Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture

Library & Research
  • BALZEKAS MUSEUM OF LITHUANIAN CULTURE

  • 6500 S. PULASKI ROAD
    CHICAGO, IL 60629
  • TEL.: 773.582.6500
  • FAX:773.582.5133
  • info@balzekasmuseum.org
  • Open 10 AM - 4 PM Daily
  • Closed Christmas, Easter &
    New Year's Day
  • Directions

Library & Research/Resource Center


Over the past forty years, the Museum Library has become a repository for one of the largest collections of published Lithuanian materials outside of Lithuania. These items are organized into five divisions: the Main Reference Library, Rare Books, Manuscript Holdings, Periodicals, Pamphlets & Records. The Research/Resource Center is the gateway to making all materials accessible to scholars and the general public.

MAIN REFERENCE LIBRARY

The Main Reference Library contains over 75,000 volumes with a particular emphasis on Lithuanian and Eastern European history and culture. Yet some of the most commonly requested books pertain to Lithuanian folk tales and to recent studies of population dispersions subsequent to World War II. Approximately 90% of its volumes are in the Lithuanian language; the remainder are in Russian, Polish, German and English.

RARE BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS

Started by the late Leon Kibort and expanded with acquisitions and private donations, the Rare Book division contains publications from the 16th through 19th centuries. Some items are invaluable and, in some instances, cannot be found anywhere else in the United States. They relate to the intertwined histories of Lithuania, Poland, Germany, and Russia. A special group of books and leaflets was published in the 19th century and discusses the uprisings of the 1831 and 1863, Tsarist policies in Lithuania, and the Lithuanian Independence Movement.

MANUSCRIPT HOLDINGS

The Manuscript Holdings division contains the personal papers of prominent Lithuanians and archives devoted principally to Lihtunaian immigration to the United States. The archives are currently subdivided inot 84 large groups and over 200 smaller categories. Special strengths in the archives include records on Displaced Persons camps in post World War II Germany, and the papers of Lithuanian-American political organizations, fraternal societies, theatrical troupes, and cultural associations. Among our most prized possessions are the papers of the famous 19th century "book smuggler" Petras Mikolainis and those fo the renowned Lithuanian bibliographer Aleksandras Ruancovas.

PERIODICALS

The Periodical division holds the largest collection of Lithuanian newspapers and magazines anywhere outside of Lithuania - over 1,800 titles spanning the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. These are a primary source for researching Lithuanian immigration, Lithuanian-American organizations, supporting Lithuanian independence, and the Lithuanian Catholic Church in America. Of particular interest are the illegal newspapers of the Lithuanian anti-Nazi resistance published from 1941-44.

PAMPHLETS AND RECORDS

A collection of 10,000 files makes up the Pamphlets and Records division. Of all the items within the Library, these are the most current. Files are grouped by individuals' last names and by subject. Large and rapidly growing files encomapss the swift developments taking place in Lithuania today. Included within the individual files are a variety of materials: broadsheets, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, photographs, brochures, flyers, leaflets, program guides, tickets, and postcards. One particular strength of this division is generalized information about prominent people of Lithuanian descent and the hundreds of Lithuanian groups who have contributed to our remarkable ethnic identity.

Visits to the Library


Visits to the Library and viewings of the items in the collection must be scheduled in advanced. To schedule a visit, please contact Museum staff by calling 773.582.6500. Contact Us

The Balzekas Museum Library and Research/Resource Center

The Museum Library is a repository for one of the largest collections of published Lithuanian materials outside of Lithuania. These items are organized into five divisions: the Main Reference Library, Rare Books, Manuscript Holdings, Periodicals, Pamphlets & Records. The Research/Resource Center is the gateway to making all materials accessible to scholars and the general public.

Support the Library with Your Donation

We accept donations through PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to use PayPal, only a credit card:

History

From 1986-1995, the late David Fainhauz, Ph.D., served as the Director of the Library and Research Center. A historian and author of several books on Lithuanian immigration, including Lithuanians in the U.S.A.,
Dr. Fainhauz oversaw the expansion and relocation of the library, when the Museum moved to its current site: 6500 S. Pulaski Rd., Chicago. The current Director of the Library is Irena Pumputienė.

Visits to the Library

Visits to the Library and viewings of the items in the collection must be scheduled in advanced and supervised by Museum staff. To schedule a visit, please contact Museum staff by calling 773.582.6500. Contact Us

Genealogical Research

The Museum does not permit open, unsupervised access to its obituary files and other genealogical archives. To access this information, please purchase a genealogy membership, complete an intake form, and a staff member will conduct a search on your behalf. Read more on the Genealogy page>>