Australian Lithuanian Community Archives News

November 18, 2019

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 Another is to join with the Lithuanian Archives Project in Chicago 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 Assessment appraisal on the collection which will open up opportunities for further funding.

Archivist Daina Pocius and Australian Lithuanian Community President at the presentation ceremony

The Archive aims to preserve and provide access to an authentic record of the people, programmes and governance of the Lithuanian community in Australia. The Archive contains records created by the Lithuanian community in Australia that are worthy of permanent preservation. The primary collection dates from 1947 and includes minutes, reports, correspondence and other material from various clubs, groups and organisation in Australia.

The material was kept, in numerous places over the years until the 1990’s when it was consolidated in Adelaide. Much of the material was brought together for the publication of the Australian Lithuanian Metraštis (Yearbook), the editing committee was based in Adelaide and here the collection remained. The Archive is housed in the Adelaide Lithuanian Catholic Centre in St Peters, where we have storage rooms and a large workroom.

We aim to increase knowledge and understanding of Lithuanian history and culture, both that of Lithuania and concerning Lithuanians in Australia.

The Archive seeks to:
• Select records that best document the community.
• Ensure the reliability of evidence through maintenance of the context and order of the archival records entrusted to its care.
• Create and maintain electronic and hard-copy descriptive tools that provide intellectual and administrative control of the records.
• Provide a physical environment for records that ensures their long-term viability and usefulness.
• Respond to the needs of the general public for historical evidence and information.
• To make available these materials and objects to the public for study and enjoyment.
• To cooperate with like organisations in activities which promote the history and/or heritage to our mutual benefit.

The Australian Lithuanian Archive is responsible to the Australian Lithuanian Community Federal Council (Australijos Lietuvių Bendruomenės Krašto Taryba). A national committee has been established with representatives from the main states of Australia. The Archive is managed by an honorary Archivist with qualifications in this field and supported by volunteers.

We are committed to making the archives more accessible to users from around the world and have begun to digitise much of our collection. In the following year we hope to have an online presence to showcase some of our material. In 2020 the Archive as we know it today will be celebrating its 30th year. Stay up to date with the activities of the Archives by liking our Facebook page

Contact: Daina Pocius, Honorary Archivist

Photo credit: The Australian Lithuanian Archives