Jolita Steponaitienė (Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania / Vilnius University)
The late nineteenth century and early twentieth century is a special period in the history of Lithuania; it was the time of the birth of the nation, the restoration of the state, and the creation of appellative language. During Soviet times this period was qualified in ideological aspect; an emphasis was placed on class struggle, struggling free from imperialism, and later, criticism of autonomy and of the achievements of the young independent state.
The purpose of this paper is to describe manuscript document collections (personal and societies archives) preserved in the libraries of Lithuania on topics from this key period in Lithuanian history: the ban on the printing of Lithuanian books in the Latin alphabet, emigration, and personal experiences and reflections on events of that time. The documents are classified following the typology applied in Lithuanian book science. During the period of the press ban, illegal printing of materials in the Latin alphabet developed. Though few manuscript documents survive from that period, they are supplemented by information published in illegal periodicals. Documents produced in emigration are also significant. They were formed in various geographical areas (the United States, Russia, Poland, etc.), and traditions of these countries influenced the style, language and format of documents produced in them. Today these documents are also being used in interdisciplinary projects.