The Archives are keeping all kinds of materials: manuscripts in handwriting and in typescript, audiovisual materials like phonograph reels, tapes, cassettes and VHS video recordings, there are also photographs and drawings. The digitalisation process of all kinds of materials are taking place.
In order to make the collected material usable, principles for its preservation and cataloging were established in 1920s. Laying the foundations of those, the international experience of 1920s were used. Until now these principles have basically remained the same — the processing of the material begins with its registration and establishing the genre. Each collection, submitted either by an individual or an institution, receives a unique number within the particular collection. By the year 2013 there were 2178 collections at the Archives. The material sent in by the same collector is appended to his/her proceeding collection in the archive. Thus each text or the variant of folklore is turned into an archive item. As a result the collections may greatly differ in size: some contain a single text, while the number of items in other can reach hundreds of thousands, like in that of the University of Latvia, started in 1935 and still receiving material from contemporary students.
The accessibility of the material is ensured by indices and card catalogues.
There are 6 indices in the LFK:
- the systematic (indicating overall contents of each collection),
- topographic(incomplete yet),
- the noun index for “Latvju Dainas”,
- the topographic index for “Latvju Dainas”,
- the single variant text index of “Latvju Dainas”.
All three indices for “Latvju Dainas” are published (in LFK there is also a manuscript for noun index from prewar period).
There are also 13 card catalogues:
- those of folk-tales,
- legends (thematic and partial topographic),
- riddles (according to main objects),
- proverbs (thematic types),
- folksongs (functional thematic),
- longer songs of recent origin (thematic),
- folk choreography,
- customs (thematic and topographic),
- melodies of both traditional and recent songs and instrumental music,
- incantations and spells,
- folk medicine.
In the first years LFK received materials collected before its foundation: the Children song collection, obtained by questionnaires (42,358 items); the Barons Society collection (33,416 items) etc.
Collecting has been carried out continuously, even during the years of WWII, when LFK organised expeditions to different regions of Latvia. In the years of Soviet rule an ideology-based requirement to collect the so-called soviet folklore was posed upon the folklorists. Still, although dealing with this requirement, folklorists also managed to collect valuable material. The main form of folklore collection has always been a fieldwork expedition. 52 folklore expeditions have taken place since 1947.
Nearly every staff member of LFK has his or her own registered collection. LFK holds the largest collection of folk music material, this gathered by outstanding ethnomusicologists. The Archives also contain the folklore collections, delivered by many well-known people, working in different areas of Latvian culture: linguistics, literature, history, archaeology etc.
Last time modified: 12.09.2016 11:53:33