National Library of Latvia – one hundred

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National Library of Latvia – one hundred
National Library of Latvia – one hundred

In 2019, the National Library of Latvia (NLL) celebrates its centenary. Just a year younger than Latvia, it was founded on 29 August 1919 as the State Library of Latvia. Threatened by the spiritual darkness of different powers and stationed at dozens of addresses, the library has experienced a colourful hundred years. That has hardened it, made it grow up and better itself. In 1991, our country regained its independence and we got a new name − the National Library of Latvia, which today decorates the highest peak of the country's cutting-edge main book repository − Gaismas pils (Castle of Light), designed by Gunnar Birkerts.

At the same time, continuing what was begun during the country's centenary celebrations, this year the People's Bookshelf continues to collect gifts from library visitors − each book personally selected as a favourite, and containing a special message. The most significant anniversary gifts can be viewed at In addition, this year the People's Bookshelf is hoping to receive your gifts!

The hoopoe (Upupa epops) − a gorgeous bird, also found in Latvia, has been chosen as the emissary of the Library's anniversary. The drawing of the bird (1809) shown in our 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.





More information:
Augusts Zilberts
Head of Public Relations
National Library of Latvia
Phone: +371 26472501