The Lithuanian Studies Research Department (former Lituanica Department) of the National Library of Lithuania hosted the third interdisciplinary seminar for young diaspora researchers on 28 April 2016. This year, the event took place at the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences.
Jolanta Budriūnienė, the head of the Department, reminded us of how the idea to organise such seminars by the Library came into existence. It was borrowed from the Baltic Heritage Network, of which the National Library of Lithuania is a member. BaltHerNet has been organising similar international seminars for young researchers for quite some time now. The main goal of such seminars is to provide young researchers with an opportunity to share their thoughts and problems about their research and to help them locate the sources needed.
There were five presentations this year. Dr Kęstutis Raškauskas, a researcher at the Lithuanian Studies Research Department of the National Library of Lithuania, talked about problems encountered while searching for sources about the history of Lithuanians in London, UK. Ina Vaisiūnaitė, a graduate student at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, who researches audio-visual Lithuanian media in the United States, presented the findings of her recent trip to the Lithuanian American archives in Chicago.
Dr Neringa Lašaitė-Markevičienė, of the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore read a presentation about the writer Balys Sruoga and his archives housed at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture (Chicago) and the Lithuanian Research and Studies Center in the US. A Ph.D. student Akvilė Šimėnienė, who is writing her thesis on one of the most important figures of Spanish literary criticism, Professor Birutė Ciplijauskaitė, further developed some of the topics she introduced at previous seminars and also expressed her concern regarding a very low interest in Lithuanian diaspora living outside the Anglophone world.
Dr Laura Laurušaitė, a researcher at the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, discussed the depiction of the Balts, Latvians, and Lithuanians in 21st century Lithuanian and Latvian prose about emigration. Dr Giedrė Milerytė- Japertienė, a senior researcher at the Lithuanian Studies Research Department of the National Library of Lithuania, gave the last presentation. She presented recent projects in the field of diaspora studies carried out by the Lithuanian Studies Research Department.