Latvian National Library to celebrate centenary

Celebrations are in preparation among the bookshelves as the Latvian National Library prepares to mark one hundred years of existence on Saturday, August 31.

Just a year younger than the Latvian state, it was founded on 29 August 1919 as the State Library of Latvia. Stationed at dozens of addresses since then and having had to endure the heavy hand of occupation, the library has experienced a colorful hundred years.

In 1991, Latvia regained its independence and it got a new name − the National Library of Latvia, which today occupies the eye-catching Gaismas pils (Castle of Light), a huge edifice designed by Gunnar Birkerts.

The hoopoe (Upupa epops) − a bird, also found in Latvia, has been chosen as the emblem of the Library's anniversary. The drawing of the bird (1809) shown in centenary materials is held in the collection of the Lettonica and Baltic Centre at the National Library of Latvia. The artist was Ernst Vilhelm Drümpelman (1760−1830), doctor to the von Meck family of the Liepupe estate.

The Library will celebrate its centenary on 31 August 2019, but there will be exhibitions, conferences, concerts and other events dedicated to the centenary throughout the year. See the link below for full details of these.

NLL calendar of events for 2019 (PDF in English)

On Saturday, August 31st the library will be open from 10 am to 8:30 pm, the National Library of Latvia with a diverse program of events for all ages and interests. Here is the full line-up:

NLL August 31 program (PDF in Latvian only)

If you can't make it to the library in person, you can take a virtual tour wherever you are in the world. 

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