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Tour de CLARIN: Interview with Sanita Reinsone

Tour de CLARIN highlights prominent User Involvement (UI) activities of a particular CLARIN national consortium. This time the focus is on Latvia and Sanita Reinsone, a leading researcher at the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art at the University of Latvia. The interview was conducted via Skype by Jakob Lenardič.

CLARIN (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure) is a research infrastructure that was initiated from the vision that all digital language resources and tools from all over Europe and beyond are accessible through a single sign-on online environment for the support of researchers in the humanities and social sciences.

You can read the interview here.

Joyful Holidays!

Joyful Christmas and a successful New Year 2019!

Photo by Sandis Laime, Siberia 2004.

Monograph on Anna Bērzkalne

Anna Bērzkalne

Rita Treija's study "Anna Bērzkalne" (Rīga: Zinātne, 2018; 304 pp., ill.) has been released by the publishers "Zinātne". The new book is the fifth publication in the series "Folkloristikas bibliotēka" ("Library of Folkloristics") issued by the Archives of Latvian Folklore, Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the university of Latvia. The monograph is in Latvian, but an extensive English summary is provided.

Anna Bērzkalne (1891–1956) was an important figure of interwar period Latvian folkloristics and also one of the most educated women of her time. She was a dedicated folksong researcher and the founder of the Archives of Latvian Folklore (1924) which she led during the first five years. As with many other intellectuals of 1920s and 1930s, her name was silenced during the Soviet times. Only in the 1990s, after Latvia had regained its independence, was Anna Bērzkalne's professional legacy reintegrated into the disciplinary historiography. Over the past few years, her performance in folkloristics has been studied with greater diligence through several research projects carried out by the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia.


History, Memory and Archives: Sensitive issues

The "History, Memory and Archives: Sensitive issues" ( was a conference dedicated to the Centenary of Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and ultimately also Poland. It was the interim conference for the SIEF WG on Archives, in collaboration with the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore and the Nordic-Baltic Tradition Archives Network. More than 30 presentations analysed the ethical, sensitive and delicate issues in archival research and folklore research and publications in general. The Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art was represented by Baiba Krogzeme-Mosgorda (The Memory Album Collection in the Archives of Latvian Folklore: Creation and Presentation), Rita Treija (Personal Archives to Build a Disciplinary History), Māra Vīksna un Elvīra Žvarte (Diaries in the Archives of Latvian Folklore), Justīne Jaudzema (Interpretation of Archive Materials: Making a Song Repertoire), Elīna Gailīte (The Role of Harijs Sūna in the Development of the Choreography Genre at the Archives of Latvian Folklore) and Sanita Reinsone.


A New Book in the FF Communications Series

The Finnish Academy of Science and Letters in the Folklore Fellows' Communications series has released its book No. 315, "Visions and Traditions. Knowledge Production and Tradition Archives". This volume contains 18 scholarly articles that in various ways discuss the political, methodological and ethical aspects of how tradition archives have been – and are – involved in the production of knowledge (see the contents). The book was prepared by international editorial team: Lauri Harvilahti (Finland), Audun Kjus (Norway), Clíona O'Carroll (Ireland), Susanne Österlund-Pötzsch (Finland), Fredrik Skott (Sweden) and Rita Treija (Latvia).

Among the authors, there is Sanita Reinsone, leading researcher of the Archives of Latvian Folklore, Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia.


A New Project of Disciplinary History: Latvian Folkloristics (1945-1985)

With the funding of Latvian Council of Science, ILFA launches a two-year long research project on the disciplinary history of folkloristics after World War II. Following the long term research strategy of the Institute, it extends the previous successful research grant funded by the Latvian Council of Science – study dedicated to Latvian folkloristics in the interwar period. Reflecting on current disciplinary legacy, the project’s team simultaneously considers the development of Latvian post-war folkloristics both in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic and within the Latvian exile community.

Through simultaneous and joint research of both historical directions, the project is designed to generate and disseminate novel insights into Latvian post-war folkloristics, based on a variety of methodological approaches. Read more...

Focus of the Year: Traditions and Power

Traditions and PowerOrganized by the Archives of Latvian Folklore, the annual scientific conference commemorating the Father of Latvian Folksongs, Krišjānis Barons, was held on last two days of October. Critically celebrating the Centenary of Independent Republic of Latvia, the multidisciplinary conference was dedicated to relationships between traditions and power, with an emphasis of less-researched years of the Soviet occupation (1944-1990). The conference featured 20 presentations, including also a plenary lecture on "Traditionality and the Language of Ontological Insecurity" by sociologist Mārtiņš Kaprāns and a guest lecture from Estonian researcher Ave Goršič titled "Presented by the Fourth Estate: Folklore and Traditional Culture as a Tool for State and Ideology".


Lecture "Collection and dissemination: digital archival strategies"

Audun Kjus and Fredrik Skott will deliver a guest lecture entitled "Collection and dissemination: digital archival strategies" at the Archives of Latvian Folklore of the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia (ILFA) at 3 pm on Tuesday, 16th october 2018.

