Each country has its well-known and loved literary characters whose essence is deeply connected to the identity of a nation or region. This exhibition is about those characters, introducing the fictional world, authors and cultural surrounding of smaller European states. Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg are represented with their literary characters. Learn about the project

Comparing Learning Opportunities in the Field of Literary Heritage

Literary societies and museums exist in all the countries of the European Union. They play a central role in preserving and transmitting the literary heritage, make important contributions to contemporary literary life and are a pillar of lifelong education, enabling adults to expand their knowledge and their skills. However, despite their having comparable tasks and facing comparable challenges all over Europe, too little international communication has taken place between them so far. Therefore, it was felt by some institutions and organizations that more transnational exchange and more cooperation on a European level would be beneficial for their work. This is how the idea of a common project among partners working in the same field, which was to evolve into a Grundtvig learning partnership, came into being.

The Grundtvig partnership

The Grundtvig learning partnership Comparing Learning Opportunities in the Field of Literary Heritage was approved by the European Commission’s Grundtvig Lifelong Learning Programme for the years 2011-13. The EU’s Grundtvig programme, named after the Danish pastor and thinker on adult education Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig (1783-1872), aims to provide adults with ways to improve their knowledge and skills. It targets teachers, trainers, staff and learners in adult education, including those associated with voluntary groups, associations and research centres. The programme funds a range of learning activities, such as adult learning staff travelling abroad for exchanges and professional experience.

The Project

The overall aim of the Grundtvig partnership Comparing Learning Opportunities in the Field of Literary Heritage was to provide the participants with opportunities to compare and discuss learning opportunities for adults in the field of literary heritage with experts in the same field from other countries, as well as to disseminate these findings in the general public. The working plan included group meetings in each of the participating countries as well as job-shadowings for museum staff and learners according to the needs and interests of the respective partners. In order to broaden the dissemination into the wider public, it was decided, among other things, that the partnership should also have tangible results in the form of three lasting products, towards which all partners contributed in a cooperative manner:

  1. the survey based on a common questionnaire;
  2. an online exhibition on literary characters from central works of our national literatures;
  3. a publicly accessible website or weblog to act as a forum for the exchange of information, this locates in http://literarygrundtvig.blogspot.com

The exhibition European Literary Characters

The virtual exhibition about fictional characters from our countries’ literatures is based on the idea that literary characters, maybe more than works as a whole, provide wider audiences with direct and personal access to literature. Ulysses, Don Quixote, King Lear, Faust and Anna Karenina people the imagination even of those who have not read the corresponding works. If this holds for the classics of world literature, it should also hold for characters from lesser known works. The exhibition is meant to give the wider European public access to the sometimes less known literatures of the partnership’s countries. It is potentially open-ended and we are planning to add new characters from new countries. So the exibition works as a small database of European literary characters.

Partner institutions

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