National Library of Lithuania at the World Lithuanian Events in Vilnius

Dalia Grybauskaitė, the President of the Republic of Lithuania, visited the exhibition created by the Lithuanian Studies Unit. Photo credit: Presidential Palace of the Republic of Lithuania / R. Dačkus.

Thousands of Lithuanians living abroad came to Lithuania to celebrate country’s 100 anniversary of independence this summer. The National Library of Lithuania participated in and organized and hosted several events.

On July 1, the Lithuanian Studies Unit of the Documentary Heritage Research Department presented its travelling exhibition “Lithuanian Publishing in Post-WWII Europe” as part of the event “100 Faces of Lithuania – Let’s Connect Lithuania” in Vilnius City Hall Square. The exhibition reflects the situation of Lithuanians in the displaced persons’ camps in Western countries after WWII. Continue reading “National Library of Lithuania at the World Lithuanian Events in Vilnius”

A Book on Lithuanian-Polish Relations

On July 4, Dr. Giedrė Milerytė-Japertienė, the head of the Lithuanian Studies Unit of the Documentary Heritage Research Department at the National Library of Lithuania, presented her monograph “Imagining Lithuanian-Polish Relations in Emigration from 1945 to 1990.” The monograph examines the fifty-year Lithuanian-Polish relations in emigration – real contacts as well as ideas, cultivated in private intellectual gatherings, which marked mutual cooperation or provoked hatred. It also highlights a wide debate in the press about the future of Lithuania and Poland, and the attempts to answer the question: What ideas and who in particular resulted in today’s harmonious relationship of the two neighboring countries?

The book will be soon published in Poland. The monograph was financially supported by the Research Council of Lithuania and published by the National Library of Lithuania.

The author is signing her book.

The Presentation of “The Red Flood”

The book cover of “The Red Flood.”

The Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania together with the publishing house “Briedis” presented a book “The Red Flood” by Ignas Šeinius (1889-1959), a Lithuanian diplomat to Sweden and other Scandinavian countries, on January 25, 2018. The book “Den röda floden” first published in Stockholm, Sweden in 1940 is author’s authentic account about the events that took place in Lithuania in 1940. Continue reading “The Presentation of “The Red Flood””

New Title in Series “Lithuanian Studies without Borders”

A new book The Art of Identity and Memory: Toward a Cultural History of the Two World Wars in Lithuania in series “Lithuanian Studies without Borders” came out in August of 2016. The book edited by Giedrė Jankevičiūtė & Rasutė Žukienė consists of wide-ranging set of articles. It is a forceful demonstration of how much the experience of EastCentral and Eastern Europe, largely neglected until now, needs to be integrated into evolving scholarship on the era of the world wars.

The collection diagnoses the challenge of achieving an enlarged historical and artistic perspective, and then goes on to meet it. Themes that are universal (exile, loss, trauma, survival, memory) and the undying subjects of art and artistic efforts at representation, here find specific expression. The case of Lithuania and its diverse populations is revealed in its full significance for a modern European history of the impact of the age of the world wars. The book is the first title in a new series dedicated to Lithuanian Studies. Other two books that came out in December of last year are: Spatial Concepts of Lithuania in the Long Nineteenth Century (ed. Darius Staliūnas) and The Creation of National Spaces in a Pluricultural Region: The Case of Prussian Lithuania by Vasilijus Safronovas.

A Century of Lithuanians in Springfield, Illinois: A Chronicle of One Lithuanian Community in the US

Dalia Cidzikaitė


The vast majority of current Lithuanians living in Springfield, IL (USA) come from Lithuanian miners who arrived to America from Lithuania in the early 20th century. In 1914, the Lithuanian community of Springfield consisted of several thousand Lithuanians. The records of Lithuanian St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Springfield show that year, over 500 Lithuanian families belonged to the church, and between 1909 and 1919, 1,063 Lithuanian babies were baptised there. However, these figures do not indicate the actual number of Lithuanians, because quite a number of them were socialists and did not belong to the church or visited other Catholic churches in the city, such as St. Aloysius, St. Peter and Paul and St. Joseph.

Today, when one comes across such names as Sitki, Nevitt, Yoggerst, Ulak or Chesnut, he or she can hardly tell that these people could be of Lithuanian descent. The reality is that the fourth generation of Lithuanians in Springfield does not speak Lithuanian and does not follow Lithuanian customs. Moreover, they are often unaware that their ancestors came from Lithuania.

It is believed that today 20 000 or so of the first wave of Lithuanian immigrants’ descendants live in Sangamon County of 200 000. Therefore, the book, A Century of Lithuanians in Springfield, Illinois by Sandy Baksys that came out in 2015 is particularly valuable for its genealogical and ethnographic information.

The stories in the book are accompanied by photos which the author obtained from Lithuanian families or individuals depicted in the book. According to the author, the photos appeared because she did not want the book to be just the family genealogical tree. In her opinion, the photos provide an extra glance at Lithuanian life, customs and history of that time.

Commemoration of the Proclamation of Lithuanian Day

The participants of the book presentation

One hundred years ago, the US government declared November 1st “Lithuanian Day.” Due to the lobbying efforts of American Lithuanians, in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson officially designated a special day on which public collections will be made all over the United States for the relief of the war-stricken people of Lithuania. It was the first official act of the President of the United States recognizing the existence of the Lithuanian nation. On November 1, 1916, hundreds of American Lithuanians took to the cities, towns, and streets urging to donate to their compatriots in Lithuania. As the result of this
action, $176,863.28 were collected.

To mark this event the National Library of Lithuania hosted a presentation of the book, Lietuvos valdžios ryšiai su JAV lietuviais 1926–1940 metais: suartėjimo kelių paieškos (2016) [Connections between the Lithuanian Government and Lithuanian Americans in 1926-1940: Searching for Ways of Consolidation] by Juozas Skirius. The event was attended by the author of the book, historian Prof. Dr. Juozas Skirius, Prof. Dr. Aivas Ragauskas, Dr. Vitalija Stravinskienė, Prof. Dr. Vida Pukienė, Parliament member, diplomat Dr. Žygimantas Pavilionis and senior researcher of the National Library of Lithuania Dr. Giedrė Milerytė-Japertienė.