Baltic Heritage Network Conference “Tracing the Baltic Road to Independence in Diaspora Archives” 30 June-2 July 2015 in Riga, Latvia

February 7, 2015

A quarter of a century has passed—or is soon to pass—since the breakthrough events which led to the restoration of the independence of the Baltic States: the “phosphorite war”, the Heritage Movement, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact AEG movement, the “Singing Revolution”, the Baltic Way, the August putsch.

The path to independence did not begin at the end of the 1980s. The political struggle of the Baltic diaspora communities for the independence of the Baltic States, in opposition to the recognition of the Soviet occupation lasted throughout the period of exile, and received new momentum in the new winds that were blowing in the homelands at the end of the 1980s. Up until the present, interest in Baltic diaspora archives and museums has mostly coincided with interest in wartime and post-war Baltic exile. However, the Baltic diaspora archives, museums, and libraries also enable research with respect to the history of the Baltic States themselves, particularly their road to restoring their independence and the state building and reconstruction in the post-occupation period.

• What was the contribution of countrymen living abroad to the maintaining of the de jure recognition of Baltic States in the West, to restoration of the independence of the Baltic States, their political and economic rebuilding?

• What kinds of campaigns were organised to preserve historic heritage and to create public interest in the Baltic cultures and history? What kind of contacts were initiated, responded to, and maintained with the homeland?

• How was the strive for freedom and the following restoration of the independence of the Baltic States reflected in the media abroad?

• Which archival collections of the Baltic diaspora might pique historians` interest in conducting research on topics of recent history?

• What kinds of historical sources connected with the restoration of the independence of the Baltic States should we be actively collecting today than we have before? How could this be accomplished most effectively?

We look forward to presentations on the following (but not limited to these) topics from representatives of Baltic memory institutions and communities in the diaspora, from professionals representing the memory institutions of the Baltic States and host countries, and from academic researchers. The deadline for submission of abstracts is April 1st, 2015.

The conference organisers are the NGO Baltic Heritage Network and the Academy of Sciences of Latvia in cooperation with the Latvian National Archives.

The working languages of the conference will be English and Latvian.

Please submit your presentation abstracts (up to 1 page) in English and/or Latvian by April 1st, 2015. Send your abstract, along with your contact details (name, address, e-mail and phone number) to or by regular mail to Baltic Heritage Network, Vanemuise 42, 51003 Tartu, Estonia.

The deadline for submitting complete presentations (in English/or Latvian) is the 15th of June (presentation length 20 minutes). The complete presentation texts are needed for the interpreters.

Conference participation fees (includes conference folder, lunches, reception and cultural programme):
30€ (Baltic Heritage Network members)
50€ (non-members)

For more information, please see:, or contact the conference organisers at the following addresses: Kristine Bekere,,