émigrés and friends of Lithuania living abroad.
The project’s partner – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. We kindly thank prof. Dr. Nijolė Kašelionienė, Assoc. Dr. Carmen Caro Dugo, Rimantas Morkvėnas, Danutė Janutienė, Vitalija Gylikienė, Jonas Rimka, Vaclava Filipovič, Žana Tarasevič, Laura Tupe, Gabrielė Klimaitė-Želvienė, Vaidas Radavičius ir Gytis Marcinkevičius for their assistance in translating.
This year marks 70 years of one of the greatest Baltic emigration waves in the twentieth century, when at the end of the WW II, more than 280 000 Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian citizens avoiding Soviet repressions were forced to leave their homeland. The first temporary place to live became German DP camps, where the Balts very soon revived active social, cultural and social life.
To commemorate this anniversary, the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian memory institutions for more than two years worked together on an international project Refugees from the Baltic Countries in German Camps 1944-1951, which resulted in a virtual exhibition. In this project, our country was represented by the Lituanica Department of the National Library of Lithuania.
The exhibition presents the archives housed at the Lithuanian National Library, the Lithuanian Cultural Institute, the American Lithuanian Cultural Archives, the Lithuanian Research and Studies Center in the US, Chicago and personal collection of an Australian Lithuanian Pranas Nagys. The exhibition can be visited at >>>
5th International HERITY Cultural Heritage Conference “Services for Culture: a visit of quality” took place in Florence, Italy, on December 4-6. A three-day event, dedicated to cultural services and its quality brought together cultural heritage research, monitoring and management experts from more than ten countries who presented papers on cultural heritage policy sustainability, cultural, economic and physical accessibility, and cultural heritage management issues.
Prof. dr. Renaldas Gudauskas, HERITY board member and the director of the National Library of Lithuania, talked about digital cultural heritage in the context of data-driven economy. Another representative from the National Library of Lithuania, head of Lituanica Department, Jolanta Budriūnienė discussed the tools which the Library uses to collect documentary heritage, produce analytical data and manage archival content ensuring the changing needs of today’s society. On the last day of the conference, the HERITY board members talked about the future of the organization in order to more effectively analyze and evaluate the activities of memory institutions in the field of cultural heritage and the opportunities applying them to public needs.
HERITY is an international cultural heritage quality management organization, founded in 1994. Its main mission is to inform the public about the well managed heritage objects, highlighting their historical-cultural value, protection status, communication capabilities, and the wide range of services.
Scientific conference: “Archives: Secrets of Museums and Epoch Legends” took place inMaironisLithuanianLiteratureMuseum(Kaunas), on October 19, 2011. Representatives of museums, libraries, research institutes introduced archives of personalities, important for country’s history and culture (XX c.), presented insights of latest researches. Head of Lituanica Department of the National Library Jolanta Budriūnienė delivered report “About people and their books: thumbing through the Lozoraitis library publications”. She analyzed proveniences of printings stored in the collection, significant socially and communicatively, illustrating relations of former collection owners (representatives of the Lozoraitis family of three generations) with surrounding people and ambience, reflecting historical events.
Currently 23 thousand items of books and periodicals are stored in the Lozoraitis collection; while processing them new names of autographs’, dedications’ and ex-libris’ owners are revealed. They supplement unknown and forgotten the Lozoraitis family life and activity facts.