Digital technology is opening new possibilities for tradition archives, both for disseminating old materials and for collecting new documentation. Fredrik Skott and Audun Kjus have been leading the development projects, and They will share experiences and insights from these projects (both success and failure) and discuss pros and cons of different digitalisation strategies.


Reflecting on Disciplinary Ethics in Folkloristics

Reflecting on Disciplinary Ethics in Folkloristics

The International Conference of Young Folklorists titled "Reflecting on Disciplinary Ethics in Folkloristics" will take place in Riga (National Library of Latvia), September 19-21, 2018. The 2018 conference is the 8th of its kind. Previous ones have been held in Estonia or Lithuania. This is the first time when this event that aims to foster academic collaboration and communication in the field of folkloristics, inviting students, recently graduated scholars, and anyone who considers themselves to be a young folklorist to present their research, and it will all happen in Riga, Latvia. The topic of the 2018 conference invited contributions to address the questions of ethics in folkloristics.


Journal "Letonica": on Tradition Archives and More

Letonica 36

In June 2018, the 36th issue of the interdisciplinary scholarly journal "Letonica" was published. This peer-reviewed journal is indexed in "Scopus", ERIH PLUS and EBSCO, and its contents are available online.

A year ago, the International Council on Archives’ Section on University and Research Institution Archives (ICA-SUV) held its annual conference in Riga. The conference, "Cultural Heritage Materials–University, Research and Folklore Archives in the 21st Century", was organized in cooperation with the National Archives of Latvia and the Archives of Latvian Folklore, Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia. Its main focus was on the folklore archives and archival methodology regarding intangible cultural heritage. One of the key topics of the methodological and intellectual debate was the new standardization in archives, the Records in Contexts conceptual model.


IV World Congress of Latvian Scientists


On June 18-20 the IV World Congress of Latvian Scientists will take place at the National Library of Latvia. Congress will bring together scientists from Latvia and of Latvian origin, their friends and strategic partners from around the world to propose solutions for the development of Latvia and to promote long-term cooperation.

During the Congress, folklore researchers from the Archives of Latvian Folklore (ALF) and editors of the Digital Archives will be pleased to meet you at the Archives’ reading room (located on the 5th floor of the National Library of Latvia building (in Riga, Mūkusalas ielā 3)) for short lectures (in Latvian) and excursions (both Latvian and English) introducing to the intangible cultural heritage.


Latvian Folkloristics in the Interwar Period

Latvian Folkloristics in the Interwar Period

The Finnish Academy of Science and Letters in the FF Communications series has released a collective monograph on the history of Latvian folklore studies. Latvian Folkloristics in the Interwar Period is a contribution by Latvian scholars to the current reflexive trend of folklore studies toward an intense focus on the discipline’s past. It also joins the recent efforts to broaden the geographical scope of folklore history by concentrating on internationally less represented research traditions.

The interwar period in Latvia, as in most European countries, was a formative era during which the patriotic duty of collecting and publishing folklore was transformed into a full-fledged, institutionalised academic discipline. The Archives of Latvian Folklore was established; the University of Latvia began offering courses in folkloristics and ethnography; and Latvian folklorists sought a place in the networks of international cooperation flourishing in Europe at that time. By offering a broad perspective on Latvian interwar folkloristics, this book covers relevant national and international contexts of folklore research, dominant research paradigms and key personalities in the field.

Call for Papers: The 8th Conference of Young Folklorists


Information about conference:

Are there situations when personal engagement can get in the way of truthful reporting? To whom the folklorist should be responsible more – the scholarly truth or the informant? What are the researchers’ responsibilities to those being studied? Are there any fields of research too sensitive and ethically too difficult to be addressed at all? What are the principles of ethically correct work with archived material and its representation in the digital tradition archives? What are the new ethical challenges introduced by the Digital Age? How the research is going to affect the lives of informants and should such influence be exerted by the results of the research? Can researchers have too much empathy? Some questions regarding the ethics in folkloristics might never be answered, but nevertheless: with this conference we would like the young folklorists to join the international debate. Read more...

Happy Holidays!

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2018!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Dainis Rožkalns’ illustration for Beatrise Reidzāne’s forthcoming monograph "The Image of the Wolf in "Latvju dainas""

Seminar for researchers of Latvian Roma

Seminar for researchers of Latvian Roma

On 24 October at 10 am a seminar for researchers of Latvian Roma will take place at the Conference Centre of the National Library of Latvia (Riga, Mūkusalas street 3, room 078), organized by the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia. It will be the first time in the history of Latvia when fifteen researchers from Latvia, Estonia, Sweden and Great Britain will come together to share their research in the fields of history, folkloristics, ethnomusicology, sociology, anthropology, pedagogy and psychology. The aim of the seminar is to inform society about research on Latvian Roma, to increase the visibility of the research of Roma, and to contribute to communication and collaboration between researchers.