The literary history collection is composed of 1,498 collections related to people, organisations and themes, amounting to 356,597 holdings held in total by the museum. The holdings document the history of Latvian literature, starting from the beginning of the national literature in the mid-19th century and continuing up to the present day. The most significant collections are related to Reinis and Matīss Kaudzīte; Rūdolfs Blaumanis; Anna Brigadere; Aspazija and Rainis; Kārlis Skalbe; Jānis Jaunsudrabiņš; Vilis Plūdons; Edvarts Virza; Aleksandrs Čaks; Jānis Sudrabkalns; Mirdza Ķempe; Ārija Elksne; Gunārs Priede; Imants Ziedonis; and Māra Zālīte, among others. Since 1989, the collection of literature has been significantly supplemented by valuable collections related to diaspora Latvian writers such as Jānis Klīdzējs, Andrejs Eglītis, Anšlavs Eglītis, Veronika Janelsiņa, Pāvils Klāns, Dzintars Sodums, Veronika Strēlerte, Zenta Mauriņa, Elza Ķezbere and Mārtiņš Zīverts, among others. Significant material can also be found in themed collections, such as the collection related to associations and the collection related to the history of religion, as well as the collection related to Tēvzeme, the Latvian Committee for Cultural Relations with Countrymen Abroad (LCCR) (correspondence with people working in the field of culture who were forced to go into exile). The literature collections hold a wide selection of materials: documents, photographs, printed material, correspondence, manuscripts, commemorative artefacts, all of which reveal the creative processes and the processes of history, and reflect authors’ personalities, lives and creative work, as well as demonstrating the impact on people’s fates and creative activities of the time period in which they were living. Part of the literature collection, significant both in size and content, consists of correspondence (letters to family and friends, correspondence between writers and representatives of other cultural sectors), which documents not only the inner worlds of the authors of the letters but also reflects the time, in this way shaping and raising awareness of cultural history in general. In turn, the manuscripts of the collection create the foundation for research into creative work and writers’ first drafts, variations and final versions. Writers’ personal diaries constitute a unique source of information, which is complemented by information from the correspondence materials.
The literature collection is one of the richest collections in Latvia of original material on the subject of Latvian literature. Holdings from this collection are often used for scientific research, monographs, the compilation of complete works, press articles, TV shows, exhibitions and shows.
Head curator of the literary history collection Ieva Liepiņa