Tuesday, 22 May, at 16.00 will see the opening of The State before Statehood. The Century of Liberation 1817-1918 exhibition in the atrium and exhibition hall No 1 of the National Library of Latvia (NLL), as a part of the Latvia's centenary celebrations. The exhibition tells about the hundred years before the establishment of the Latvian state, a century that completely transformed Latvian society and enabled a modern political nation to be born. The exhibition will be open until 19 August. Entrance is free.
The Latvian state was founded by a society which had experienced rapid evolution in the 19th century. It was a time rich in dynamic discoveries and change in both Latvia and Europe. Political, social and technological revolutions shook the continent, but for Latvians, this century brought freedom, education and prosperity, self-awareness, the recognition of new values and a joint struggle to achieve these. It was a time when farmhands grew up and became statesmen.
The curators of The State Before Statehood. The Century of Liberation 1817-1918 exhibition are Jānis Šiliņš PhD, Mārtiņš Mintaurs PhD and Vija Daukšte PhD, while Krista and Reinis Dzudzilo were responsible for the ingenious design. The exhibition features a number of artefacts from the NLL collection, the significance and messages of which are also enhanced by the layout of the space.
Among the exhibits is, for example, a school atlas published in 1880, the first ever time a map included the place "Latvia", and Descriptions of our Homeland and Some Brief Received Appendices, compiled by prominent jaunlatvietis (New Latvian) Krišjānis Barons in 1859, the first geography book in the Latvian language. One exhibit, symbolising the rights of the Latvian people at the time when jaunlatvietis Krišjānis Valdemārs formed the Baltic Sea Exhaustion Society (1848), is a container of Baltic Sea water. In turn, the colour of Latvia’s soil as a cohesive element is also utilised in the design. To illustrate how a farmhand becomes a statesman in just a hundred years, architectural elements are also used in the layout – a 19th century Kurzeme farmstead and the doorway of a 20th century rental apartment.
This year, the NLL will offer an extensive programme of events on the formation of Latvia's statehood, organising both exhibitions and international conferences. Up-to-date news will be available at www.lnb.lv.
Information prepared by:
Public Relations Manager
National Library of Latvia
Phone: +371 26472501