Kolberg got interested in the culture of Lithuania in the 1840s. In 1846 he prepared and got permission to publish ‘O pieśniach litewskich i melodie do pieśni litewskich ‘[About Lithuanian songs and melodies to Lithuanian songs], a paper that was included the following year in a literate magazine ‘Dzwon Literacki’.
At that time Kolberg did not know the Lithuanian language, so he had two informants and translators who helped him to edit 11 songs and 15 melodies to this publication. When he published ‘Pieśni ludu litewskiego’ [The songs of the Lithuanian people] some 10 years after that, he received an assistance of the priest Lucjan Godlewski and Mikołj Ankielewicz, a translator and researcher of Lithuanian language and history. Kolberg was very close to the latter. They both planned a collective research of Lithuania and the Lower Lithuania in spring 1857, but they did not manage to conduct it.
Kolberg, however, came to Lithuania probably in 1858. He visited then such places as Calvary, Marijampolė and Seinai. A modest material which he brought with him was edited and translated by Ankielewicz.