to the website dedicated to
oral history in Latvia!

We – researchers at the University of Latvia – created this site to present information about oral history research in Latvia.

Let’s introduce ourselves in a short video!

What can be found here?

Oral history in Latvia

Learn about oral history research centres

Photo and video archive

Take a look at the many events and get to know the researchers and narrators. One picture is worth a thousand words.

Learning resources

How to conduct interviews? How to process and analyse interview? We share our experience and knowledge through training materials.


New project «Peoples' bridge between the U.S. and Latvia in culture and education»

The project will shed light on American-Latvian investment in culture, education, and science by supporting study exchange programs, establishing scholarships, sharing experiences, and contributing to methodological innovations. The project is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Latvia and United States Government Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund.

The 4th international oral history conference «Generation, Migration and Memory: Narrative and its Transformations», November 12-13, 2020

Oral history and life story researchers’ group in the UL Institute of Philosophy and Sociology held a conference to seek for new connections between the study of generations, migration and memory. Our aim was to break new ground by revealing the light that each one of our conceptual fields can throw upon the others.

In memoriam. Pēteris Jansons (November 5, 1922 - April 30, 2020)

Pēteris Jansons, the legendary man who carried refugee boats from the Latvian coast to Sweden at the end of the Second World War, has died in Gotland at the age of 98.

Symposium «Postmemory: memory in exile and exiled memory»

A meeting of Baltic and Nordic researchers took place at the Department of History of Stockholm University - a symposium in which researchers shared their findings about refugees, exiles and emigrants from Latvia in modern times, evaluating the process from the perspective of memory.

13th Conference on Baltic Studies in Europe 2019: Baltic Solidarity

From June 25 to 29, four researchers of the project «Narrative perspectives on intergenerational transmission of memory» (finansed by the Latvian Science Council) participated in the 13th Baltic Studies Conference in Europe «Baltic Solidarity», which took place in Gdansk, Poland.


Home and Sense of Belonging in the Life Stories of First and Second Generations of Latvian Exiles

In the end of Second World War many Latvians found refuge in the western countries defining themselves as an exile community. When Latvia regained its independence, the exile was officially put to an end, however, most part of exiles did not return. Hence, the question arises: how different generations of exile Latvians define their attachment to their homeland and to their host countries?

Valoda un vardarbība: Franču grupa Padomju Latvijā

Šī raksta temats ir saistīts ar trīspadsmit latviešu inteliģences pārstāvju likteni – 1951. gada janvārī padomju drošības dienests viņus aizturēja, nopratināja un piesprieda dažāda ilguma soda izciešanu padomju darba nometnēs. Visi Franču grupas dalībnieki izdzīvoja un 1956. gadā atgriezās Rīgā. Šajā rakstā atstāstītie notikumi ne tikai atspoguļo pagātnes norises, bet arī retrospektīvi saturiskas pretrunas valodas lietojumā.

Evakuācijas politikas atspoguļojums laikrakstā «Tēvija» (1944-1945)

Raksta mērķis ir izpētīt, kā laika periodā‚ no 1944. gada vidus līdz 1945. gada aprīļa beigām laikrakstā «Tēvija» tika atspoguļota vācu …

20. gadsimta vēsturiskās paaudzes un to identifikācija Latvijas iedzīvotāju dzīvesstāstos

Mēģinām identificēt paaudzes, kas no mutvārdu vēstures perspektīvas ir klātesošas kā kolektīvas balsis Latvijas iedzīvotāju individuālajos dzīvesstāstos, viņu pieredzēs un vērtībās

In the making

Development of new publications

📚 Book «A heart without romance: the life story of Dr. Aris Lācis»

In this story, outstanding success alternates with great losses, which do not diminish the importance of Aris Lācis in the history of Latvian surgery and its recognition among colleagues in the world. Human reflection makes the medical story comprehensible to the reader. The publication is being prepared with the support of the Riga City Council (agreement No. DIKS-19-1082 of 14.05.2019).

📚 «Fearless» - a series of life stories in two books»

The heroes - Valentīne Lasmane, Pēteris Jansons, Ēriks Tomsons - contemporaries of the Latvian state, rescued the inhabitants of Latvia fleeing the second Soviet occupation at the end of the Second World War. Through this series, the past engages with the present - the life stories we read take us through 100 years of life, addressing people of all ages. The serie is prepared with the support of Latvian Foundation donors .
The manuscript of the first book «Beyond a Hundred: The Life-story of Valentine Lasmane» was read over by its author in her 102nd year of life. The book contains vivid evidence of Valentine’s last meeting with Kurelians day before their arrest, of reckless journey through Dundaga forests in search for a Jew to be transported across the sea, of a sense of eternity in the sea, of the hardness of the first years of the exile and service to Latvia from a foreign land.
In the second book in the series, «Boat Carriers», carriers of the refugee boats describe risky situations at the sea and the choice between life and death, when throwing things over board was the least loss. Ēriks Tomsons adapted to life abroad only for a short time and then returned to the already occupied Latvia, which ended with a penal labor in Siberia. However, he returned and celebrated his 100th birthday in the homeland. Pēteris Jansons, whose refugee boat crossed the Baltic Sea 28 times, lived in Gotland for the rest of his life.


From past to present: Migration and Integration through Life-stories’ network

The project is preparing lectures on the topical issue of migration, covering various experiences, including a comparison of former …

Critical thinking, innovation, competitiveness and globalisation

The NOH collection of life stories provides material for research on social memory as a platform for discussion on the preservation of …

Narrative perspectives on intergenerational transmission of memory

The goal of the study is to examine narrative perspectives in the intergenerational transmission of memory, at once identifying factors …

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