Where Can One Study Baltic Communities in North America: State of Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian Libraries, Archives and Museums Today

Maira Bundza (Western Michigan University)

The Baltic communities in North America are changing and with them also their libraries, archives and museums. There are solid collections of Baltic books in research libraries across the country as well as in   archives in places like the Library of Congress, Immigration History Research Center and Hoover Institute. Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians have a history of maintaining libraries, archives, and museums in their communities. In the last 20 years, since Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania regained their independence, and as the post-World War II emigration wave ages, some of these collections have been sent to the Baltic countries, some to research institutions, others are struggling with staffing, funding, space issues, while still others are growing and evolving. There is a new interest in the Baltic émigré communities among students from the Baltic countries, as reflected in the recently established Baltic Heritage Network. Where can they come and study these émigré communities? What is being digitized and available online? This paper will look at the libraries, archives and museums maintained by the Baltic communities and discuss the issues they are facing.

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