Latvian Archives in Exile: selection of the archive materials, digitization, and interviews in the Latvian Centre Münster and in the House Annaberg of Baltic Christian Federation

Duration of the project

01.06.2021. - 30.09.2021.

Countries and institutions involved in the project

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University of Latvia
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University of Münster
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Latvian Centre in Münster
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House Annaberg of Baltic Christian Federation
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Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore

Project manager

Dr. Eva Eglāja-Kristsone

Aim of the project

The Latvian Centre in Münster (LCM) contains extensive archives of Latvian exile writers and the documentation of Latvian education and public organizations in Germany. In 2020, with the support from the Baltic-German University Liaison Office, researchers of ILFA identified and started to digitize LCM archives of the Latvian writers. It is necessary to continue the work by identifying, cataloging, and digitizing the LCM archive of public organizations, as well rich and unexplored materials about the history of Baltic culture in the second half of the 20th century that are located in the Baltic Christian Federation archives in House Annaberg (HA), including testimonies on the literary workshops of the association and annual congresses.

Digitization of the collection of Latvian public employees and organizations will ensure the preservation of materials in digital form, protecting them from destruction; (2) the research project will make the archives available to a wide range of researchers in Latvia and elsewhere in the world; (3) the research results, via the site literatura.lv and seminars, will also supplement public knowledge about Latvian cultural history, the public life of exile in Western Europe, especially in Germany, and also elsewhere in Europe after World War II; (4) the project will discover and make possible further research on the interrelationships between the Latvian diaspora and the country of residence, i.e., Germany, as well as cultural contacts among Baltics (Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Baltic Germans).

Main activities of the project and venues

  1. Review, evaluate and select materials for digitization (15–17 August 2021 in the Latvian Centre in Münster; 18–22 August in the House Annaberg).
  2. Digitize documents, manuscripts, letters, and photographs in high quality and resolution.
  3. Scientifically process the obtained collection, adding descriptions, references and metadata to the digitized materials.
  4. Conduct interviews with current and former employees of the archive in the House Annaberg.
  5. Create a collection of the digitized materials in the database literatura.lv and make it publicly available to researchers for further scientific work.
  6. Inform Baltic researchers and the general public about the collection of newly digitized materials on the website; information about the contribution of Austra Rudzīte and other personalities in the compilation of archives (seminar in the Latvian Centre (Münster), seminar in the House Annaberg (Annaberg), the closing seminar at the National Library of Latvia / Institute of Literature, Folklore, and Art of the University of Latvia (Riga), or in a remote environment).
  7. Publish information and information about the activities on social networks and media.

Direct and indirect target group of the project

Direct: researchers in humanities, employees of archives and museums, librarians, teachers, students, high school students ~ 300

Indirect: Latvian society; users of the site literatura.lv; average statistics: 24,000 individual visits per month