Danutė Mukienė (LAM, Lithuania) “The value of collections of old photographs at Lithuanian museums in the process of documentation of restoration of Lithuanian Statehood”

Danutė Mukienė

Danutė Mukienė

Photography – a part of documentary heritage. It witnesses the most important events and captures the specific personalities associated with them. Often only from photographs we can restore major events and the role of specific individuals. This is particularly true speaking about the importance of photographs held in our museums. Lithuanian museums have significant and valuable collections of historical and artistic photographs. The largest collections of historical photographs are held by the Lithuanian National Museum, the M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, the Šiauliai “Aušra” Museum, the Lithuanian Art Museum, the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum, the Kaunas 9th Fort Museum, the Biržai Region Museum “Sėla”, the Panevėžys Local Lore Museum, the Samogitian Museum “Alka”, the Kretinga Museum, the Rokiškis Regional Museum.

There are not many photographs dated the first century of the rise of photography, but they are very significant. This period involves such important historical events as The January Uprising of 1863, the ban of the Lithuanian Press in Latin Characters and its cancellation, the First World War, the Lithuanian national movement and the restoration of Lithuanian Statehood.

For many Lithuanian museums participation in international project of digitization and dissemination of old photographs EuropeanaPhotography was a big impulse and an incentive to structure the information about historic photography stored in museums, as well as to digitize it and to present it to the public in modern and attractive ways.

Starting the project it was planned to digitize and make available 20 thousands of old photographs kept at Lithuanian museums. Later it became clear that the amount can be greater, because some museums, which previously hadn’t planned to participate in the project, started working with Lithuanian Integral Museum Information System and understood the importance of digitization of photographs. Now they are beginning to digitize and publicize old photos, stored in their collection. In the future information about these photographs is going to be seen in the biggest Europe’s cultural heritage portal Europeana.

Information about the speaker:

Danutė Mukienė is a journalist, museum specialist, book and periodicals editor and publisher. She has graduated from the Vilnius University, the faculty of history, obtained journalist profession. Since 1975 she has been working in press publications. In addition a number of years she has worked as a radio editor in Skuodas’ region radio collaborated in national radio creating shows in Samogitian dialect. In 1991 D. Mukienė founded a publication called “A mon sakaa?” – the newspaper of the Samogitian Cultural Society and the first dialectal newspaper in Lithuania. In the period of 1991–1993 she worked as its editor. In 1993 the newspaper was reorganized into the magazine “Žemaičių žemė”. D. Mukienė edits and publishes it to date. In 1993 she was a deputy director for culture of Department of Culture and Education of Palanga Municipality. During the period of 1996–2004 D. Mukienė was the head of the Information Culture Centre of the Samogitian Cultural Society based in Vilnius. In 2009 she was giving lectures at the Institute of Journalism at Vilnius University. Since 1999 she has been working at the Lithuanian Art Museum. D. Mukienė is the head of the Department of the Lithuanian Art Museum (LAM) Lithuanian Museums’ Centre for Information, Digitisation and LIMIS, where she is responsible for national and international cultural heritage digitization projects. During the period 1998–2013 she has implemented several digital publishing projects. The most important of them are portals “Lietuvos muziejai” (Eng. Museums of Lithuanian), “Senoji lietuvių skulptūra, kryžiai ir koplytėlės” (Eng. Old Lithuanian Sculpture, Crosses and Shrines), “Lietuvos dailės muziejus” (Eng. Lithuanian Art Museum), etc.

International conference “Digitisation and photographic memory”