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The Intellectual Games of Teodor Narbutt: Šiauriai as the Museum of the Lithuanian Antiquities

Reda Griškaitė
Published: 28 December 2020
Knygotyra , Volume 75, pp 259-326; doi:10.15388/knygotyra.2020.75.68

Abstract: The article analyses a particular 19th century manor, classed among the category of the so-called intellectual manors – Teodor Narbutt’s (or Teodor Mateusz Ostyk-Narbutt, 1784–1864) Šiauriai manor (Pol. Szawry; Grodno Province, since 1843 – Vilnius Province, Lyda County). All the texts by Narbutt – fictional as well as the scientific works, including the famous Dzieje narodu litewskiego (The History of the Lithuanian Nation, vol. 1–9, Vilnius, 1835–1841) – were collected in this place. Throughout the years, the manor became a unique workshop for the historian in which one could find a rich library, collections of manuscripts, and Lithuanian artefacts. Up until now, the researchers have focused most of their attention on the contents and the assembly of Narbutt’s collection of books and periodical publications, while the collection of artefacts has received less limelight. The collections of historical documents, numismatic objects, and art pieces, which for the landowner-historian were no less important, have also been left on the margins. The aim of this article is: by employing the already analysed and completely new archival resources, take a different look at the col­lections once stored in Šiauriai, while, at the same time, cultivating the idea that the gathering of them was particularly purposeful and was perceived as a formation of a “compulsory” material, necessary for the writing of the history of Lithuania.
Keywords: intellectual / artefacts / Manor / Province / Lithuanian / Vilnius / historian / Teodor / Narbutt

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