Latvian National Oral History Archive: from collecting to disseminating


In the late 1980s the Latvian Culture Foundation began to collect and publish people’s diaries. After the restoration of independence idea about collecting people’s life stories was transferred, together with its initiators, to the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, where the National Oral History (NOH) project was established in 1992. From that time project has been financed by the Science Council of Latvia, state research program Letonika and other sources. At the present NOH archive contains approximately 4500 audio-recorded life stories (both in analog and digital format), recorded in different places of Latvia, as well as outside Latvia, and also written memoirs and video records. NOH archive is open for researchers and others interested in life stories (writers, artists, relatives of those whose life stories we have collected), but finding of the most useful sources can be somehow tricky due to the lack of comprehensive database with all of the metadata. The work of digitization, description and transcribing of the archive’s sources is on-going, but is affected by the lack of resources, both human and financial. Successful step in this process has been reached by the collaboration with the digital archives of the Archives of Latvian Folklore ( However, the sources of NOH archive will never be freely/entirely accessible online due to the personal data protection and ethical considerations.

Oct 10, 2019
Rīga (Latvija)
Fotogrāfs: Aivars Reinholds
Maija Krūmiņa
vadošā pētniece

Vēsturniece, Latvijas Universitātes Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūta pētniece