Collections

National Library of Latvia

  • National Library of Latvia: Latvian Database of National Bibliography Analytics

    Descriptions of articles from serial publications (newspapers, magazines, collections of articles) published in Latvia since 1951 and descriptions of articles about Latvia and Latvians from editions published outside Latvia starting from 1980. Since May 2005 it has been possible to link from the database to the full article texts of Latvian newspapers, using Lursoft newspaper library (the service is accessible only to the registered users of the library). Information about articles from serial editions from 1917, 1918, 1919, 1937, 1938, 1943, 1944 is also available.

  • National Library of Latvia: Database of Rare books and Manuscripts

    The Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts of the National Library of Latvia stores currently more than 52 thousand various printed materials and manuscripts. The collection of manuscripts holds more than 400 units and personal archives – published and unpublished writings, manuscripts of literary works, letters, photos, etc. The collection of old printed books holds 63 incunabula. The oldest among them are Heinrich Herph’s book "Spiegel der Volkommenheit" (The Mirror of Perfection), printed by the Johannes Gutenberg’s successor. The collection preserves the oldest Latvian printed books, starting from 1586/87 which forms the core of the national book history. In addition, there are ancient books in foreign languages (Polish, German and Latin) printed in Latvia until 1830, important resources for researches about Latvia’s culture history. The printed works concerning Latvia history form a special group. Worth mentioning are S. Minster’s "Cosmographei" (Basel, 1550) which contains the oldest known text in Latvian and J. Hazentoedter’s The Lord’s Prayer. The collection of rare books also stores books of the 16th century printed by Plantins, Elseviers, Royal Printing House of Paris and other companies.

  • National Library of Latvia: Database of Latvian National Bibliography Monographies and Serials

    The database contains information about books published in Latvia since 1525, descriptions of books published outside Latvia about Latvia and Latvians – since 1940, descriptions of serial publications (newspapers, magazines, newsletters, collections of articles, yearbooks) – since 2000. Starting with 2006 – information about preprints included. Since 2009 – descriptions supplemented with images of book covers and contents of books.

  • National Library of Latvia: Collection of Maps from National Library of Latvia

    This cartographic collection embodies the vision of cartographers of bygone centuries and reveals their impression of Latvia. Many are the testimonies of Latvian history recorded in maps. The masterful artistic skills of printers and engravers are also indisputably seen here. The complicated course of its history and its geographical location at the crossroads of European powers explain why the outline of Latvia can be found in ancient maps depicting Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, Prussia and Lithuania, as well as Russia. The maps of the 16th and 17th centuries and some of the 18th century imprints are stored at the Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts of the NLL, including noteworthy atlases dedicated to the history of cartography (Abraham Ortelius, Gerhard Mercator, Ludvig August Mellin etc.), maps on separate sheets, and various cuttings from books and atlases. More recent maps dating from the 18th century are stored at the Department of Cartography. Part of this valuable collection has been digitised offering users three centuries of maps, on which are depicted Latvia or the territory of its historical regions. Many of the scanned materials are cuttings from the diverse editions of a particular period (atlases by A.Ortelius and G.Mercator, S.Minster’s “Cosmographei”, revised versions of Klaudios Ptolemaios’ maps from the 16th and early 17th centuries.

  • National Library of Latvia: Latvian History of Civilization in Images. Part A: Portraits

    The database contains portraits from the collection of the National Library of Latvia and the State Archive of Latvia. Their originals (drawings, silhouette portraits, daguerreotypes and photographs) have been created prior to 1914. At present the database contains 2200 portraits. Most pictures represent personalities identified by researchers of cultural history, nevertheless in the database are also included portraits of unknown people (possibly no longer identifiable). The database has been formed with support of the Latvian Culture Capital Foundation.

  • National Library of Latvia: Collection of Latvian Posters

    Collection of Latvian posters from Department of Small Prints and Graphic Documents of the National Library of Latvia includes posters, theatre and cinema bills, advertisements from 19 century to present. The collection provides an opportunity to follow the main trends in the development of poster art over more than 100 years. The seven thousand units large Poster Collection is the most sizeable and comprehensive not only in Latvia, but in the world.

