This article analyses the issues of collecting and storing illegal publications and those confiscated by censorship authorities in the Central State Bookshop. It describes the structure of the military and other general censorship institutions, which sent the prohibited press to the Central State Bookshop. The aim of the study is to establish the approximate date of commencement of the activities of the department that stored confiscated by censorship or illegally issued publications, and several lists of publications prohibited by censorship and transmitted by the CSB are discussed. It is worth noting that until the 1940s, libraries were also called bookshops. In 1936, after the promulgation of the Law on Public Libraries, the Central State Bookshop became the Central State Library, and its departments became state public libraries. Between 1919–1922, under the management of Eduardas Volteris, the collection and storage of illegal and censored publications at the Central State Bookshop became a matter of interest. The legal deposit was the key and constant source of acquisition of the collections of the Central State Bookshop. In 1919 and 1935, the press laws stipulated how many mandatory copies had to be delivered to county governors or simply to state institutions. However, illegal and confiscated publications were not included in the legal deposit. The main aim of the library was to collect and store all publications published in Lithuania and by Lithuanian publishers abroad. Therefore, it was important for the library to compile a complete set of the current press. To obtain prohibited titles, the library cooperated with the structural units of the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of the Interior responsible for the supervision of the press. In various historical periods, unequal attention was paid to the compilation of censorship-restricted press in the Central State Bookshop. Until the 1930s, there was an intensive correspondence between war censors and the Press and Societies Division of the Department of Civil Protection about sending and collecting prohibited press in the Central State Bookstore. During c. 1920–1921, illegal and confiscated publications began to be collected in a separate office called the “secret division”. In the 1940s, censorship institutions sent lists of prohibited press of various volumes to the library. After reviewing the publications on these lists, no signs of censorship could be found. Records of censorship office provenances and censorship officers were found in individual publications that were not included in the lists of prohibited books. Although the publications confiscated by censorship authorities were stored in the library of the University of Lithuania, and in the library of Vytautas Magnus University since 1930, CSB was the only library in the interwar period in which special attention was paid to the issues of collecting prohibited press. Use of the prohibited press was restricted. These titles were not open to general public; only employees of ministries and members of the Seimas could read it. The prohibited press could serve scientific research and press statistics.
It has long been thought that the only known 1653 copy of the first edition of the Knygos Nobažnystės is preserved in Sweden. The sammelband consists of a hymnal without a separate title page, the postil “Suma Evangelijų”, and the prayer book “Maldos krikščioniškos” with the catechism Katekizmas arba trumpas pamokslas. One part (the postil “Suma Evangelijų”) of the Knygos nobažnystės is preserved in the library of the Emeryk Hutten-Czapski National Museum in Kraków. It has hitherto been classified by bibliographers as a counterfeit edition, but a comparative analysis leaves no doubt that it is the second known copy of the first edition of the Knygos Nobažnystės postil “Suma Evangelijų”.
XVI a. Lietuvos knygos lenkų kalba = Książki litewskie XVI wieku w języku polskim = Polish books published in Lithuania in the 16th century: kontrolinis sąrašas; mokslo studija; XVII–XVIII a. Taisymai ir papildymai. [Parengė Jolanta Dapkievicz]. Vilnius: Lietuvos nacionalinė Martyno Mažvydo biblioteka, 2020. 190 p.,  iliustr. lap. ISBN 978-609-405-206-4.
Any object marked with epigraphic writing becomes unique in the totality of the same objects and acquires the status of a monument. In the 16th century, cannons were also marked with inscriptions (texts and images): some were created for warfare, others – to commemorate a certain event. During the reign of Sigismund Augustus, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania created the necessary infrastructure for cannon casting, which allowed it to produce large numbers of cannons to prepare for its war with the Grand Duchy of Moscow. The article attempts to reconstruct inscriptions on cannons using original and published archival sources stored in memory institutions in foreign countries (Poland, Sweden). An appendix covering 67 cannon records made it possible to perceive the structure of such inscriptions. Meanwhile, with the help of the ego-documentary legacy of the last Jagiellonian ruler, it was possible to study the functionality of cannon recordings in the context of epigraphic culture, paying special attention to the stages of the record’s emergence. This has so far been little studied at all. The collected data allowed to reach the conclusion that it was the ruler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania who directly influenced the form, names, and content of the inscriptions on cannons.
