The Virtual Baltic Sea Library

The Virtual Baltic Sea Library is a non-profit project for literature and literary translation implemented by the Baltic Writers' Council, supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Goethe-Institute and the German Foreign Office, and nowadays run by Forum Mare Balticum e.V.. Steered from Berlin it is exploring the literary heritage of the Baltic and the Nordic region and, at the same time, promoting translations from, to and within the region.

  • What is the project about?

    Eleven national editors (from Poland, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Denmark, Russia, Germany, Norway, Lithuania, Estonia and Sweden) plus one editor each for Latin and Sámi literature are choosing works of literature to be included in this virtual anthology. Translators are encouraged and inspired to produce translations of these selected works of literature into the various languages of the entire Baltic and Nordic region. And, eventually, a literary corpus or canon of national text anthologies in eleven languages will be established and linked to each other forming a common anthology published in the internet.

    Building up the data base has been accompanied by acquiring copy rights, organizing study grants for translators and hosting a conference about “Cultural Diversity, Language and Digital Content” in April 2011 in Berlin. In a fast developing digital world with its specific influence on reading culture and literacy the Baltic Sea Library will spur on intercultural reading of literature as well as research, teaching, the evaluation and the general distribution of the inter-culturally connected national literatures of a common Baltic Sea region.

  • Who is the target group?

    Literature enthusiasts, teachers and scholars of language, translators, librarians, editors and publishers in the Baltic and the Nordic region and even travellers to the Baltic.

    For the duration of three years, a staff of about 20 directly involved project-workers will work on the project with the hope to reach and to inspire thousands of interested stakeholders.

  • Events related to the project

    Between 5 and 7 April 2011, the Virtual Baltic Sea Library hosted a conference about "Cultural Diversity, Language and Digital Content" in Berlin (Germany). The conference took place at the representation of Land Schleswig-Holstein in Berlin.
    A German-Russian/ Russian-German Translators Workshop was held in Rybachi in the Kaliningrad Region from 19 to 23 October 2012.

  • Project partners


"ARS BALTICA is not a bureaucratic construction for political posturing, but a concept that stands for unconventional and committed collaboration in real cooperative projects." (Rainer Haarmann, former ARS BALTICA Coordinator, 1997)

Key Facts

  • start of the project in 2010
  • accredited with the ARS BALTICA logo since 2010
  • project management located at Berlin (Germany)
  • countries involved are: Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany


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The Virtual Baltic Sea Library