  • National Library of Latvia: Newspapers of Latvia

    Full set of more than 100 newspaper titles, published in Latvia from 1886 till 1956. Data in PDF format, in Latvian, German, Latgalian (Latvian dialect) and Russian. The National
    Library of Latvia started its digitisation efforts in 1999 with the collection of the 19th-century newspapers. 350 000 pages have been scanned, OCRed and segmented into articles. The greatest effort so far has been made to digitise newspapers and journals, considering the bad physical state of these items, their historical and cultural value and demand for these items.

  • National Library of Latvia: Catalogue of National Library of Latvia

    OPAC of National Library of Latvia. Bibliographic descriptions of the collections (books, e-books, serials, theses and abstracts, maps, electronic documents, microforms, audio-video documents, printed music) of LaNB starting from the 17th –century material. Authority control is provided for names of persons, institutions, geographic areas and subjects. Records in more than 50 languages are organized according to the Library of Congress Subject Hedings (LCSH) Latvian version and UDC. The national collection consists of Latvian and foreign editions on Latvia and Latvians and works by Latvian authors. Humanities and Social Sciences are the most represented fields within the NLL collections. The collected editions in foreign languages cover all branches of science, however considering the specific fields covered by other major Latvian research libraries.

  • National Library of Latvia: Periodicals

    In 2008 NLL launched Periodika.lv, the NLL's collection of digitised historical periodicals in Latvian with the possibility to read full texts and search page by page. The Department of Periodicals stores one of the most significant and extensive collections of periodicals in Latvia from the 18th century to the present. It comprises approximately 715 thousand units. The collection holds more than 16,000 titles in 28 languages, among them in Latvian – since 1851, in Russian – since 1801, and in German – since 1701. The most significant part of the collection are periodicals in Latvian. The 1920s – 1940s were important in the history of Latvian press, when 1408 titles were published in Latvia in Latvian, but elsewhere in the world, both in the West and the East – 500 titles. The majority of Latvian periodicals in the collection are unique, being the first in a certain branch, certain speciality, as to their place of publication, among them also the oldest — "Latviešu Avīzes", "Vidzemes Latviešu Avīzes", "Mājas Viesis", "Pēterburgas Avīzes" and others. The Department of Periodicals has a comparatively extensive collection of humanities and social sciences magazines in Russian, German, English and other languages. Part of the collection has been digitised and made available online.

  • National Library of Latvia: In Search of Lost Latvia

    The collection collects images of places and both natural and artificial objects that have been lost over time and remain only in photographic form. The collection reflects the changes in Latvian history and promotes digitisation as a way of involving both cultural heritage institutions and the public in the creation of a database of local history. ‘In Search of Lost Latvia’ includes digital copies of ancient drawings, postcards, photos from the end of the 19th century until today. From ruins of medieval castles to railways and roads, from mills to river valleys, from ancient crafts to public buildings, the project documents the economic, social and cultural life of Latvia’ s society. Among more than 26 000 images and object description online are for example photographs of timber rafting – now a lost craft, railways and women collecting mushrooms (taking a break and feeding the local cats!). Over time, the Latvian cultural landscape has changed significantly. Part of the natural, historical, artistic and architectural heritage, as well as the economic and social structures didn't survive. Latvian cultural heritage suffered two world wars and the German and Soviet occupation.

  • National Library of Latvia: On the Roads

    On the Roads is a digital collection of maps and books thematically related to travel, tourism and roads in Latvia. The maps included in the collection show the territory of Latvia and its neighbours, dating from the 16th century to modern times. There are different maps of roads and railways, old tourism maps and city plans. The textual part of this collection includes the oldest travel descriptions in Latvian and tourism guide books in Latvian, German and Russian, published in Latvia between the second part of the 19th century until 1950.

