I’m back in the archives this week looking for various bits of information to fill gaps in draft chapters. I discovered that the Vytautas Magnus University Library has a collection of Soviet-era newspapers and magazines so I am working there. The best part — the materials are all on shelves in the reading room, which means that I don’t have to request them and wait for delivery. Plus it’s a restricted reading room, which means a quiet place to work because I am the only one there. Now that I have permission to use the collection, I pick up the key from the main library and let myself into my own private archival work space.
One of my interviewees gave me an article from Mokslas ir Gyvenimas [Science and Life] that condemns hippies in the West. The article had water damage and the bottom corner of each page was torn away so I wanted to find and copy a complete version. I didn’t know the publication year but I knew that it was from the late 1960s or early 1970s and not later than 1972. I did find the article (1967) — plus I found several other interesting articles for my research.
I was quite surprised to see that the cover of the May 1972 issue of Mokslas ir Gyvenimas [Science and Life] featured a large flame with a cityscape behind it. In a bizarre coincidence, that is the month and year that Romas Kalanta set himself on fire in Kaunas.