We, Latvian Americans, have not always been the best and most careful guardians of cultural archives. Now is the perfect time to do some “spring cleaning” of any documents or items that might be significant for Latvian cultural or historical archives. Although the Latvian government is actively encouraging this effort, for the most part, the cultural salvage project is supported by individuals and volunteers. ALA invites everyone to do their part! Let’s take advantage of the social distancing period and take a look at some valuables that may be tucked away in our basements and attics, among them – personal documents, letters, journals and photographs that reflect our history as Latvians in the U.S.
Don’t know where to start? How can you find out what to keep and what to throw away? ALA has resources available on its webpage (most in Latvian), which attempt to answer these questions. A great place to start would be the Sorting Guidelines (in English).
If you have any additional questions, please reach out to the American Latvian Historical Society (ALVMB), an unincorporated group of volunteers that works closely with ALA’s Cultural office. They can be reached via the Latvian Books & Archives in Diaspora Facebook group – https:// www.facebook.com/ groups/1165349093592174/.
Let’s work together to salvage our history and preserve it for the next generations!
Līga Ejupe, Director, Office of Cultural Affairs