About the Canon
The Latvian Culture Canon is a gateway to Latvia’s cultural world through 99 different treasures. These diverse elements and aspects of Latvian culture embrace different cultural spheres, go far beyond eras and centuries, are both mutually associated and stand out as polar opposites.
The Canon is like spectacles through which to catch sight of Latvia and Latvia’s treasures. Like a door through which to enter the repository of Latvia’s cultural treasures. Like a survival kit and a compass in moments of confusion. Like new computer software that opens up and connects us to a new world and opportunities.
This selection of these highlights is a testimony to their time, which we, with further development, replenish with content from our time, reflections, the contribution of new elements. Through our eyes, this unique selection becomes an inheritance, which we – after highlighting, describing, inquiring about, discovering, supplementing – will pass on to future generations. By discerning and analysing these treasures, we will know how to recognise new ones and, if necessary, supplement the Culture Canon one day.
The 99 Culture Canon highlights resonate with the years of celebrating Latvia’s Centenary – looking beyond these 100 years, these selected cases allows us to trace the development of the Latvian state before it achieved statehood, the evolution of Latvian culture over the years, our collective memories, individual outstanding, unique entities and events of Latvian culture. Nevertheless, the most important outcome is that this encourages and promotes lively public debate on cultural issues today, makes us think and participate.
The new website for the Culture Canon was created in 2017 and provides as much information about these treasures as possible, leads users to diverse treasures held in the repositories and archives of various Latvian cultural institutions which are related to the Culture Canon and encourages us to speak, write and inform others about these treasures, thus ensuring their promotion, discovery and understanding.
The National Library of Latvia is grateful to all the authors who participated in describing and relating the 99 Latvian Culture Canon treasures, to all the Latvian memory institutions that were and continue to be responsive in showing the treasures in their collections, as well as to every member of staff of the National Library of Latvia who contributed to the construction of the website.
Latvian Culture Canon and projects related to it are being supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia.