The Department of Twentieth-Century History is one of the largest divisions of the Lithuanian Institute of History. The department employs a research staff of sixteen, which includes one chief researcher, eight senior researchers, seven researchers. and one member of technical staff.

One researcher is doing a postdoc, and 14 doctoral students are studying for their degrees.

The Department of Twentieth-Century History develops fundamental and applied research on the twentieth-century state and society of Lithuania, collects and systematises the documentary heritage of that period, carries out expert activities, and educates researchers in modern history. The scholars of the department cooperate with various Lithuanian and foreign research, cultural, and educational institutions and carry out joint projects.

The research potential of the department allows exploring the issues of twentieth-century history from a wide range of perspectives focusing on social, cultural, or political processes and phenomena.

The department was established in 2001, after the reorganisation of the departments of the History of the Republic of Lithuania and the History of Modern Times. The first head of the department was Dr Česlovas Laurinavičius, who was succeeded by Dr Saulius Grybkauskas on 18 January 2016. Dr Vitalija Stravinskienė has been in charge since 1 September 2019.

The department can boast of the best experts in their fields: Dr Gediminas Vaskela, a researcher in economic history, while Dr Rimantas Zizas and Dr Arūnas Bubnys are working on the historical studies on the Second World War. Outstanding historians Dr Česlovas Laurinavičius, Dr Algimantas Kasparavičius, Dr Edmundas Gimžauskas, Dr Saulius Grybkauskas and others are continuing their relevant research.

The departmental staff are involved in long-term research programmes based on their research areas. From 2017 to 2021, the department’s scholars conducted the long-term research programme ‘The Overdue Nation 2: Problems of Lithuanian Modernisation’, led by Dr Česlovas Laurinavičius. The results of this programme were published in ten monographs and studies, six collections of sources and articles, and 148 scholarly articles and analytical reviews. The participants in the programme presented their papers at 94 international and 67 national conferences.

From 2022 to 2026, the department’s researchers are working in the following long-term research programmes: (1) ‘National and/or Class identity in Twentieth-Century Lithuania: From Political Trajectories to Personal Experiences’, leader Dr Saulius Grybkauskas; (2) ‘Genealogy of Conflict in a Modernising Society: The Case of Lithuania (Nineteenth-Twentieth Centuries)’, leader Dr Darius Staliūnas); (3) ‘Lithuania’s Foreign Policy and Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century: Problems and Challenges’, leader Dr Algimantas Kasparavičius. The researchers of the department carried out research projects funded by the Research Council of Lithuania and other foundations. The projects have been successfully completed. Their relevant results have been published in monographs, research articles, etc.

The ongoing projects of the department: (1) ‘“The Kražiai Massacre”: Microhistory in the Context of Macro-historical Processes’, 2020–2022, leader Dr D. Staliūnas); (2) ‘Complaints of the Nomenclature to Moscow in the Late Soviet Period’, 2021–2022, leader Dr Saulius Grybkauskas.