Guide to the Lithuanian Nationality Room Committee Collection, 1885-2000 UA.40.15

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ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Lithuanian Nationality Room Committee Collection
Creator
University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program. Lithuanian Nationality Room Committee.
Collection Number
UA.40.15
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1930-2000
Date [inclusive]
1885-2000
Extent
2.0 linear feet (3 boxes)
Abstract
The Lithuanian Nationality Room (LNR) was dedicated on October 4, 1940 becoming the tenth classroom added to the Cathedral of Learning as part of the University of Pittsburgh's Nationality Rooms Program. Located on the first floor, the LNR is used both as a classroom and a space to promote Lithuanian heritage. Under Chairman Peter Pivaronas and Dr. Joseph Baltrusaitis, the Lithuanian Nationality Room Committee was able to design, fund, and construct their classroom in ten years.

Preferred Citation

Lithuanian Nationality Room Committee Collection, 1885-2000, UA.40.15, University Archives, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

The Lithuanian Nationality Room (LNR) was the tenth classroom added to the Cathedral of Learning as part of the University of Pittsburgh's Nationality Rooms Program. The Nationality Rooms Program was designed to showcase the history and culture of the various ethnic groups that have come to settle in Pittsburgh and the region. It also seeks to involve the local community with the University through cultural activities and scholarships. Under Chairman Peter Pivaronas and Dr. Joseph Baltruaitis, the LNR Committee was able to design, fund, and construct their classroom in ten years. The development of the Room was coordinated by the first director of the Nationality Rooms, Ruth Crawford Mitchell, and University Architect Albert Klimcheck. Subsequent activities and administrative support have been given the Committee by E. Maxine Bruhns and the office staff.

Funding for the LNR occurred slowly, but relatively smoothly, through vigorous donation drives and outreach to large Lithuanian communities and organizations in Pittsburgh, New York, Baltimore, Chicago and elsewhere but also direct outreach to Lithuania. The design process started in 1935 resulting in two trips to Lithuania for inspiration for the final design. Support came from the Lithuanian government officials and the U.S. envoy, Minister Povilas Žadeikis. Despite some conflict over the final design, it was decided that Antanas Guditis of Lithuania would be the architect, with assistance by Miss Magdalena Avietienaite from Lithuania's Minstry of Foreign Affairs. However, further issues emerged with obtaining Mr. Guditis's final design and in securing room materials (Lithuanian linen and Lithuanian bog soaked oak). Receiving the materials from customs also caused several delays.

In April 1940 all room materials from Lithuania were acquired, and since the majority of the room cost was raised, construction could start. A series of unexpected material shortages in September caused a change in the original room design: M. K. Ciurlionis' "Two Kings" painting was chosen to be recreated as a mural to take the place of the blackboard, the use of black bog oak in furniture designs was extremely limited, and the use of linen as wall coverings reconfigured. Because of these difficulties, the windows and mural were not finished for the October 4, 1940 dedication. The room was officially finished the end of January 1941 after being dogged for months with last minute material and payment issues. Unfortunately, the "Two Kings" mural and linen wall coverings were installed improperly and later needed to be replaced.

Today the LNR, in accordance with the mission statement for the Nationality and Heritage Room Committees, promotes and represents their culture and traditions through events, performances, lectures, films, and exhibits. The LNR Committee also hosts study abroad scholarships for University of Pittsburgh students, and the classroom, a tribute to Lithuanian folk art is used as a learning space for University students day to day.

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Scope and Content Notes

The Lithuanian Nationality Room Collection is composed of records documenting the planning, design, funding, construction, promotion, and maintenance of the Lithuanian Nationality Room. It also reflects the ongoing activities of the Committee in cultural activities, participation in holiday events and the support of the Lithuanian Room scholarship for study abroad.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into the following ten series:

Series I: Minutes

Series II: Running Memo

Series III: Financial Statements

Series IV: Lithuanian Nationality Room Correspondence

Series V: Nationality Room Program Correspondence

Series VI: Publicity Materials

Series VII: Oversized Architectural Records

Series VIII: 50th Anniversary

Series IX: Photographic Prints

Series X: Monographs

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, August 2014

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.

Custodial History

In accordance with preserving the activities of each classroom on the Nationality Council, the records of the Lithuanian Nationality Room Committee was collected and maintained by Nationality Rooms Program staff. The early collection was deposited in the University Archives. In 2014 this original collection was combined with the Committees subsequent files and processed in the summer of 2014.

Accruals

Further accruals are expected from the ongoing activity of the Committee.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited to the Archives in two separate deposits by the Nationality Rooms Program director.

Processing Information

This collection was processed and the finding aid completed by Emily Reed, Nationality Rooms Archivist Intern from May to July 2014. The original 1948 collection was removed from its housing and incorporated into the arrangement scheme. Other records that were stored in albums were also separated from their original containers.

