Monday, 19 December 2011

Adelaide Lithuanian Museum & Archives


The Adelaide Lithuanian Museum has been collecting material since the 1950’s. It has become a unique storage house of items brought from Lithuania and items made in Australia by people of Lithuanian heritage; mainly art, craft and printed material.

As early as 1961, the Adelaide Community Council appealed to the community for historical items relating to Lithuania. Jonas Vanagas, founder of the Lobethal museum on his own initiate had already begun to collect material. After the opening of the Lobethal museum, Vanagas found himself collecting printed material and clippings from Australian newspapers that made mention of Lithuania. Jonas Vanagas was appointed curator of the would be Museum and Archives.

The initial aim of the museum was to gather and protect Australian Lithuanian material and other documents relating to life in Australia. It was envisaged a museum could help the youth become familiar with their history and culture.

A purposely built museum and archives were constructed at the rear of Lithuanian House. A large room formed the museum, and a partially underground small room would serve as the Archives.

By 1967 enough material had been collected to conduct the official opening. On January 28th, 1967, Juozas Bachunas, President of the World Lithuanian Association cut the ribbon and declared the museum officially open. Speeches were presented by the Adelaide Lithuanian Community President, Z. Vabolis and the Adelaide Lithuanian Society president P. Bielskis.

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