Lithuanian School in DC Participates in a Competition “The World on My Bookshelf”

This April, the National Library of Lithuania invited book lovers to participate in a competition “The World on My Bookshelf” and to present their favorite books by writing a book annotation. Readers were invited to describe a book they liked and those who were unwilling or lazy to write to photograph or film their bookshelves.

In three weeks, three dozen works were received from the readers living in Lithuania and abroad. We received works in the form of videos, essays, photo collage, poems, riddles, and letters. Annotations were sent by adults and children.

The Lithuanian Saturday School in Washington, DC also took part in the competition by sending a photo of the cover of the book “Lithuanian School in Washington—An Indelible Mark in Our Lives.” The students of the school have been writing their book for five years. On its pages, students leave their thoughts and memories about lessons, the most memorable meetings, the most beautiful Lithuanian songs, concerts and performances and their summer trips to Lithuania.

A New Project on Lithuanian Re-Emigration

Adolfas Damušis

Adolfas Damušis Democracy Studies Centre of the National Library of Lithuania started implementing a new project which main focus is Lithuanian re-emigration. Entitled “30 Stories for 30 Years: The Experiences of Returning Immigrants and Their Contribution to the Strengthening of Lithuanian Statehood” the project draws attention to those who have returned from emigration, emphasizing the motives of both emigration and re-emigration, peoples’ experiences, successes, and failures. The story of American Lithuanians, Adolfas and Jadvyga Damušis, who returned to Lithuania in 1997, also played a role in choosing this particular topic for the new project.

To preserve the memory of emigrants and their experiences, the implementers of the project plan to conduct a series of interviews with Lithuanians who returned to Lithuania and who contributed to different spheres of life in Lithuania.

The Archive of Lithuanian Cultural Attachés Awaits Its Researchers

A collage of documents from the archive of cultural attachés in London

A year ago, the former cultural attaché of the Republic of Lithuania in the United Kingdom, Rita Valiukonytė, handed over to the National Library of Lithuania the cultural documents of the diplomatic mission of the Republic of Lithuania in London. The archive covers the period from 1991 to 2016. Most of the documents were accumulated during the time served by two cultural attachés, Daiva Parulskienė (2008-2012) and Rita Valiukonytė (2012-2016).

The archive shows the development of cultural relations between the Republic of Lithuania and the UK and the efforts of the diplomatic mission to introduce the British people with the works of prominent Lithuanian artists and the achievements of Lithuanian scholars. It includes programs of various art events, presentations by artists, correspondence regarding the events, press releases, reviews and articles on Lithuanian artists, prominent Lithuanians living and working in the UK, and recent developments in Lithuanian art and history. A separate part of the archive is presentations of Lithuanian Jewish history and culture.

This comprehensive and rich archive has become part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Unit of the National Library of Lithuania collection and is awaiting its researchers and readers.

A Visit by the Lithuanian Language Students

In January, the Academy of Education of Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) organized the Lithuanian Language and Culture winter course. Students from more than fifteen countries came to Vilnius to learn the language and get acquainted with Lithuanian culture and history.

The participants of the discussion

On January 14, students visited the National Library of Lithuania. They listened to the lecture on Lithuanian diaspora and its most prominent representatives in science, politics, economy, culture, and art given by Dr. Dalia Cidzikaitė, chief researcher of the Lithuanian Documentary Heritage Department of the National Library of Lithuania. Afterwards, the students were given a tour of the library, followed by a discussion about the image of Lithuania created by foreigners studying Lithuanian language.

The Centenary of the National Library of Lithuania

A special event. Photo credit: Agnė Jankauskaitė

In 1919, the young state of Lithuania began creating its main institutions. One of them was the Central State Bookstore founded on December 20, 1919 which later would become the National Library of Lithuania. The most important functions of the Bookstore in Kaunas were to collect mandatory copies of publications published in Lithuania and the books of persons who for one or another reason were no longer their owners and of former tsarist institutions. In the first year, the Bookstore housed approximately 18,000 books. Today the National Library of Lithuania has 6.5 million of books.

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