The main building of the National Library of Latvia in Riga
|Established||29 August 1919|
|Location||8 buildings in Riga, Latvia|
|Size||4.1 million books and other publications|
The National Library of Latvia (Latvian : Latvijas Nacionālā bibliotēka), also known as Castle of Light (Gaismas pils), is a national cultural institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture of Latvia. The National Library of Latvia was formed in 1919 after the independent Republic of Latvia was proclaimed in 1918. The first supervisor of the Library was Jānis Misiņš, a librarian and the founder of the Latvian scientific bibliography (1862–1945).
The current building was designed in 1989 by noted Latvian-American architect Gunnar Birkerts (1925-2017), who emigrated to the United States and made his career there. It was constructed in the early 21st century and opened in 2014. Today the Library plays an important role in the development of Latvia's information society, providing Internet access to residents and supporting research and lifelong education.
The National Library was founded on 29 August 1919, one year after independence, as the State Library (Valsts Bibliotēka).Its first chief librarian and bibliographer was Jānis Misiņš (1862-1944), who made his immense private collection the basis of the new library. Within a year, until 1920, the stocks had grown to 250,000 volumes. Starting in the same year, all publishers were obliged to hand in a deposit copy of their works. Since 1927, the Library has published the National Bibliography of Latvia.
There were significant additions in 1939 and 1940, when the State Library took over many of the libraries and collections of the Baltic Germans. Most resettled to the Nazi German Reich. Among these collections was a large part of the collection of the Society for History and Archaeology of Russia's Baltic Provinces, est. 1834, the primary historical society of the Baltic Germans.In 1940, holdings encompassed 1.7 million volumes, so that they had to be stored in two different locations in the Old Town (Jēkaba iela 6/8 and Anglikāņu iela 5).
During World War II, Germany invaded Latvia and occupied Riga (1941-1944). At that time, German authorities renamed the State Library as Country Library (Zemes bibliotēka), eliminating reference to a sovereign Latvian state).
Following the war, Latvia was under Soviet rule, and the institution was known as State Library of the Latvian SSR (Latvijas PSR Valsts bibliotēka).According to Soviet customs, in 1966 the library received an honorary name, commemorating Vilis Lācis, a writer and the late prime minister of Soviet Latvia. From 1946, literature deemed 'dangerous' from the Soviet perspective was withdrawn from the shelves and until 1988, when the Soviet Union gave up control, could be accessed only with a special permit. In 1956, the State Library moved into a new building at Krišjāņa Barona iela.
Since the reestablishment of Lativan national independence in 1991, the institution has been called National Library of Latvia. In 1995, it received as a permanent loan the Baltic Central Library of Otto Bong (1918-2006), a collection pertaining to the history, regional studies and languages of the Baltic countries.In 2006, the National Library joined the European Library online service.
The Library's holdings today encompass more than 5 million titles, incl. about 18,000 manuscripts from the 14th century up to modern times.One of the characteristic cornerstones of the NLL, which characterizes every national library, is the formation of the collection of national literature, its eternal storage and long-term access.
The NLL is a centre of theoretical research and practical analyses of the activities of Latvian libraries. The Library carries out the functions of the centre of Latvia Interlibrary Loan, ensures the library and information service to the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia – the Saeima, implements the standardisation of the branch. Since the very outset, its main concern has been the national bibliography . The massive union catalogue Seniespiedumi latviešu valodā (Ancient Prints in Latvian 1525–1855, published in Riga, 1999)received the Spīdola Prize in 2000 and was awarded The Beautiful Book of the Year 99. In 2005, the Letonikas grāmatu autoru rādītājs (1523-1919) (Index of the Authors of Lettonica Books (1523–1919)) was published, providing information about versatile branches of science and representatives of various nations, Latvia being the main focus of their publications.
The NLL includes several collections of posters (artists Oskars Šteinbergs (1882–1937), Sigismunds Vidbergs (1890–1970), Raoul Dufy (1877–1953), Bernhard Borchert (1863–1945), Niklāvs Strunke (1894–1966) and others).
