The Three Friends: Damušis, Kazickas and Ambrozaitis


The opening of the exhibition “Three Friends: Damušis, Kazickas and Ambrozaitis.”

In commemoration of the anniversaries of the three prominent Lithuanian émigré activists and freedom fighters, scientist Adolfas Damušis, philanthropist Juozas Petras Kazickas and doctor Kazys Ambrozaitis, the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, Adolfas Damušis Democracy Studies Centre and the Kazickas Family Foundation organized a series of events. Continue reading “The Three Friends: Damušis, Kazickas and Ambrozaitis”

For Freedom. Lithuanian American Support for Lithuania’s Independence and Recognition

Photo credit: The Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture

In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Lithuania’s Independence, the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture opened a new historical exhibit “For Freedom: Lithuanian American Support for Lithuania’s Independence and Recognition.” The exhibit explores Lithuanian Americans’ passionate and energetic support for the cause of Lithuania’s independence one hundred years ago.  Using photographs, documents, publications, and other historical artifacts, the exhibition gives an overview of Lithuania’s fate at the dawn of the twentieth century as a subjugated part of the Russian Empire; briefly portrays the Lithuanian American communities in America; and summarizes their significant cultural, political, and financial achievements.

The exhibition’s central focus is the vital role played by Lithuanian Americans as their native land seized a unique and complex opportunity to end its 125-year Russian subjugation. It demonstrates that Lithuanian Americans’ support for freedom in their native land did not end with the declared independence in 1918 nor with its recognition by the United States in 1922. In fact, as the exhibition shows, Lithuanian Americans supported their native land’s recurrent struggles to achieve freedom and independence for most of the twentieth century.

Drawing on materials in the Balzekas Museum as well as public and private national and regional archives and collections, the exhibition centralizes the presence of historical documents to prove that this century-long struggle for freedom was powered by ideas and ideals expressed in words and actions.

To Be Banned: Baltic Books 1918-1940

On March 9, 2018 the prime minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Saulius Skvernelis, the prime minister of Latvian government, Māris Kučinskis and Estonian prime minister, Jüri Ratas opened the international exhibition “To Be Banned: Baltic Books 1918-1940” at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. Continue reading “To Be Banned: Baltic Books 1918-1940”

Venclova’s Evening and the Exhibition

Tomas Venclova. Photo: National Library of Lithuania

In commemoration of the eightieth anniversary of Tomas Venclova, a Lithuanian-American poet, scholar, philologist, translator and a dissident, the discussion was organized in the National Library in Lithuania on September 11. The event called to reflect on Venclova’s contribution to the culture and the continuity of his works and thought in contemporary Lithuania.

On this occasion, the exhibition of photographs and books, “Tomas Venclova: That Is How the Word Approaches,” was opened in Vilnius Town Hall. One of the partners, the National Library of Lithuania, prepared a collection of Venclova’s poetry books. The exhibition invited acquaintance with poet’s poems in their original language and in their translations into twenty-three languages. Despite the rather complex strophic and rhythmic patterns of his poems—or perhaps because of them—Venclova’s poems have been translated not only into English, Russian, Polish, and German, but also into Albanian, Macedonian, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and even Esperanto, among other languages.

Most of the publications were drawn from the Tomas Venclova Collection housed at the National Library of Lithuania.

Venclova’s Evening drew huge crowds. Photo: National Library of Lithuania

Virtual Exhibition „The Lithuanian Writers’ Association: Seven Decades of History“


The Lithuanian Writers’ Association’s logo. Lithuanian Research and Studies Center Archives

The Lithuanian Writers’ Association (LWA), established at the Faculty of Humanities of the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas on February 21, 1932, is the first independent organization uniting Lithuanian writers, translators, literary researchers, and critics. Active in Lithuania until 1944, the organization was restored in Germany in 1946 by Lithuanian WWII refugee writers who fled their homeland, escaping the second Soviet occupation, and was renamed the Lithuanian Refugee Authors’ Society. From 1950 until the present, the Association remains active in the United States of America.

The exhibition shows the history of the LWA through a wide variety of documents stored at the Lithuanian Research and Studies Center in Chicago, such as letters, minutes of meetings, announcements, bulletins, and other documents related to the Association’s day-to-day business, as well as photos and audio clips. These are complemented by material housed at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania Archive. We thank the Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum in Kaunas and especially Virginija Paplauskienė, head of the Diaspora Literature Department, for providing useful information about Paulius Jurkus’ presidency.

The exhibition was prepared by Lithuanian Studies Department of the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. The exhibition’s partner – the Lithuanian Research and Studies Center, Chicago, USA.

The exhibition is also available in English:

Lithuanian Diaspora Exhibition Back in Lithuania

lietuviskoji leidybaAfter the successful presentations in Norway, Switzerland, and Italy, the travelling exhibition “Lithuanian Publishing in Post-WWII Europe” is back in Lithuania. On 27 January 2016 it was opened at Pasvalys Marius Katiliškis Public Library as part of a day-long event “The Library and the 21st Century Society”. Opening remarks were delivered by Jolanta Budriūnienė, head of the Lithuanian Studies Research Department (former Lituanica Department) of the National Library of Lithuania, who noted that the collection of Lithuanian DP publishing, 1945-1952, housed at the National Library of Lithuania, is of particular value for its unique content, produced under extremely difficult conditions. In 2011, it was recognized by UNESCO — the collection was included in UNESCO’s “World Memory” programme for the Lithuanian National Register. Pasvalys M. Katiliškis Public Library is only the first stop for this exhibition. Its organizer, the National Library of Lithuania, is planning to take it to all major public libraries in the country.