E. Meilus  |  G. Motuzaitė Matuzevičiūtė  |  I. Kaplūnaitė M. Klovas  |  R. Jonaitis  |  S. Sarcevičius  |  A. K. Urmański  | 

The Department of Urban Research of the Lithuanian Institute of History was established on 20 December 2002 with the key purpose of analysing cities and towns as historical phenomena. The scholars of the department focus on the interaction between the historical process and the eco-environment, the understanding of the dynamics of the development of the technological and practical qualities of the material culture and the socio-historical process, and on revealing the socio-economic phenomena, processes, and their regularities; they work in socio-topographical research, seek to reveal the regularities in the development of the interaction between the material culture and the society, improve the informativeness of the archaeological sources by developing research methodologies and the theory of research.

The current head of the Urban Research Department is Saulius Sarcevičius. The department employs a full-time staff of eight, including two senior researchers, four researchers, one junior researcher, and one laboratory assistant.

For the last decade, the research of the department has focused on the history of Vilnius. At present, the department is carrying out a long-term (2022–2026) research programme ‘The Development of Vilnius between the Thirteenth and the Mid-Twentieth Century: Population Communities, Spatial Expansion of the City, and Self-Governance’ (programme leader Dr Mindaugas Klovas). The aim of the programme is to study the communities of the inhabitants of Vilnius, the development and the self-government of the city thus revealing the economic and social development of Vilnius from the thirteenth to the mid-twentieth century, to disseminate research results, and to popularise and actualise the history of Vilnius.

The programme envisages research on the history of the city communities, local government, and the spatial evolution of the city, as well as scholarly publications of relevant documents.

It is also important to note that the periodical Miestų praeitis (The Past of Cities), which was published by the Urban Research Department from 2004, is expected to be renewed. The department is planning to develop an interactive tool for the identification and analysis of household ceramics of Vilnius, which will be made available for public access on the website of the Lithuanian Institute of History. Finally, an international conference on the 700th anniversary of Vilnius is planned in collaboration with other research institutions.