An Exhibition by the Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada

March 7, 2022

If there was a collection of documents that were surrounded by intrigue, the Gylys collection fits the bill. That is how a virtual exhibition „Long Journey Home: Great Discovery” by the Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada (LMAC) starts.

The collection of bilateral treaties negotiated during Lithuania’s independence in 1918-1940 is the object of the new exhibition. The collection was first sent to the Lithuanian Embassy in Sweden for safekeeping in 1939. WWII was looming and the diplomatic Head of the Mission in Sweden, Minister Vytautas Gylys received a number of boxes containing documents from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lithuania. From this point on, multiple twists and turns surround the documents. There was speculation about the actual content of the boxes, no clear evidence that the documents were transported to Canada when Gylys and his wife Vanda immigrated to Canada. Subsequent attempts to verify their existence and value failed, and finally, the conclusion was reached that the documents were lost or never reached Canada and their fate would remain a mystery.

All of this changed with one phone call to the LMAC in the spring of 2021 and a conversation with Canadian citizen Charles Hopkins. It became obvious for the first time that the documents had reached Canada after all, and through the efforts of Gylys neighbour, Charles Hopkins, were saved from destruction.

The exhibition is available in Lithuanian and English and can be viewed here: