About us

The Institute of Baltic Region History and Archaeology (Baltijos regiono istorijos ir archeologijos institutas, BRIAI) is one of the most highly regarded centres for research and study into the history, archaeology and cultural heritage in Lithuania. It has particular strengths in the fields of underwater archaeology, mediaeval and early modern archaeology, and modern cultural, social, and military history of the eastern part of the Baltic Region. The Institute is part of the dynamic and ambitious Klaipėda University with a distinctive mission to be an internationally recognized centre for the Baltic Sea region research.

BRIAI carries on the work of the former Centre for West Lithuanian and Prussian History, founded in 1992 by two outstanding Lithuanian scholars, historian Alvydas Nikžentaitis and archaeologist Vladas Žulkus. It actively pursues research at both national and international scale in the historical and archaeological sciences and aims to foster cooperation with other academic and cultural institutions across the Baltic Sea area. The mission of the Institute is to raise the profile of Baltic region history and archaeology generally through its range of distinctive research activities, teaching programmes, numerous events, and publications.

The Institute concentrates its research on studying the pluricultural heritage of the Southeast Baltic area between the Vistula and Daugava (Western Dvina) rivers within the context of the Baltic region as a whole. Through its links to many other institutions, museums, societies and organizations research carried out in the Institute is integrated into the context of historical and archaeological studies within the region and presents culturally distinct areas to a broader European audience.

The Institute has more than 30 research-active staff and supervises a lively group of a dozen of doctoral students who employ various theories and methodologies to analyse social and cultural developments in the Baltic Region from prehistoric times to the present day. Currently, the Institute offers a number of undergraduate, master’s, and research degrees. Its taught programmes include a variety of courses, both theoretical and practical, covering a diverse array of topics related to the East European and Baltic past and designed for aspiring historians and archaeologists at various stages in their carrier – the B.A. in History of Europe; the B.A. in Archaeology and History; and the M.A. in Baltic History.

The Institute’s researchers have an outstanding record of publication including monographs issued by Cambridge University Press, Brill, Harrassowitz, and other established publishers, research studies, source publications, collections of papers, papers in peer-reviewed journals, and publications in cultural or professional journals and periodicals. The Institute is also the publisher of two peer-reviewed journals dedicated to historical and archaeological research respectively: Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis (est. 1993) and Archaeologia Baltica (est. 1995).