  • National Library of Latvia: Collection of Latvian and Foreign Postcards

    The collection of postcards from Department of Small Prints and Graphic Documents of the National Library of Latvia includes excellent visual and iconographic material which reflects the history of postcard publishing from the last quarter of the 19th century to the present day.

  • National Library of Latvia: Collection of Latvian and Foreign Prints and Miniature Prints

    The collection of prints from the Department of Small Prints and Graphic Documents of the National Library of Latvia consists of two equally important and mutually complementary parts – ex libris and prints. The collection contains not only Latvian prints, but also an interesting collection of foreign prints with 18th-20th century works by English, French, German, Italian and other artists. The Small Prints Collection stores documents reflecting the social, economic and culture life in Latvia from 19th century to the present day.

  • National Library of Latvia: Collection of Latvian and Foreign Ex-Libris

    The collection of exlibris from Department of Small Prints and Graphic Documents of the National Library of Latvia.

  • National Library of Latvia: Graphics Collection of the Baltic Central Library. Riga

    Digitised pictures of Riga City from the archive of the Baltic Central Library (Department of the National Library of Latvia). The Baltic Central Library is a research oriented collection on the history, languages, ethnography, folklore and culture in the widest understanding of the Baltic nations. The picture collection contains approximately 54 thousand photos and postcards.

  • National Library of Latvia: Latvian Song Celebration Festival (1864–1940)

    Latvia has a tradition of Song and Dance Festivals organized every four years. The historical materials from the first Song Festival in 1864 till the Latgale Song Festival in 1940 can be explored online. The collection has been built on the basis of the book "Latvian Song Festival history. 1864-1940" by the musicologist Valentine BĒRZKALNE. The collection offers 17 posters, 19 books and 35 postcards and photographs available in JPG format (long edge - 1,200 pixels). The collection includes also documents containning important information about the organization of holidays, short biographies of musicians, concert program, lyrics, choir singers as well as details about museums, exhibitions, traffic, hotels and local authorities, doctors and more.

  • National Library of Latvia: Database of Graphic Editions

    Database of Graphic Editions provides insight both as bibliographic descriptions and visually into the following collections: Collection of Latvian Posters, Collection of Latvian and Foreign Postcards, Collection of Latvian and Foreign Ex-Libris, Collection of Latvian Prints and Miniature Prints.

  • National Library of Latvia: Latvia's Historic Shellac Records

    The digital collection of Latvia’s historical sound recordings takes as its basis the production of "Bellaccord Electro", as well as shellac records issued in Riga after World War II. Records of other companies are included if they contain Latvian music or performers. This collection aims to reflect and document the music scene of Latvia in the first half of the 20th century in a wide variety of genres. In 1931 Helmars Rudzītis establishes the record factory "Bellaccord Electro". This enabled local musicians to make recordings in their homeland. The fate of "Bellaccord Electro” was closely linked to that of Latvia itself, and is reflected in the varying images of the labels (e.g., the word "Sonderklasse" printed on the label during the German occupation), and in the changes of the factory name and owners. After the Soviet occupation the factory was nationalised.

  • National Library of Latvia: Georeferenced maps of Latvia

    Explore Georeferenced maps of Latvia. This Collection contains mostly historical topographic maps of Latvia from the 19th and 20th centuries which are detailed and precise enough to be geo-referenced. Maps can be put on top of each other and by using transparency tools users can identify the changes that have occurred over time. The collection moreover contains a database of geo-referenced Latvian toponyms, enriched with historic place names.

  • National Library of Latvia: Digitised Books from The National Library of Latvia

    This digital collection of books contains about 8.000 books from the 17th century up to the late 20th century. Both OCR and segmentation (layout recognition) have been performed on all the books contained in this collection, which allows users to run simple and advanced full-text search queries. Although this collection represents less than 1% of the physical holdings of the National Library of Latvia, those books have been carefully selected in order to represent a wide variety of topics: fiction, science, culture, history, law, philosophy and others.