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Archives of Latvian Folklore

Name of the RI

Archives of Latvian Folklore

website of the RI

Location of RI

Akadēmijas Square 1

LV 1050, Riga


Scientific domain(s) of the RI

Humanities and Arts

Type of RI


Research services at the RI

Access to the archive materials: originals, digital copies, electronic databases

Equipment at the RI

1) Archive collection: manuscripts(2166 collection units); audio-recordings (700 carrier units); video-recordings (170 units);

2) Catalogues (14 catalogues of different folklore genres)

3) Equipment for audio and video documentation

4) Equipment for digitising of folklore materials

5) Library of the basic literature of the discipline

6) E-infrastructure: website ( including digital library of sound recordings and visual documentation


~400 on-site visitors per year (scholars, students, cultural practitioners, pupils etc.) both from Latvia and other countries (USA, France, Poland, Israel, Estonia, Lithuania and others).

Plus virtual users

Status of RI


Key words

Cultural heritage, folklore

Description of RI

The Archives of Latvian Folklore (LFK) is the largest centre for collection, publishing and research of Latvian folklore. Its holdings are among the largest in Europe, containing approximately 3 million folklore items. Although the collections are limited to folklore, they are broadly usable, as they document the nation's culture, history, language, world-view and lifestyle over (the time span of) several centuries. The main part of the holdings is the manuscript collections, but there are also audiovisual materials like phonograph reels, tapes, cassettes and VHS video recordings, as well as photographs and drawings. These feature singers, narrators and the history of folklore collection in Latvia.

One of the greatest treasures of the Archives is Dainu skapis or the Cabinet of Folk Songs. It is a particular card catalogue designed and created by Krišjānis Barons (1835-1923), the editor of Latvju Dainas (1894-1915) the most significant publication of Latvian folksongs (217,996 texts in 6 volumes). Dainu skapis contains all the folksong manuscripts Krišjānis Barons obtained. In 2001 the international significance of this particular item was recognized, too, inscribing it on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.

The main body of the Archives’ holdings is constituted by Latvian folklore, but there are also collections of Livonian, Russian, German, Belarusian, Jewish, Lithuanian, Estonian and Gypsy folklore (21,000 items altogether). The collections of the LFK represent the culture of different groups since folklore was collected among peasants, schoolchildren, soldiers, and from old people’s homes and prisons etc.

Hosting Organization and its address

Institute of Literature, Folklore and Arts, University of Latvia

1 Akademijas Square

Riga, LV-1050



Rita Treija

Administrator’s Phone

+371 67228632

Administrator’s Contact e-mail