At the start of 2018, a Swiss Arminio Sciolli decided to donate part of his Russian diaspora literature collection to the National Library of Lithuania. The collection consists of rare books, not yet seen in Lithuania. The geography of the collection covers a wide range of places – from South Africa to China – where Russian diaspora communities lived at the beginning of the twentieth century.
On September 21, 2018, the Library invited to the exhibition “Russian Diaspora Literature” opening and discussion about Russian diaspora publications and publishers. Dr. Pavel Lavrinec, Vilnius University professor, provided a broader context and a general overview of the exhibition. Prof. Tomas Venclova, Yale University emeritus and professor of Slavic literature, talked about the history of Russian diaspora in Harbin, China, its cultural life and his impressions from recent trip there.
In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Lithuania’s Independence, the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture opened a new historical exhibit “For Freedom: Lithuanian American Support for Lithuania’s Independence and Recognition.” The exhibit explores Lithuanian Americans’ passionate and energetic support for the cause of Lithuania’s independence one hundred years ago. Using photographs, documents, publications, and other historical artifacts, the exhibition gives an overview of Lithuania’s fate at the dawn of the twentieth century as a subjugated part of the Russian Empire; briefly portrays the Lithuanian American communities in America; and summarizes their significant cultural, political, and financial achievements.
The exhibition’s central focus is the vital role played by Lithuanian Americans as their native land seized a unique and complex opportunity to end its 125-year Russian subjugation. It demonstrates that Lithuanian Americans’ support for freedom in their native land did not end with the declared independence in 1918 nor with its recognition by the United States in 1922. In fact, as the exhibition shows, Lithuanian Americans supported their native land’s recurrent struggles to achieve freedom and independence for most of the twentieth century.
Drawing on materials in the Balzekas Museum as well as public and private national and regional archives and collections, the exhibition centralizes the presence of historical documents to prove that this century-long struggle for freedom was powered by ideas and ideals expressed in words and actions.
On March 9, 2018 the prime minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Saulius Skvernelis, the prime minister of Latvian government, Māris Kučinskis and Estonian prime minister, Jüri Ratas opened the international exhibition “To Be Banned: Baltic Books 1918-1940” at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania. Continue reading “To Be Banned: Baltic Books 1918-1940”
On March 3, the National Library of Lithuania welcomed the traveling photo exhibition,“Lithuanian Switzerland,” organized by the Lithuanian Community in Switzerland. The chairman of the Lithuanian Community in Switzerland, Jūratė Caspersen, opened the exhibition.
The exhibition was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Lithuania’s statehood restoration. Since July 17th of last year, it has been traveling across Lithuania, visiting cities and towns, cultural centers, educational and scientific institutions, museums and libraries.
The photographs, shot by Swiss-Lithuanians, depict their life and activities, while fostering national identity, language, culture and traditions in Switzerland.
After the successful presentations in Norway, Switzerland, and Italy, the travelling exhibition “Lithuanian Publishing in Post-WWII Europe” is back in Lithuania. On 27 January 2016 it was opened at Pasvalys Marius Katiliškis Public Library as part of a day-long event “The Library and the 21st Century Society”. Opening remarks were delivered by Jolanta Budriūnienė, head of the Lithuanian Studies Research Department (former Lituanica Department) of the National Library of Lithuania, who noted that the collection of Lithuanian DP publishing, 1945-1952, housed at the National Library of Lithuania, is of particular value for its unique content, produced under extremely difficult conditions. In 2011, it was recognized by UNESCO — the collection was included in UNESCO’s “World Memory” programme for the Lithuanian National Register. Pasvalys M. Katiliškis Public Library is only the first stop for this exhibition. Its organizer, the National Library of Lithuania, is planning to take it to all major public libraries in the country.
On July 15-17, 2015 about 150 delegates from 33 countries gathered at the 25th Lithuanian World Community (LWC) Seimas in Vilnius. During the three-day event, the participants discussed the present and the future of the LWC, paying special attention to Lithuanian education and cooperation with the Lithuanian authorities.
On the first day of Seimas, Lituanica Department of Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania in Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania invited the delegates to the opening of a new exhibition “Lithuanian Publishing in Post-WWII Europe”.
In the opening speech, the head of the Department, Jolanta Budriūnienė, talked about the idea of the exhibition – using the rich collection of Lithuanian DP Publishing, 1945-1952, housed at the National Library of Lithuania to commemorate 70 years since the mass westward flight of the Baltic Displaced Persons, refugees from war-torn Lithuania. It should be noted that in 2011, the collection was recognised as part of Lithuania’s documentary heritage and included in the UNESCO’s program “World Memory” for the Lithuanian National Register.
The Deputy Speaker of Lithuanian Parliament and the hostess of the exhibition, Irena Degutienė, stressed that at the end of WWII, while Europe was freeing itself, in Lithuania, guerrilla fighting had only intensified and the mass deportations were taking place. Thus, it is not surprising that Lithuanian publishing, exiled from the homeland, had to establish itself in the West. “Our language was alive and will be alive, because everything depends on our willingness to speak the language, regardless of where one lives,” Degutienė concluded her speech.
Dr. Vincas Bartusevičius, the director of Lithuanian Institute of Culture in Germany and the author of a monograph “The DP Camps in Germany, 1945-1951”, gave an overview of the historical context and the conditions under which Lithuanian publishing evolved in post-war Germany and other Western European countries.
The chair of the LWC Culture Commission, Jūratė Caspersen, invited Lithuanian diaspora communities to remember their historical origins by seizing the opportunity to exhibit the travelling exhibition “Lithuanian Publishing in Post-WW II Europe” in their host countries.
The exhibition was prepared by the Lituanica Department of the National Library of Lithuania in partnership with Lithuanian Institute of Culture in Germany. Support came from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania on the recommendation of Lithuanian Traditions and Heritage Commission.