The Literary Partnership


Motivation: Literary societies and literary museums exist in all countries of the European Union and play a central role in the preservation and transmission of literary heritage. Literary societies and museums are a pillar of adult education (diverse, active and predominantly honorary engagement in the cultural sector), and they make an important contribution to literary life off the big events.
In eleven countries of the European Union there are national umbrella associations of literary societies and/or literary museums, in other countries particular museums or archives play an important role as mediators in this field.
So far, an exchange of these organisations on their work and the strengths and weaknesses of their approaches in dealing with the literary heritage has barely taken place on an European level.
The planned Grundvig Learning Partnership project will provide the participants with the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences and to compare and discuss their work from a transnational point of view.

The overall aim is to exchange and to share ideas and experience and to compare examples of good practice in order to become more efficient in our positions as cultural mediators. The experience and knowledge gained will be passed down to our organisations in order to enable them to adopt best practices.
The transnational perspective will help us to overcome national limitations and will provide us with new innovative points of view and with fresh impetus for our work.

The target group of the project are adults working in the field of literary heritage (voluntarily or on a regular basis), this includes the staff of umbrella associations of literary societies and/or museums or other central national institutions as well as the staff of individual societies and museums.

We want to create a survey that reflects relevant topics in our work as cultural mediators and the experience made in the project work. The survey will explore three major fields (see below).
The survey will have the form of a questionnaire and will also include case studies. We will start the survey with three questions (one for each major field) that reflect the baseline (starting point) in each field.
The survey will be circulated amongst the project partners (e.g. as a closed Internet forum) and will, by the end, be made available to a wider public.

The three major fields of the survey are the following:

1) The European aspect in our literary heritage – subtopics could be the following:
- how are commemoration days (e.g. World Poetry Day) interpreted in different countries
- exploring literary relationships in Europe
- national writers as part of the European family; our identity as part of an European identity
- becoming more aware how important (small) national literatures are
- to learn about the diversity of/in Europe: to understand what it means in terms of the literary heritage
- examples from Denmark: there are many societies dedicated to foreign writers

2) Communication – Comparing ideas and practices regarding the promotion of literarture and the literary heritage – subtopics could be the following:
- presenting/promoting literature
- exhibition concepts
- new media, new technologies (e.g. example from Denmark: Internet exhibitions)
- editing practice
- media collection
- copyrights
- digitalisation
- translations
- trans-/interdisciplinarity of literature as means of mediating culture
- literary events, debates, lectures, competitions
- networks/networking activities; cooperations e.g. with ICOM/ICLM

3) New ways of reaching (wider) audiences – subtopics could be the following:
- volunteers, 3rd age volunteering
- reading clubs
- contribution of literature to integration – literature as means of entering the mind of a country
- new media, social communities in the Internet
- editing

For the three major fields there will be working groups, each group will have a coordinator. Each project partner decides about contributing to one or more of these topics.

There will be three project meetings of all partners.

Every partner can do job shadowing according to his interests and needs. The experience gained will be recorded in a learning diary and will be made available to the other project partners. We have identified some national events that could be particularly interesting for a visit.

Local activities: Several activities will be carried out on a local basis – for example:
- seminars for museum staff (Greece)
- information about the project activities during conferences, meetings, and through publications

Evaluation activities – Controlling the quality
- checking the project plan every four months – has the project plan be fulfilled?
- feedback discussions/sessions and/or evaluation forms as part of meetings of all partners, working group meetings and job shadowings – what worked well and what could be improved?
- diary notes as part of the job shadowings
- detailed joint discussion of the progress report (to be written in June 2012) and joint formulation of recommendations

Dissemination activities
- joint project website
- information about the project activities during conferences, meetings, and through publications – internally (in our organisations) and externally
- publication of the survey by the end of the project
- establish contacts to other organisations: transnational networks as ICLM/ICOM, and national networks (e.g. umbrella associations) throughout Europe

European added value
- The transnational perspective will provide the participants with new innovative points of view and with fresh impetus for their own work as cultural mediators.
- The participants will broaden their knowledge of the literatures of the participating countries and of their interrelation.
- Through the project work the participants will acquire a better awareness of a common European culture and history.
- Our project fosters mutual understanding between cultures within an increasingly intergrated European cultural area and contributes to lifelong learning.

Project partners are: Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg.