Researching Archives in the US and Italy

In the archives of Lithuanian
Alliance of America

This fall, two National Library of Lithuania researchers visited Lithuanian archives abroad. In September, Dr. Giedrė Milerytė- Japertienė, senior researcher at Lithuanian Studies Research Department, travelled to New York, US. She, along with colleagues from the Lithuanian Central State Archive spent three weeks working in the archives of the organization, Lithuanian Alliance of America. The Lithuanian Alliance of America was founded in 1886 in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. By establishing the organization, its members raised three objectives: to purchase land and property, establish schools, houses for orphans and older people, and build Lithuanian churches; to establish labour exchange for manual workers, where fellow Lithuanians could get support in finding a job; and to provide financial support for relatives of a deceased member. Continue reading “Researching Archives in the US and Italy”

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:

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.