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Related Materials

Separated Material

Oversized Architectural Records are located in map case 26, drawer 1.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Lithuanian Classroom (Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, Pa.).
  • Nationality Rooms (Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, Pa.).
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Council.
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program. Lithuanian Nationality Room Committee.
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program.

Genre(s)

  • Architectural drawings (Visual works)
  • Correspondence
  • Financial records
  • Minutes
  • Photographs
  • Press releases

Personal Name(s)

  • Baltrušaitis, Joseph
  • Bruhns, E. Maxine
  • Čiurlionis, Mikalojus Konstantinas, 1875-1911
  • Gudaitis, Antanas, 1904-1989
  • Mitchell, Ruth Crawford, 1890-
  • Pirvaronas, Peter

Subject(s)

  • Classrooms -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Lithuanian Americans -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Universities and colleges -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Minutes, 1932-1991 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains the Lithuanian Nationality Room Committee's minutes from the years 1932-1991.

  BoxItem
 1932-1942 11
  Folder
 1948-1954 1
  Folder
 1961, 1978-1980 2
  Folder
 1986-1988 3
  Folder
 1988-1991 4

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Series  II. Running Memo, 1931-1941 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains records that were created as brief summaries of conferences, correspondence, and events about the Lithuanian Nationality Room for the Lithuanian Nationality Room Committee and the University.

  Item
 1931-1941 2
  Folder
Ciurlions, Mykolas Koustantin, circa 1936 5
  Folder
Maironis, Jonas, circa 1936 6
  Folder
Daukantas, Simonas, 1940 7
  Folder
Kudirka, Vincas, circa 1940 8
  Folder
Duonelaitis, Christian, circa 1940 9
  Folder
Description of Room, 1940 10
  Folder
Notebook, 1942 11
  Folder
 1942-1956 12
  Folder
Gift and Custodian List, 1945-1959 13
  Folder
Maintenance Handbook, 1947 14
  Folder
Memorial, 1957 15
  Folder
Member Lists, 1958-1979 16
  Folder
 1958, 1977-1984, 1994-1999 17
  Folder
Lithuanian Exhibit, 1965 18
  Folder
Lithuanian Panel Plans, post 1974 19
  Folder
Dues, 1976-1982 20
  Folder
 1988-1991 21
  Folder
50th Anniversary, 1990 22
  Folder
Mural, undated 23

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Series  III. Financial Statements, 1932-1992 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains records of financial statements pertaining to building costs and Lithuanian Nationality Room event and committee expenses.

  Folder
 1932-1940 24
  Folder
"Pertaining to the Lithuanian Room Fund", 1932-1939 25
  Folder
 1958, 1991-1992 26

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Series  IV. Lithuanian Nationality Room Committee Correspondence, 1931-2000 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains correspondence from the Lithuanian Nationality Room Committee internally, and to Lithuanian Nationality Room Members. The General Correspondence pre 1942 was initially bound with ribbon in cardboard containers in the original 1948 collection. Some materials are in Lithuanian.

  Folder
General Correspondence, 1931 27
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1932 28
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1933 29
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1934 30
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1935 31
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1936 32
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1937 33
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1938 34
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1939 35
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1940 36
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1941 37
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1954-1977 38
  Folder
Correspondence to Members, 1950, 1977-1981 39
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1978-1998 40
  Folder
Correspondence to Members, 1982-1986 41
  Folder
Correspondence to Members, 1986-1991 42
  Folder
Correspondence to Members, 1991-2000 43

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Series  V. Nationality Room Program Correspondence, 1948-1999 

Scope and Content Notes

This collection contains correspondence generated by the Nationality Room Program Office pertaining to the LNR. E. Maxine Bruhns and Ruth Crawford Mitchell are the primary authors for the majority of the correspondence. Some materials are in Lithuanian.

  Folder
General Correspondence, 1948-1968 44
  Folder
Mural Redecoration, 1948-1977 45
  Folder
Ciurlionis Paintings, 1955-1986 46
  Folder
Linen Redecoration, 1956-1959 47
  Folder
Linen Redecoration, 1956-1983 48
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1977-1975 49
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1978-1985 50
  Folder
Mural Redecoration, 1978-1986 51
  Folder
Lithuanian Quasi-Endowment, 1987 52
  Folder
General Correspondence, 1987-1999 53
  Folder
Donations, 1990 54

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Series  VI. Publicity Materials, 1931-2000 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains publicity materials generated about activities of the Lithuanian Nationality Classroom: newspaper articles, newsletters, magazine articles, event programs, tickets, speeches, and flyers. Events include: dinners, dances, card games, spring luncheon, bake sale, Christmas parties, and committee sponsored trips. Some materials are in Lithuanian.

