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.
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.
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.
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.
The Baltic Sea Library is accredited with the ARS BALTICA logo since 2010. Now the project management is looking for new project sponsors for the period from 2013 to 2015.
The ARS BALTICA granted project has launched its new website. Take a tour and get informed about literature from the Baltic Sea region!
"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)