This article deals with propaganda activities, such as publishing proclamations (20 publications), revolutionary songs (1), and underground periodicals (1), by local organizations of the Bund, LSDDP, LSDP and RSDDP in Šiauliai in 1904–1914. Political changes in Russia in 1904–1907 created favorable conditions for social democratic organizations to actively carry out propaganda activities, but the intensity at which they were carried out was not uniform across Lithuania. The proletarian profile of Šiauliai and the particularly active activity of the LSDP allowed to mobilize propagandists in a short time, to prepare the necessary proclamations on the spot, and to provide the necessary press equipment. During the years of the revolution (1905–1907), Šiauliai had to emerge as the second center of the social democratic movement in Lithuania. After the defeat of the revolution in Russia, due to the increased persecution of social democratic forces, the underground organizations failed to mobilize their press capacity or develop more active propaganda events; therefore, the political parties even had to suspend the activities of local organizations in Šiauliai. The integration of social democratic youth into the social democratic organizations of Šiauliai took place in c. 1912 and gave hope for a stronger revival of propaganda. The resumption of activities ceased in the first years of the First World War. The large-scale underground press developed in underground conditions expressed the expectations of the local population, reflected the involvement of parties in the formation of political views of the urban population, and was a counterweight to official information. Therefore, its assessment is inseparable from the realities of the political context of that time.
The article discusses manuscript books – collections of public life materials created in the 17th and 18th centuries in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, now located in Poland. They were created mainly by nobles and by chancellery clerks and officials employed at magnates’ and state dignitaries’ courts as an expression of the interests of collectors or documentary and historiographical concerns, and sometimes also as support for public activity. They contained various materials related to conducting, documenting and recording public life. The present overview is based on an identification of copies and on the information contained in printed and online manuscript catalogues and inventories. The number of surviving manuscripts of that type can be hypothetically estimated at ca. 400–500 copies, with ca. 100 copies identified in Poland. Their largest collection is held in the Radvilos Archives, part of the Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw, with single copies scattered across different libraries and museums. The oldest ones date back to the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The greatest value should be attributed to several manuscripts originating from the Radvilos of Biržai community from the mid-17th century. Other valuable manuscripts include some made by common nobles, especially in the 17th century, as they often contain unique materials, unknown from elsewhere, as well as those created in the circles of the Sapiegos and Radvilos of Nyasvizh magnate families. Standing out among the latter are miscellanies created during the first three decades of the 18th century by Kazimierz Złotkowski, secretary of the Grand Chancellor of Lithuania Karolis Stanislovas Radvila. These books attest to the integration of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania’s nobility and magnates with other lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. They largely contain materials relating to public life of the whole Commonwealth, while often including materials relating to local issues.
The book cover of Biblia Germanicolatina (1565), which is held at the Rare Books and Manuscrips Unit of the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, is analysed in this paper. This Bible was printed in a 20-volume collection in Wittenberg on request of August the Elect of Saxony (1526–1586). It was printed in the Latin and German languages. This Bible later became a part of various European libraries. Biblia Germanicolatina is analysed in the light of the paratext theory, which as a book history term is first used by French literary theorist Gerard Genette (1987). Genette used this term to describe objects and subjects surrounding the text: text spacing, lettering, book covers and even book advertisements. The analysis is performed using the provenance method, which leads to discovering the origins of the book’s binding and its primary sources. As of right now, five out of the 20 volumes from the collection are known to be held in Lithuanian memory institutions. As a result of this research, we were able to identify the bookbinder from Wittenberg who ordered the plate for tooling in 1564.