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.

Continue reading “The Centenary of the National Library of Lithuania”

Australian Lithuanian Community Archives News

Archivist Daina Pocius (on the right) and Australian Lithuanian Community President at the presentation ceremony. Photo credit: The Australian Lithuanian Archives

The Lithuanian-Australian newspaper “Mūsų pastogė” informs that last December the Australian Lithuanian Community, Inc. Board of Directors decided to invigorate the Australian Lithuanian Community Archive so that it is the preferred option for people to donate their archive material.

As a result the Board appointed a management committee, currently chaired by the interim chair Tony Cibiras. The committee is also looking for “archive ambassadors” in all communities and the organizations to help promote the Archive.

Committee’s longer term plan is to collect, collate and digitize the history of Lithuanians in Australia and make it available online. One of the options being discussed is to partner with the National Library of Lithuania to gain access to the portal www.epaveldas.lt. Another is to join with the Lithuanian Archives Project in Chicago www.lithuanianarchivesproject.org and use their portal. On November 1, the Australian Lithuanian Archives shared another piece of news. The Archives has been successful in obtaining a grant from the National Library of Australia. This highly competitive grant gives the Archives funding for a Significant