Latvian National Library Set out to Digitize Historic Heritage

Digitizing is the only way to ensure that the National Library collections be preserved for the generations to come. Digitization of National Library collections gets under way.

The Latvian National Library has begun digitization of its collections that in the future will give many more readers the access to cultural and historic heritage of Latvia, and make the process of finding even highly specific information much, much faster.

January 22, the first batch of selected periodicals and books was taken from the National Library to “Lattelecom BPO” for scanning, the National Library informs. These included a number of issues of the popular magazine “Atpūta”, dating back to 1911; a number of issues of the magazine “Aizsargs”, which was highly popular in the 1930s; several books published in St.Petersburg at the end of the 19th century, as well as several books in Russian and Latvian that were printed in Riga at the beginning of the 20th century.

The total volume of the first batch is 75,000 pages, but during the second stage of the digital library development project, 3,500,000 book and newspaper pages will be digitized, making their digitized copies accessible to all residents of Latvia on the Internet. The complete result of the project will be presented to the community in mid-2012, but the project prototype, “Periodika.lv” is already functioning online. Another popular website of the National Library digitized collection is “Dziesmusvetki.lndb.lv”.

The National Library experts inform that, due to wear and tear, a large part of the unique cultural and historic heritage at the library may become unusable in ten to twenty years. Digitizing is the only way to ensure that the National Library collections, which are in a critical condition, be preserved for the generations to come, says National Digital Library “Letonika” Head Uldis Zariņš.

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