Lietuvos mokslo istorikų ir filosofų bendrija

The 29th Baltic Conference on the History of Science

Konferencija Scientia et historia – 2021

Konferencija Scientia et historia – 2020

Konferencija Scientia et historia – 2019

Konferencija Scientia et historia – 2018

Konferencija Scientia et historia – 2017

Konferencija Scientia et historia – 2016

The 29th Baltic Conference on the History of Science, Vilnius


Nature Research Centre, Vilnius (Lithuania)


The Documentary Film Recordings by Biologist Pranciškus Baltrus Šivickis




The famous Lithuanian and Filipino zoologist Pranciškus Baltrus Šivickis (1882–1968) was a many-sided person. He was interested in various fields of zoology and was involved in many other activities as well: one of his hobbies was filming. In this presentation, we will survey his documentary film recordings from 1928–1934 and show some clips from them. Judging by the captures, it is clear that Šivickis purchased a recording camera right before leaving the Philippines in the spring of 1928 because there is little footage from his stay in the Philippines and quite a bit of footage from the port of Manila when he was leaving for Lithuania. If Šivickis had bought the camera earlier, there would have been more shots of the Philippines; even perhaps images of Puerto Galera where he had founded the Marine Biology Station of the University of the Philippines. He filmed sights on his cruise from the Philippines to Europe. In Lithuania, he filmed many places and famous people. Many of the persons filmed have been identified. They are famous Lithuanian scientists, professors of Vytautas Magnus University – the chemist and politician Jonas Šimkus, the philosopher Stasys Šalkauskis, the hydrologist Steponas Kolupaila, the geophysicist Kazys Sleževičius, Šivickis himself, as well as his students, future researchers and teachers – Juozas Maniukas, Teklė Kiselytė, K. Jasiukėnaitė, Sara Goldmanaitė (later Finkelbrandienė), Irena Babuškinaitė, Natalija Kristijanovaitė (later Likevičienė); artists – Antanas Žmuidzinavičius with his wife and daughter, the vocalist Antanas Sodeika with his family, the family of the Italian opera singer Oreste Marini, and the writer Petras Cvirka; political and public figures – the lawyer Mykolas Sleževičius with his family, the attorney Mečys Mackevičius, and Emilija Putvinskienė with her family. The film recordings also include footage of Lithuanian places – Kaunas, Palanga, Kretinga, Klaipėda, Šventoji, Šiauliai, the Graužikai estate, Žuvintas Lake, the Plungė stud farm, and so forth. Footage also includes some interesting means of transportation of those times, such as the “konkė” (a horse-drawn streetcar) captured on Laisvės Avenue in Kaunas. Though some of the films are of poor quality, they nevertheless are valuable from the historical point of view. There are some unique shots of the philosopher Stasys Šalkauskis (during the Soviet years, filmed material about him was purposely destroyed) and three short episodes with Šivickis himself (the only filmed material about him).