The Riga Jesuit College Library 1583–1621 project is part of The Historical Path of the Idea of Latvian Statehood within the Common European Cultural Space project, which was launched by the National Library of Latvia in 2017 in cooperation with the Faculty of History and Philosophy of the University of Latvia.
Project goal: To make known and more easily accessible for scientific research a collection of books and manuscripts important to the history of Latvian culture – the collection of the Riga Jesuit College – compiling information about the copies that have survived to the present day. When the Swedish army occupied Riga in 1621, the book collection was moved to Sweden, where today it is one of the oldest book collections in the Uppsala University Library collection.
Planned tasks and results:
- Identification of the Riga Jesuit College collection of books and manuscripts and the compiling of information thereon in the following memory institutions: Uppsala University Library, Stockholm Royal Library, Östersund Library, Gothenburg University Library, Kalmar Municipal, Diocesan and Gymnasial Library, Linköping City Library, Lund University Library, Skara Diocese and Regional Library, Rogge Library in Strängnäs, Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, Vilnius University Library, The Wroblewski Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, Tallinn University Academic Library, Warsaw University Library, National Library of Poland, Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences, National Library of Russia, Hrodna State Historical and Archaeological Museum, National Library of Ukraine, National Archives of Sweden, Härnösand, National Archives of Sweden, Stockholm, University of Latvia Academic Library, Karlstad City Library. 2018–2020.
- Compilation and publication of a scientific catalogue: The Catalogue of the Riga Jesuit College book collection 1583–1621. Autumn of 2021.
- Creation of The Catalogue of the Riga Jesuit College book collection 1583–1621. Virtual reconstruction databases in the ALEPH library information system. Beginning of 2021.
- Publication of a collection of articles – The Baltic Battle of Books: Formation, Transfiguration and Replacement of European Libraries in the Confessional Age (c. 1500–c. 1650) and Their Afterlife – as part of the Brill series of academic publications: Library of the Written Word. 2022.
- Preparation of a digital exhibition – Looted Library, Reconstructed Library: Riga Jesuit College Library between Riga and Uppsala – on the Europeana digital cultural platform. Autumn 2021.
- Development and opening of an exhibition dedicated to the oldest extant printed book in Latvian – Catechismus Catholicorum. Iscige pammacischen (St. Peter Canisius' Catholic Catechism), published in Vilnius in 1585 – at the National Library of Latvia in autumn 2021.
- Lectures on research into the Riga Jesuit College book collection at various international events and conferences:
- Research reading seminar of the Lettonica and Baltic Reading Room, National Library of Latvia, 16.05.2018. Reading: Bibliographic Reconstruction of the Rīga Jesuit College Book Collection (1583–1621) (Laura Kreigere-Liepiņa, Renāte Berga).
- Uppsala University Library, 21.03.2019. Lecture: The Rīga Jesuit College Library Collection in the Context of Its Highlights (Renāte Berga).
- Uppsala University Library, 21.03.2019. Lecture: The Rīga Jesuit College Library (1583–1621) Project (Laura Kreigere-Liepiņa).
- University of Latvia 77th International Scientific Conference Book. Sign. Colour. 26.03.2019. Ownership Marks, Stamps and Reading Notes in Unique Copies of the Rīga Jesuit College Library Collection (1583–1621) (Laura Kreigere-Liepiņa).
- University of Latvia Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art Conference: Searches and Findings. Harsh winds: Journeys through time, space and spirit 07.05.2019. The Involuntary Journey of a 17th Century Rīga Library Collection (Renāte Berga).
- National Library of Lithuania. The Martynas Mažvydas Readings Experiences of Documentary Heritage Research and Dissemination in European Libraries, 09.10.2019. The Rīga Jesuit College Library (1583–1621) as a Bibliographic Reconstruction of War Booty (Renāte Berga).
- A. Mickiewicz University Library in Poznan, 12.11.2019. Presentation: The Rīga Jesuit College Library (1583–1621) Project (Laura Kreigere-Liepiņa).
- Conference War and the Book, Poznan, 13.11.2019. Lecture: The Unique Book and Manuscript Collection of Rīga Jesuit College Library (1583–1621). Polish Cultural Heritage – Literary Works, Provenances and the Connection with the Rīga Jesuit College (Laura Kreigere-Liepiņa).
- 17.12.2020. Zoom platform e-meeting with Jesuit college book-collection researchers in Poland, Sweden, Latvia and other countries. Presentation: The Rīga Jesuit College Book Collection (1583–1621) (Laura Kreigere-Liepiņa).
Target audience: library and archive specialists, theologians, history and cultural history teachers, local researchers, as well as humanities students and senior-class schoolchildren.
Project implementation period: 01.01.2018.–01.01.2022.
Project financing: LATVIA100.
Project financiers: Latvian Ministry of Culture, LV100 Office; Latvian Ministry of Education, State Research Programme project No VPP-IZM-2018/1-0022 The significance of documentary heritage research in creating synergies between research and society.
Project Manager, Chief Bibliographer of the Rare Book and Manuscript Reading Room
National Library of Latvia