Collection of Memory Albums

RepositoryArchives of Latvian Folklore
Submitted by
TitleCollection of Memory Albums

Atmiņu albumi

Memory albums, also called autograph albums or school notebooks, belong to the traditions of folk writings. They are created as souvenirs, the purpose of which is to retain the written evidence of people (friends and acquaintances) met by the album’s owner during a certain period of his or her life. An album entry usually consists of a dedication text (album rhyme, literary aphorism, proverb etc.), the writer’s signature and often also an illustration. Memory albums came into Latvian society from the German culture in the second half of the 19th century, and during the 20th century became particularly popular among schoolchildren.

The oldest fragments of memory albums at the Archives of Latvian Folklore date back to the 1880’s and are found in the collection of the local historian Jānis Kučers [1742]. The albums collected during the Soviet period in the folklore expeditions all around Latvia, can be found in the materials of these expeditions. A special collection of memory albums [2121] was started in 2000 on the basis of the material gathered and studied by Baiba Krogzeme-Mosgorda for her doctoral thesis (2005) and later for her monograph on the album tradition of Latvian schoolchildren (2013). Nowadays the collection [2121] consists of 55 memory albums, of which the oldest is from 1900, but the newest was written in 1999. Almost all of them have belonged to schoolchildren – mainly girls. The majority was created in Riga, but some regions of Latvia are represented, as well.

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