Researching Archives in the US and Italy

October 13, 2016

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.

Today one of the oldest Lithuanian organizations in the US is experiencing a period of transformation. It is no longer a charitable organization. Recently it established an art gallery SLA307, which provides an exhibit space for Lithuanian artists and art events. Today the backbone of the organization is volunteers, who not only organize events but take care of its archives and library. While in the LLA archives, Giedrė reviewed the books, selected duplicates for the National Library Lithuania, which will greatly complement our current funds. In September and October, Dr. Kęstutis Raškauskas, another Lithuanian Studies Research Department researcher, collected archival material at Marian Central Archives in Rome, Italy. Four years ago he began to gather information about Lithuanians living in London. In 2014, his research led him to the aforementioned archive. A couple weeks spent in the archives revealed not only the relationship among Lithuanian Marian priests, but also their contacts with and global activities among Lithuanian, Polish, Belarus, and Russian emigrates abroad.

Lithuanian Studies Research Department of National Library of Lithuania