It is the only public organisation in Lithuania whose members are scholars and cultural workers engaged in studying the history, culture and contemporary life of Samogitia.
Rector of the Samogitian Academy dr. Adomas Butrimas
A member of the Samogitian Academy dr. Vacys Vaivada
The main forms of the academys activities:
- 1. Expeditions
- 2. Conferences
- 3. Publication of books
The academy is represented by the series Zemaiciu praeitis (Samogitian History) of which seven books have been published.
The books can be bought at:
- 1. Bookshops
- 2. The publishers of the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts (Maironio Str. 6, Vilnius)
- 3. The Zemaiciu Alka Museum in Telsiai
The academys latest publication is Reminiscences about Marija-Peckauskaite-Satrijos Ragana (the seventh book in the series Zemaiciu praeitis). The book was published by the publishers of the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts in February 1998.
The address of the Samogitian Academy:
- Maironio Str. 6, LT-2600, Vilnius, Lithuania
- Tel.: (8-22) 620025, 424444. Fax: (8-22)619966
- Dr. Adomas Butrimas is the academys rector
The Samogitian Academy
- The Samogitian Academy is an independent public organisation cooperating with other public organisations and institutions concerned with the preservation of the regional identity and studies of Samogitian history and culture as well as current issues.
- A conference on issues of regional history held in Varniai in 1987 can be considered the beginning of the academy's activity.
- Later these conferences became a tradition and were held every year. A historian from Telsiai, Adomas Butrimas, was the main organiser of the conference. At the beginning the conferences took place in the summer and, therefore, were often referred to as Samogitian Summer Academies. During the first years historians, together with the Samogitian Cultural Association, organised these conferences.
However, as the SCAs activities expanded and the interests of various groups of the association members differed, it was decided to divide the activities of the association and establish a separate public organisation, the Samogitian Academy.
The academy was in charge of organising conferences and expeditions in Samogitia as well as bringing together its intellectuals.
The Samogitian Academy was formally established at a conference in Varniai at the end of July in 1994. It was registered with the Ministry of Justice at the end of 1996.
Historian Adomas Butrimas, at that time vice-rector at the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts, was elected rector of the Samogitian Academy during the inaugural meeting.
The most active members of the academy are professors Viktorija Daujotyte and Juozas Girdzijauskas, Dr. Vacys Vaivada, historian Povilas Sverebas, journalist Danute Mukiene and many others.
These specialists are interested in studying Samogitia and educating its people. During the first years of developing and strengthening the activity of the academy, the Ministry of Culture, former vice-minister Vytautas Balciūnas and the Open Society Fund-Lithuania rendered assistance to the academy.
The academy cooperates closely with the Samogitian Cultural Association. They publish a series of books on Samogitian history Zemaiciu praeitis, the magazine Zemaiciu zeme (Samogitian Land) and other publications, arrange mutual educational and cultural programmes and hold conferences.
The latest conferences in Varniai have been favourably received by the public. One of them, held in 1993, was dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Simonas Daukantas. The 1994 conference was concerned with Varniai as a cultural city. Two conferences were convened in the Mazeikiai region. The first, held in 1995, was on the history and monuments of the Seda parish. The second (1997) was on Renavas Palace and the history of the parish. A conference dedicated to the 400th anniversary of Katekizmas (Catechism) by Mikalojus Dauksa was held in Telsiai and Varniai in the autumn of 1995. The first day of the 1996 summer conference on the history of the town took place in Pavandene. On the second day the participants moved to the Samogitian Art Museum in Plunge where they spoke about the prominent Samogitian ethnographer, Ignas Koncius, on the occasion of the 110th anniversary of his birth. Vacys Vaivada, a member of the Samogitian Academy, arranged a conference on the 60th anniversary of the Telsiai diocese in the autumn of the same year. At the conference, arranged by a member of the academy, Danute Mukiene, the role of the Samogitian Writers Association established 60 years ago in the cultural life of Samogitia and Lithuania was analysed.
The next conference is scheduled to be in Plateliai in 1998.
The Samogitian Academy receives assistance in arranging expeditions from the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts and the Lithuanian Institute of History .
Publishing books on Samogitian history is one of the main activities of the academy.
The series Zemaiciu praeitis (Samogitian History) has been published since 1990. It includes papers read at the conferences and other interesting material on Samogitia.
Three books have been dedicated to the Samogitian towns of Varniai and Pavandene (the 1996 edition) and Seda in 1997. The library of the Samogitian Academy is enlarged by expeditions. Publications on famous Samogitian cultural figures (e. g. Šatrijos Ragana) as well as noble families (Giedraičiai, Gadonai and others) are being prepared.
© Samogitian Cultural
Association Editorial Board, 1998.