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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Baltic Digital Collections: Latvia

This guide provides digital resources to assist scholars studying the Baltic region. Included in the guide are both digital and digitized collections both from and about Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The guide includes vernacular and English sources


Map of Latvia (1925)This section provides digital resources for materials published in Latvia or about Latvians and/or Latvian culture. The majority of the resources are from the National Library of Latvia's digital collection. However, scholarly publications are available from both the University of Latvia and Riga Technical University. Latvian sources covered in this section include:

  • books
  • periodicals
  • maps
  • sound recordings
  • academic publications
  • cultural resources

Latvian Digital Resources

National Library of Latvia LogoNational Library of Latvia

The National Library of Latvia has digitized much of its collections and partnered with other organizations to make their collections readily available on the internet. The NLL collection contains vernacular texts as well as texts in English, Russian, French, German, and Spanish regarding Latvia and Latvians. Users can search NLL holdings, free-access databases, and databases created by the National Library of Latvia simultaneously using Primo:

Users can also access digitized collections that are readily available to download via the following digital collections.



The National Library of Latvia’s book portal is a digital archive of over 6,000 Latvian texts. The digitized books have been selected by popularity, cultural significance, and for preservation purposes. Users can browse by collection, theme, and author. As well, most books are searchable by text.

Periodical Databases


The National Library of Latvia’s periodical portal contains digital copies of over 3,000 newspapers and magazines from 1612 to the present. Users can search by keyword, periodical title, author and date.

Academic Articles in Latvian

Acedemia is the online repository for all academic works produced at Latvian universities and scientific institutions. Users can search the database for articles, theses, dissertations, conference proceedings and other academic works. Users are advised to use Internet Explorer to access PDF files of hosted on the site.

Newspapers of Latvia

Archive of historical newspapers of Latvia. Archives are organized by publishing location.  The collection contains newspapers published in the following cities in Latvia dating back from 1886 to 1940: Riga, Kuldiga, Liepaja, Ventspils, Jelgava, Valmiera, Limbazi, the Latgale region, and St. Petersburg.

Latvian Literature

In addition to the National Library of Latvia’s main collection (, there are special collections for digital resources related to famous Latvian pastor and author Gotthard Friedrich Stender, playwright and poet Aspazija, and a collection of children’s literature.

G.F. StenderG.F. Stender Collection

The digitized collection of G.F. Stender includes book, articles and preserved manuscripts published by the founder of Latvian secular literature, Gothard Friedrich Stender (1714 – 1796). Users can browse by publication type or timescale.

Collection of Rainis and Aspazija

Collection of works by the famous Latvian playwright and poet Aspazija (Elza Johanna Emilija Lizete Pliekšāne) and husband Rainis (Jānis Pliekšāns). The collection is divided by documents related to Aspazija and Rainis and contains literary works, personal letters, photographs and portraits.

Children’s Collection

The Latvian National of Latvia’s children collection includes digitized books of children’s literature and illustrations by famous Latvian illustrators. Users can search by author, illustrator, or intended age group.


16th-18th Century Maps

The National Library of Latvia’s cartographic collection can be partially viewed through their online website. The collection includes maps from the 16th to first half of the 18th century that include Latvia. The maps include those of the historic regions of Livonia, Poland- Lithuania, Scandinavia, Russia, Northern Europe, Europe, and the Baltic Sea. Users can the historic maps both by region and by name of the map creator (cartographer, engraver, or publisher).

Interactive Historic Maps

Through the National Library of Latvia’s website, users can browse historic maps of Latvia as a layer over a current base layer map of Latvia for geographic reference. Maps can be searched by title and date. The database contains maps dated from 1588-1983.

Cultural Resources

Latvian Cultural Canon

The Latvian Cultural Canon contains general information and resources on the following subject areas of Latvian culture: Folk traditions, Lithuanian Song FestivalArchitecture & Design, Performing Arts, Music, Literature, Visual Arts, and Movies.

Historical Sound Recordings of Latvia

This collection includes digital files of the historic recordings of music recorded in Latvia or by Latvian artists in the first half of the twentieth century. The basis of the collection are the recordings from “Bellaccord Electro,” a record label founded in Riga in 1931. “Bellaccord Electro” continued to release recordings during the German occupation and was nationalized after the Soviet occupation.

A digital archive of the Latvian Song Celebration Festival (1864–1940)

A collection of posters, programs and photos from the Latvian Song Celebration Festivals dating from 1864 to 1940. The collection is based on the text “Latviešu Dziesmu svētku vēsture. 1864–1940” by Valentīna Bērzkalna. Users can browse objects by the date of the festival and download them in JPG format.

Latvian History of Culture in Images- Portraits

This collection includes over 2,200 portraits digitized from the collection of the Latvian National Library and of the Latvian State Historical Archives. They include drawings, silhouette, portraits, daguerrotypes and photographs, all from the period prior to 1914. The portraits include both historical figures of note and unknown persons. Users can search the collection by last name of the subject and author. 

In Search of Lost Latvia

Lost Latvia is a cultural heritage project to preserve photographs, postcards, and drawings from the 19th-20th century. The goal of the project is document cultural heritage that was lost during the World Wars, German, and Russian occupation. Users can search the database by them and geographic area.


University of Latvia

University of LatviaUniversity of Latvia provides a digital repository to provide access to the scientific achievements of the university. The repository houses the publications of university staff including: published articles, doctoral thesis and abstracts, conference proceedings, administrative, scientific and funded project reports and other electronic documents.

E-resource Repository

They also provide an open access repository of the university’s doctoral theses:

Doctoral Theses


Science and Religion Dialogue Prints of University of Latvia

Finally, SciReprints provides an open-access collection of Science and Religion Dialogue prints originating from the University of Latvia. The collection contains theological articles that explore the issues of science, are written from scientific viewpoint or use scientific argumentation, and scientific articles that make religious conclusions or contain religious implications written by scholars at the University of Latvia.

Riga Technical University

RIga Technical University

Riga Technical University provides an online open-access repository of the Scientific Journals of Riga Technical University and doctoral theses of 

the university since 2010. In most cases, the journals date back to 2008.

Riga Technical University Repository