Latvia’s historical sound recordings – a new digital collection of the National Library of Latvia

25/10/2013
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Latvia’s historical sound recordings – a new digital collection of the National Library of Latvia
Latvia’s historical sound recordings – a new digital collection of the National Library of Latvia
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To mark the UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, the National Library of Latvia is launching a new digital audio collection – Latvia’s historical sound recordings: http://audio.lndb.lv/en/

The National Library of Latvia holds several hundred shellac records, published in the first half of the 20th century by companies such as "Bellaccord Electro", "His Master's Voice", Riga record factory "Līgo", etc. The musical content is varied – there are folk songs, popular music and choir songs, first performances of Latvian classical music and other compositions. Among the performers are many well-known names in Latvia such as Reiter's choir, Laivinieki brothers, Mariss Vetra, Elfrida Pakule, as well as artists less-known today. Latvia's Prime Minister's K. Ulmanis speech at the Riga Radiophone shortly after the coup in 1934 is one of the collection's rarities.

In cooperation with private collectors, museums and other memory institutions who hold historical and valuable sound recordings, this collection aims to reflect Latvia's sound recording history, especially the first half of the 20th century.

At present, the digital collection contains close to 300 sound objects. New recordings will be added regularly; it is estimated that by the end of 2014 the collection will include 2 000 objects. Most of the recordings are available online worldwide, except those that are still under copyright, available on the library premises, estimated at around 20% of the collection.