  BoxFolder
Newspaper Clippings, 1931-1933 21
  Folder
Newspaper Clippings, 1933-1939 2
  Folder
Newspaper Clippings, 1939-1942 3
  Folder
Newspaper Clippings, circa 1930s 4
  Folder
Newspaper Clippings, 1988-1991 5
  Folder
Printed Materials, 1934-1937 6
  Folder
Printed Materials, 1937-1954 7
  Folder
Printed Materials, 1942 8
  Folder
Printed Materials, 1950, 1960, 1972-2000 9
  Folder
Dedication, October 4, 1940 10
  Folder
Event Transcripts, 1931, 1943, 1960 11
  Folder
Event Brochures and Tickets, 1976-1995 12
  Folder
Event Flyers, 1976-1980 13
  Folder
Event Flyers, 1980-1998 14
  Folder
Dr. Landsberg's Event, 1999 15
  Folder
Obituaries, 1990 16

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Series  VII. Architectural Records, 1940, 1956, 1962, 1978 

Scope and Content Notes

This series consists of oversized architectural records: room, mural, and furniture designs. There are six items in this series, and they are physically located separate from the rest of the collection in: map case 26, drawer 1.

  Oversize
 1940, 1956, 1962, 1978 1

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Series  VIII. 50th Anniversary Album, 1936-1940, 1990 

Scope and Content Notes

This series is composed of materials that originally made up pages in a 50th Anniversary Album for the Lithuanian Nationality Room.

  Folder
Pages 1-6, 1940, 1990 17
  Folder
Pages 7-10, circa 1940s 18
  Folder
Pages 12-17, 1940 19
  Folder
Pages 18-24, 1940 1940
  Folder
Pages 25-32, 1936, 1940, 1990 21

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Series  IX. Photographs and Paintings, 1923-1940 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains photographic and painting prints related to the Lithuanian Nationality Room and Lithuanian heritage. The photographic prints are pictures of the Lithuanian Nationality Room Committee; of the room dedication; of a benefit picnic; of a trip to Kaunas, Lithuania; of the completed room; and of Christmas activities within the room. The painting prints are reproductions of Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis' work. M. K. Cirulionis created the "Two Kings", which was copied as a mural in the LNR.

  Folder
Finished Room and Original Committee Members Photographs, circa 1940s 22
  Folder
Christmas Photographs, 1940s-1950s, 1979, 1988, 1991-1995 23
  Folder
Promotion Photographic Prints, circa 1940s, circa 1990s 24
  BoxItem
Lithuanian Room Slides, 31
  Folder
Black and White Mounted Prints, 1940 1
  Folder
Black and White Mounted Prints, 1936, 1940 2
  Folder
Black and White Mounted Prints, 1936, 1938, 1940 3
  Folder
Black and White Mounted Prints, October 4, 1940 4
  Folder
Black and White Mounted Prints, 1940 5
  Folder
Black and White Mounted Prints, 1940 6
  Folder
Black and White Mounted Prints, circa 1940 7
  Folder
Black and White Mounted Prints, 1940 8
  Folder
Black and White Mounted Prints, 1936, 1940 9
  Folder
Black and White Mounted Prints, circa 1940 10
  Folder
Ciurlionis Painting Prints, 1923 11

This folder holds "Vasaros naktis ant Nemuno/Summer Night on the Nemunas", "Nerys ties Vilnium/Nerys near Vilnius".

  Folder
Ciurlionis Painting Prints, 1923 12

This folder holds "Regejimas Vision" and "Dzuku bajoru kaimelis/Lithunia: a boyer village Dzukija".

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Series  X. Monographs, 1885-circa 1945 

Scope and Content Notes

This series is composed of monographic materials: six books and one album. These materials were donated to the Lithuanian Nationality Room to add to their Lithuanian heritage collection.

  Item
Dainuokime, undated  1

This book is written in Lithuanian.

  Item
Arf Dargis, undated 2
  Item
M. K. Ciurlionies and Postcards, 1909, 1914, 1927 3

The contents of this envelope are written in Lithuanian.

  Item
Lithuania, My Dear Country, post 1945 4

This book is written in English, German, and Lithuanian.

  Item
Rasztai ir Rasztininkai, 1890 5

This book is written in Lithuanian.

  Item
Naujas Elementorius, 1901 6

This book is accompanied with a notecard that reads: "This primer was the first prize in a competition for best primer in the Lithuanian language. It is the first grammatically (correctly) written primer in Lithuanian written by Antauas Vilkutaitius a popular poet and short story writer--professionally a civil engineer. The primer was published in 1901 at Tilst, East Prussia. When the Lithuanian literature was still forbidden by the Czarist regime in Lithuania." The book is written in Lithuanian.

  Item
Susivienijimo Lietuviu Amerikoje Auksinio Jubiliejaus Albumas, 1885-1936 7

This album is written in Lithuanian.

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