Digitising collections at the NLL started in 1999. At present the Latvian National Digital Library Letonica, which was formed in 2006, holds digitized collections of newspapers, pictures, maps, books, sheet-music and audio recordings. In 2008 NLL launched two major digital projects. Periodika.lv is the NLL's collection of digitized historical periodicals in Latvian with the possibility to read full texts and search page by page.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 in another digital collection of the National Library of Latvia.
The first discussions about the need for a new National Library began as early as 1928, and the significance of the project of this century was confirmed by high-level international recognition of the value of its collections. In 1999 almost all 170 UNESCO member states adopted a resolution during its General Conference,calling on member states and the international community to ensure all possible support for the implementation of the NLL project.
The continuous growth of the Library had made it necessary to transfer parts of the stocks into other buildings. By NLL had its holdings distributed among five locations in Riga.Furthermore, since 1998, some stocks had to be stored in a depot in Silakrogs outside the capital.
The Parliament finally authorized a new building to be constructed on the left bank of the Daugava River. On 15 May 2008, after discussions lasting for many years, the state agency Three New Brothers and the Union of National Construction Companies signed the contract on the construction of the new National Library of Latvia. On 18 May 2014, the main facility of the Library at Krišjāņa Barona iela was closed for the move.
In 2008, construction started according to the design of noted Latvian-American architect Gunnar Birkerts, who had been based in the Detroit, Michigan area since the early 1950s.He had been commissioned to design the building in 1989. He was inspired by the Glass Mountain of Latvian mythology.
The new building has 13 floorsand is 68 m high. Construction costs were given as 193 million euros. 480 people work there.
As part of Riga's programme for its title as European Capital of Culture, selected holdings were symbolically carried from the old to the new building by a human chain on 18 January 2014. The new building was finally opened on 29 August that year, the Library's 95th anniversary.
Today the NLL building is a dominant landmark on the Riga cityscape. It has space for conferences and conventions, and other community events. Among others, it hosted the 4th summit of the EU's Eastern Partnership programme in May 2015,and a debate chaired by the BBC's Jonathan Dimbleby on 14 March 2016.
Cēsis, is a town in Latvia located in the northern part of the Central Vidzeme Upland. Cēsis is on the Gauja River valley, and is built on a series of ridges above the river overlooking the woods below. Cēsis was one of the candidate cities for the title of European Capital of Culture 2014.
Ventspils is a city in northwestern Latvia in the historical Courland region of Latvia, and is the sixth largest city in the country. At the beginning of 2017, Ventspils had a population of 39,286. It is situated on the Venta River and the Baltic Sea, and has an ice-free port. The city's name literally means "castle on the Venta", referring to the Livonian Order's castle built alongside the Venta River. Ventspils holds the national record for the highest temperature ever recorded in Latvia with 37.8 °C (100.0 °F) on 4 August 2014.
Gustavs Celmiņš, was a Latvian politician, who was the founder of the Pērkonkrusts.
Latvijas Skautu un Gaidu Centrālā Organizācija is the primary national Scouting and Guiding organisation of Latvia and a member of both the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and the World Organization of the Scout Movement. The organization had 759 members as of 2011.
The German National Library is the central archival library and national bibliographic centre for the Federal Republic of Germany. Its task is to collect, permanently archive, comprehensively document and record bibliographically all German and German-language publications since 1913, foreign publications about Germany, translations of German works, and the works of German-speaking emigrants published abroad between 1933 and 1945, and to make them available to the public. The German National Library maintains co-operative external relations on a national and international level. For example, it is the leading partner in developing and maintaining bibliographic rules and standards in Germany and plays a significant role in the development of international library standards. The cooperation with publishers has been regulated by law since 1935 for the Deutsche Bücherei Leipzig and since 1969 for the Deutsche Bibliothek Frankfurt.
