Archives of Latvian Folklore (ALF) of the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art, University of Latvia was founded in 1924, it is the oldest and largest centre of folklore collection, material storage, publication and research in Latvia, keeping one of the most voluminous folklore collections in Europe totalling at ca. 3 million folklore items.
The ALF holds manuscripts, audio and video recordings and images (both drawings and photographic), portraying both the folklore informants and the folklore collection history in Latvia, along with the sights of various places in Latvia now lost. These materials document the way of life, world perception, history and language over the course of several centuries.
The aim of the digital archives of the ALF is to make the material from the holdings of the Archives of Latvian Folklore, namely – manuscripts, images, audio and video recordings, and other valuable collections of folklore material – available online and readily usable.
The digital archives of the ALF are open to public free of charge. Anyone has the opportunity not only to read, view and listen to folksongs, legends, folk-tales, and material of other genres, but also to discover the collections of folklore material as a unique valuable heritage, recorded, gathered and contributed to the ALF by persons having left significant trace in the culture history of Latvia, many schools, higher education institutions and other organisations of Latvia.
The digital archives of the ALF offers the researchers of folklore relation of the material to various indices of material and by various genre classification principles. By development of a detailed metadata system and text search tools the digital archives is built as a research instrument, which is of particular use to students and researchers of folklore and traditional culture and the intangible cultural heritage.
The digital platform of ALF is a mean of communication with the public. Everyone is welcome to participate in the further development of the digital content in the following ways: transcribing of manuscripts, so these become searchable by automatic means, translating the materials into other languages, recognising and describing the people and places depicted in the images, adding personal details of folklore informants and collectors.
This Project is implemented by the Archives of Latvian Folklore (ALF) in collaboration with Ainars Brūvelis (M. Sc., an entrepreneur, engineer; development of the web solution and its initial funding). The technical implementation of the Project was carried out by the company SEED IT (an IT company, that has been established by experienced IT specialists).
Head of the team: Sandis Laime
Programmers: Uldis Ķirsis & SEED IT team
Editors: Elīna Gailīte, Justīne Jaudzema, Ilze Ļaksa-Timinska, Antra Upeniece, Elvīra Žvarte, Ilze Cepurniece, Arta Krūze
Researchers, consultants: Dace Bula, Ieva Garda-Rozenberga, Baiba Krogzeme-Mosgorda, Sandis Laime, Aigars Lielbārdis, Elga Melne, Gatis Ozoliņš, Guntis Pakalns, Una Smilgaine, Ieva Tihovska, Rita Grīnvalde, Māra Vīksna, Sanita Reinsone, Digne Ūdre, Ginta Pērle-Sīle, Ainars Brūvelis
Former staff: Lingita Lina Bopulu (scanning assistant), Signe Raudive (scanning assistant), Anna Laganovska (scanning assistant), Kristīne Pokratniece (editor), Sanita Reinsone (head of the team 2014-2017, 2019-2020), Artis Sīlis (IT)
Contacts and support
Folklore.lv/garamantas support group for news, discussions and questions at the Facebook.
We thank the following persons for the translations:
Nadezda Alekseeva, Tsimafey Avilin, Udo Bongartz, Asta Katute, Hannes Korjus, Kaisa Kulasalu, Svetlana Pogodina, Kristīne Pokratniece, Valda Salmiņa, Inga Sindi.
The project later is additionally funded by Ministry of Education and Science (program 05.04.00) and State Culture Capital Foundation.