The peasant culture of books in Endriejavas: from end-19th c. to 1944

Tomas Petreikis

The paper reveals the peasants’ book-culture in Endriejavas Valsčius (a rural district) from the end of the 19th century to 1944. Libraries of peasants during the period from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century have been reconstructed and their type structure determined. The peasants’ book-culture gained strength during the book smuggling period, and this border region that was always notable for smuggling of Lithuanian books retained the book as the mental value in the 20th century. Peasants used to mark their books with autographs and stamps. Moreover, Endriejavas is distinguished by abundance of periodicals. Here ‘Tėvynės sargas’ was spread widely at the end of the 19th century; later it was replaced by other Catholic and secular newspapers. Local peasants used to co-operate with the press and took part in its spreading. So, the ties of the press with the inhabitants of the Endriejavas region developed, and newspapers became a part of traditional peasant’s life style.