Jonas Mekas and John F. Kennedy’s Camera

Jackie Kennedy at her home, 1970 . In: A dance with Fred Astaire / Jonas Mekas ; [edited by Johan Kugelberg, Jonas Mekas, and Sebastian Mekas]. – New York : Anthology Editions, 2017, p. 318.

Jonas Mekas:

Jackie Kennedy was one of the most special women I was privileged to know in my life. I do not mean her position in society: I mean her intelligence, a very special intelligence with a deep sensitivity, and her elegance, her style, her generosity, her simple, straight, magic human quality. I could go on and on.

[…]

This event took place the very first time I visited Jackie in her Fifth Avenue home. Somehow the talk turned to John F. Kennedy and movies. You know,” Jackie said, just a few months before he died somebody gave him as a present a little 8mm movie camera. He always carried it in the pocket of his raincoat. You know, as I am thinking now, it must still be there.

She went to the closet and found a beige raincoat and there it was! In the raincoat pocket there was a small 8mm movie camera! She brought it to me. I regret I do not remember now the brand of the camera.

He did some filming. But he never finished the roll. It’s still in the camera,” she said.

She put the camera back into the pocket of the raincoat.[1]


[1]A dance with Fred Astaire / Jonas Mekas ; [edited by Johan Kugelberg, Jonas Mekas, and Sebastian Mekas]. – New York : Anthology Editions, 2017, p. 319

The Lithuanian Heritage School Teachers’ Visit

On August 2, 2019 a group of Lithuanian heritage school teachers visited the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. Teachers, who teach Lithuanian as a heritage language outside Lithuania, came to Lithuania to learn more about the new Lithuanian language teaching methods and share their own experience.

Teachers get acquainted with the traveling exhibition “Foreign Professional for Lithuania.”

Teachers from Egypt, United States of America, Austria, Finland, Luxembourg, Russia, Estonia, and Belarus were welcomed by the director general of the National Library of Lithuania, Prof. Renaldas Gudauskas and the head of the library’s Documentary Heritage Research Department, Jolanta Budriūnienė.

A very rich one-day program was organized by the staff of the library’s Lithuanian Studies Unit. Valdonė Budreckaitė and Matas Baltrukevičius presented the traveling exhibition “Foreign Professionals for Lithuania” and the game “To Lithuania.” Dr. Ina Ėmužienė prepared a presentation about Lithuanian education in Lithuanian émigré radio programs. Prof. Dainius Vaitiekūnas, the head of the Lithuanian Studies Unit, shared his insights on the role of the media and the traces of intermediality in Lithuanian education.

A Rendezvous with Famous Émigré Lithuanians

Silvija Stankevičiūtė


The photo exhibition at the National Library of Lithuania

The photo exhibition by the Lithuanian-American photographer Algimantas Kezys (1928-2015) which was opened this summer at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania presents the portraits of more than 20 famous Lithuanian diaspora figures taken in various places, mostly in the US, from 1961 to 1966.  

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The Damušis Archives’ New Home

The signing ceremony. From the left: the ambassador Gintė Damušytė and the director general of the National Library of Lithuania, Prof. Renaldas Gudauskas.

On July 1, 2019 Gintė Damušytė, the Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the Kingdom of Denmark and the Republic of Iceland, handed over to the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania the archives of her mother, Jadvyga Damušienė, active émigré figure, educator, and a long-time patron of the organization “Ateitininkai “ and the Lithuanian Camp Dainava (Manchester, MI). The ambassador also handed over part of her father Prof. Adolfas Damušis’s, also the émigré activist and inventor, archive.

The Damušis’ archive consisting of more than fifty boxes and containing valuable documents and photographs will be housed at the library’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Unit.

The Baltic Diaspora Conference in Panevėžys

In May 2019, the Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Panevėžys County Public Library together with Vilnius University Faculty of Communication organized the 20th international conference dedicated to the Baltic diaspora documentary heritage from 1944 to 2018. This year, the annual event earmarked the Year of World Lithuanians.  

Jolanta Budriūnienė, head of the National Library of Lithuania Documentary Heritage Research Department, presented the paper in the conference

The organizers of the conference proposed more than ten subtopics, highlighting theoretical and methodological issues when dealing with the documentary heritage, cultural and scientific diaspora figures and their legacy, typology of publications and their repertoire, memory institutions and collections, archives, video and audio, as well as preservation, actualization, and digitization initiatives, new media, and the use of the diaspora documentary heritage for cultural communication.

The conference was carried out in two sections: “Archives, Collections and Obstacles in Getting Them (Back)” and “Cultural Press and Literary-Historical Reminiscences.” 25 presentations were presented at the event. For the first time, the conference expanded its geographic boundaries becoming international. Participants from Estonia and Latvia attended the conference.

The Lithuanian Charter Turns Seventy

Dalia Cidzikaitė


On June 14, 1949 in Augsburg, Germany, Lithuania’s Supreme Liberation Committee published a pocket-size book World Community of Lithuanians (Dr. Haas & Cie., KG., Augsburg), also known as the Lithuanian Charter. The document laid the foundations of the Lithuanian World Community, Inc., brought together and provided the new meaning to thousands of Lithuanian war refugees.

The Lithuanian Charter empowered Lithuanians, who after WWII once again found themselves homeless, to continue to fight for Lithuania’s independence and to strive to maintain at all costs not only the family and kinship, but also the national connection, so that “each countryman met abroad [would] be like brother.”


The Lithuanian Charter is exhibited at the National Library of Lithuania.

The publication of the Lithuanian Charter was Committee’s response to the rapidly changing situation of Lithuanian war refugees in post-war Germany and the future full of anxiety and uncertainty. At the end of the war, it became clear that Lithuania would not regain its independence yet, therefore many refugees decided to take advantage of the opportunity to immigrate to Canada, Australia, the United States and other countries not affected by war. Prelate Mykolas Krupavičius, the chairman of the Committee, and other members of the organization decided to establish a Lithuanian community in each country and create one united Lithuanian community abroad.

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