Historical sources of Lithuania and neighbouring countries

Historical sources of Lithuania and neighbouring countries

Manuscripts Department stores a large collection of manuscripts, the majority of which consists of Grand Duchy of Lithuania’s (now territories belonging to Lithuania, Poland, Belarus and Ukraine) 14th-century transcripts and 15th-century–mid-20th-century manuscript and printed documents written in Chancery Slavonic, Polish, Latin, German, Turkish and other languages. The collection contains endowments to churches as well as privileges to cities and nobles bestowed by grand dukes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and kings of Poland. A major part of the stock consists of administrational, property, pastoral and educational work documents from churches and monasteries of various confessions – Apostolic Letters from Roman Popes, papal bulls and indulgences, writings by Bishops of Vilnius, letters from Kiev and Galicia metropolitans, and endowment letters, inventory descriptions, and legal procedural documents regarding property from Lithuanian and Belarusian churches and monasteries (including Bernardine, Merciful Brothers, Franciscan, Augustinian, Dominican, Canons Regular, Basilian, Orthodox, etc.).

The collection also includes archives of famous noble and szlachta families of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The archives contain documents from Chodkiewicz, Giedroyć, Goštautai, Lubecki, Pesliak, Potocki, Radziwiłł, Radziszewski, Sapieha, Sołtan, Tyszkiewicz and other houses, as well as descriptions of estates and folwarks belonging to the families, inventory lists of serfs, last wills, etc.

Papers from Vilnius and Kaunas magistrates and other cities’ administration offices, artisan workshops, as well as documents covering various historical events (the Kościuszko Uprising, the November Uprising, and the January Uprising, as well as the War of 1812) might prove interesting to the observer.

19th and 20th centuries are reflected in documents taken from Tsarist Russian Northwestern Krai governorates administrations, state manors and educational establishments (Polish school in Paris, Saint Petersburg Theological Academy and others).