The project

As the European Capital of Culture, Riga has been a focus of European cultural policies, the European public and the media since January 2014. On the occasion of this prestigious event, cultural and academic institutions from Germany, Latvia, Austria and Slovakia joined forces under the Digital Forum for Central and Eastern Europe (Digitale Forum Mittel- und Osteuropa e.V. (DiFMOE). The aim of the project is to reveal a cultural treasure which members of the public who are interested in history can access at any time, in any place and for free: The city’s multi-ethnic and multilingual past in written and picture form. This is made possible by the digitalisation of an attractive sample of cultural possessions, be them writings or pictures, created in Riga or referring to Riga. They will examine the ethnicities living in the city’s ever-changing history, religious denominations and spoken languages, and focusses on the time period stretching from the 17th century to the first half of the 20th century. The available titles essentially concern what was printed in Riga itself.


Visitors will find periodicals – newspapers, magazines, address books, calendars, reports and yearbooks – as well as monographic and multi-part records: academic literature, text and non-fiction books, religious literature, profane volksliteratur, fiction and much more. There is a large range of special interest works available on Riga’s urban history as well as the Livonian history and population. The periodical and monographic printed works are supplemented with a collection of historical picture documents.