Lithuania SIG #Lithuania Lithuanian Documents/Hank Propp #lithuania

Howard Margol


You wrote the following:

Subject: Lithuanian Documents
From: <HankPropp@...>
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 11:55:56 EDT
X-Message-Number: 8

A little while ago I wrote the research approach being currently used by =
the=0ALithuanian Archives is causing a hit or miss retrival of documents.=
This was=0Avery correctly amplified on by Saul in his usual professiona=
l and wider-scope=0Amanner.

I would like to purpose a new approach that maybe in long run prove to be=
=0Abetter than what we are now doing by submitting a surname and request =
to a=0Asearch of a specific shtetlach or area in Lithuania.

A more positive approach may be that the achives complie "catlogs" of wha=
t=0Athey have on file and we choose the docments to be search for a given=
=0Asurname(s) and given cost. That either as a Sig or individually we su=
bscribe=0Ato the "catlogs" and as they are updated we would receive a new=
catlog with=0Athe changes highlighted. We all know now that there are m=
any many more=0Adocuments available that were listed in Avotaynu Monograp=
h, Jewish Vital=0ARecords, Revision Lists and Other Jewish Holdings in th=
e Lithuanian Achives=0Awhich is becoming pass=E9. I am not undermining o=
r being critical of this=0Aoutstanding publication or the ground breaking=
work of Harold Rhodes and=0ASallyann Amdur Sacks. This lead the way to =
where we are at today and I=0Aconsider it a landmark publication. I am s=
uggesting in light of what is=0Ahappening today, the closer relationship =
between the achives and LitvakSig, we=0Aneed to able to improve and this =
request of a general search of documents is=0Aonly a beginning. It may e=
ven have to be a joint effort it could so large.=0AThe archives have to b=
e brought into the 21st century.

I would also like to remind the Sig that it is not only Jewish genealogis=
t,=0Awhich need this important information, but world-wide the Lithuanian=
community=0Ais also pressing for archival information for genealogical p=

I present this thought to the Sig with the knowledge that a thread maybe=
=0Aestablished that would improve on anything I might think of alone. I =
also=0Awould work on any committee established to implement this type of =
The jist of your remarks is the following sentence; " It may e=
ven have to be a joint effort it could so large.=0AThe archives have to b=
e brought into the 21st century."

The answer to what you suggest is very simple. If you, or someone else could
donate one million dollars to the State Historical Archive in Vilnius, they
may be able to be brought into the 21st century. It is also possible that may
not be enough. After you accomplish that, additional millions would be needed
to upgrade the Kaunas Archive and all the other archives in Lithuania.
Evidently, you have never been to the archives in Lithuania. If you had, you
would not be suggesting the ideas you are presenting. They sound good, and we
all agree, but they are beyond practicality. We all welcome ideas but you also
must be able to come up with ways in which those ideas can be utilized and
bear fruit. If that cannot be done, the idea is nothing more than that - an

Howard Margol
Member, Litvak SIG Records Acquisition Committee