Mikhail Osipovich Eisenstein was a civil engineer and architect working in Riga, the present-day capital of Latvia, when the city was part of the Russian Empire. He was active as an architect in the city at a time of great economic expansion and consequent enlargement, which coincided with the flourishing of Art Nouveau architecture. During the years 1901–1906, Eisenstein designed many of the best-known Art Nouveau buildings of Riga. His son, Sergei Eisenstein, became a well-known Soviet film director.
The Jelgava massacres were the killing of the Jewish population of the city of Jelgava, Latvia that occurred in the second half of July or in early August 1941. The murders were carried out by German police units under the command of Alfred Becu, with a significant contribution by Latvian auxiliary police organized by Mārtiņš Vagulāns.
Salaspils camp was established at the end of 1941 at a point 18 km (11 mi) southeast of Riga (Latvia), in Salaspils. The Nazi bureaucracy drew distinctions between different types of camps. Officially, it was the Salaspils Police Prison and Re-Education Through Labor Camp. It was also known as camp Kurtenhof after the German name for the city of Salaspils. Planning for the development of the camp and its prisoner structure changed several times. In 1943, Heinrich Himmler briefly considered converting the camp into an official concentration camp (Konzentrationslager), which would have formally subordinated the camp to the National Security Main Office, but nothing came of this. The camp has had a lasting legacy in Latvian and Russian culture due to the severity of the treatment at the camp, especially with regard to children.
Šķēde Manor is a manor house in Šķēde Parish, Saldus Municipality in the historical region of Zemgale, in Latvia.
Bellaccord Electro, generally known as Bellaccord, was the largest record label in Latvia existing in 1931-1950, then renamed.
Skanste is a neighbourhood located in the center of Riga, the capital of Latvia, and is currently becoming its most modern part. Geographically, the neighborhood is situated in the northern part of the railway ring on the right bank of the Daugava, bordering with the Sarkandaugava, Brasa, Centrs, and Pētersala-Andrejsala neighborhoods.
The Latvian National Opera, Riga, is the national opera of Latvia. The opera company includes the Latvian National Ballet (LNB), LNO Chorus, and LNO Orchestra.
The Library of the University of Latvia is the main study and research centre of the University of Latvia. It is also the largest library of institution of higher education in Latvia. The Library serves needs of students and staff of the University of Latvia. The users of the Library can access more than 1.7 million information resources in different scientific disciplines. Library provides qualitative, varied and contemporary services; electronic and printed resources; and united service in the Central library and all 11 branch libraries of the University of Latvia.
Bernhard Wachstein was a Jewish community historian and bibliographer who rebuilt, expanded, and modernized the library of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien. He also performed important bibliographic work, particularly relating to the history of Austrian Jews.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Riga, Latvia.
The Art Nouveau architecture in Riga makes up roughly one third of all the buildings in the centre of Riga, making Latvia's capital the city with the highest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture anywhere in the world. Built during a period of rapid economic growth, most of Riga's Art Nouveau buildings date from between 1904 and 1914. The style is most commonly represented in multi-storey apartment buildings. Stylistic influences derived not least from present-day Austria, Finland and Germany, while the establishment of a faculty of architecture in Riga in 1869 was instrumental in providing a local cadre of architects. This included, but was not limited to, some of the first formally trained ethnic Latvian architects. As elsewhere, the Art Nouveau movement in Riga was driven by a desire to express greater individuality, local attachment and a more rational kind of architecture than that which had dominated during the 19th century. Stylistically, the Art Nouveau architecture of Riga can be further divided into four different stages: Eclectic, Perpendicular, National Romantic; and Neo-Classical.
Madonna with Machine Gun is an oil painting by the Latvian artist Kārlis Padegs from 1932. The painting belongs to the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga.
Matti Pohto, born 7 March 1817 in Isokyrö, in Finland, died 30 July 1857 in Vyborg, formerly part of Finland, was a Finnish bookbinder and book collector. Pohto was an uneducated man of peasant stock who is known for his collection that saved a significantly large number of pre-19th century Finnish literature.
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