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Library and Archives Canada Transfers Consular Files to Government of Lithuania

Ambassador of Lithuania to Canada to receive files covering period from 1924 to 1960

For immediate release

OTTAWA, June 1, 2011  –  At the request of the Government of Lithuania, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is today transferring 1400 original consular files of Lithuanian Canadians to the Lithuanian State Archives. This move is in accordance with LAC's initiative to collaborate with peer institutions in determining the most appropriate place for a collection to reside.

"It is the role of Library and Archives Canada to look at our holdings and carefully assess whether certain parts belong in Canada's national archives or whether they belong in another institution," stated Dr. Daniel J. Caron, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "In this case, it was clear that these files belonged first and foremost to the government and people of Lithuania. However, by digitizing the files to keep in our holdings, we are also ensuring that Canadians continue to have access to what is an important part of our country's cultural history as well."

The consular files were part of a donation made to LAC in 1982 by Mr. Jonas Zmuidzinas, who served as the Consul General of Lithuania to Canada from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Discussions between LAC and the Embassy of Lithuania in Canada determined that since the consular files in question involved advice and services to Lithuanians living in Canada, they should be held by the Government of Lithuania. The files are being accepted by the Ambassador of Lithuania, Her Excellency Ginte Damusis, at the Embassy of Lithuania in Ottawa.

Digitized versions of the files, which cover the period from 1924 to 1960, will remain part of LAC's holdings for future consultations by Canadians, including researchers and Lithuanian Canadians interested in their history.


Library and Archives Canada

The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations, and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada. In addition, Library and Archives Canada facilitates cooperation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the continuing memory of the government of Canada and its institutions.

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For more information, please contact:

Pauline M. Portelance
Media Relations
Library and Archives Canada
819-994-4589
613-293-4298 (mobile)