Writings of Lithuania Minor and Klaipėda region

Bright influence in the Lithuania was left by the printed books in Lithuania Minor. In the XVI century Reformation gave an impulse to appear literature in Lithuanian language. First Lithuanian book, Katekizmas, was printed by Martynas Mažvydas in 1547, first Lithuanian grammar was prepared by Danielius Kleinas in 1653, first Lithuanian Bible was published in 1735, first scientific work about Lithuanian language was wrote by Pilypas Ruigys in 1747, first literary work, Metai, was created by Kristijonas Donelaitis, first periodicals were published in 1822, first ethnographical songs collection was published, prepared by Liudvikas Rėza with songs collected in Prussian Lithuania in 1825.

The museum’s collection includes over 6000 publications in Lithuanian and German languages from printing houses of Karaliaučius, Tilžė, Klaipėda and Priekulė. Exhibition presents the culture of literature and writings in Lithuania Minor. Preference is given to manuscripts and publications in Lithuanian language, which symbolize region’s Lithuanian culture and importance of memorial heritage: such as Bibles, catechisms, prayer-books, hymnals, sermon books, works of Lithuanian language and folklore, publications printed in Lithuania Minor and smuggled in Lithuania during the period of Lithuanian press prohibition.

Special focus is held on authors and their literature printed in Klaipėda region (in Klaipėda, Šilutė, Priekulė and Bitėnai). There are also available to make a look at German publications that was dedicated for Lithuania Minor. Exhibition also presents authors that were born and lived in Klaipėda region such as: E. Wichert, H. Sudermann, J. Sembritzki and others.

Oldest publications from XVI and XVII centuries, unique epitome of history and science wrote in Lithuanian at 1816–1817 by rural teacher Gerulis from Klaipėda region village Diegliai are also exhibited. The exhibition is complemented with series of graphic works “The Figures of Lithuania Minor” created by E. Labutytė and a collection of medals for the most famous creators and writers.

In the multimedia terminal wider historical context reveals. It is available with the most valuable museum’s exhibits and publications, book authors and publishers.