Lithuania

Article excerpt

The Lithuanian music libraries' collections are formed by integrating specialized and universal library functions in the libraries of various types. The holdings contain all forms of music documents, such as printed music, manuscripts, audio and video materials, books, and serials. Since 1961, the Music department of the Martynas Mazvydas National Library of Lithuania has provided professional assistance to the whole network (about 150 different types of libraries possessing music stocks). Music documents are preserved at municipal public libraries and at libraries of musical educational institutions (the main of them is the Library of Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre). The music departments of five county libraries and Vilnius Public Library of Music and Art have become leading public libraries. About 1000 manuscripts and an old printed music collection is also preserved at the Library of Lithuanian Academy of Science.

A library modernization programme financed from the Government of Lithuania and another national-scale project, "Libraries for Innovation", financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Government of Lithuania, municipalities, and the Microsoft company will add to the improvement of musical libraries and enrich their opportunities.

Music libraries take part in various projects. I would like to mention some of them which are more important.

Digitization of national culture heritage is a part of the nowadays global cultural policy. The National Library of Lithuania received funding from the Support Fund of the Ministry of Culture for continuous project of digitization of Lithuanian shellac records. The Music Department of the National Library of Lithuania had been implementing the project.

For a long time, Lithuanian shellac records had no public access. They have been kept at private collections, have survived two wars, have been lost or preserved by accident, and later had made their way into the state collections. Since 1961, the National Library of Lithuania has been collecting and preserving the archive of published Lithuanian sonic documents as a part of the national archive of the published documents. The main criteria for its formation are comprehensiveness, a guarantee for preservation, accessibility, and a basis for discography, discology, musicology, and scientific research of our sonic heritage. Now the national archive of sound documents contains more than 8,000 titles of which 1,600 titles are old Lithuanian shellac records as a Lithuanian sound heritage.

In 2007, the conversion into CDs of the entire Lithuanian shellac record collection was finished, hereby forming the archival and readers' fund of records which are accessible to all at the reading room of the Department of Music. The works from this archive have been played on the radio weekly program Classics, which is dedicated to the history of gramophone. In order to celebrate the centenary of the publishing of the first Lithuanian record and also in honour of Lithuanian musical culture of the previous years, the Music Department of National Library issued the annotated Anthology of Old Lithuanian Shellac Records on four compact discs and with a 40-page brochure. The newly revived voices of the collection have already found their listeners and researchers.

The reports on digitization of Lithuanian cultural heritage were presented by Music Department of the National Library at the 8th Inter national Congress of Baltic Librarians and at the international seminar for librarian from Lithuanian, Lativa, and Estonia known as LiLaEst, both held in Tallinn in 2007. Last year the Music Department also supplied the Lithuanian digitized old shellac recordings to the international project "VARIAZIONE", being a partner together with the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (1m229 Lithuanian shellac records became accessible in the virtual space). The retrospective formation of a collection is continuous process. …