Latviešu grāmatai 500 Egils Levits
Egils Levits

Latvia will celebrate 500 years of book publishing in Latvia in 2025. National Library of Latvia will mark the significance and social impact of the written word throughout centuries with a series of events leading up to the milestone anniversary called ‘500 years of Latvian literature’, which was launched in 2021. Today, on 26 April, President of Latvia Egils Levits, who has agreed to become the patron of these series, opened the ‘500 years of Latvian literature’ second think tank at the National Library of Latvia. ‘500 years of Latvian literature’ is focused on stereotypes and bias about the  evolution of the written word in Latvia.

‘I am delighted to be invited to the think tank discussing the history of book publishing in Latvia and Latvian history. 500years of Latvian literature is just a couple away from the print press invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1445. When I lived in Strasbourg, I had to pass Gutenberg’s monument every day, and I always felt compelled to think about the Printing Revolution his invention caused in culture, and Latvia was very much at the helm of these processes. Why did Latvia have a higher alphabetisation rate until late 19th century and how did it facilitate our culture, economy and society? That is a question worthwhile exploring. Literacy map of Europe in 17th–19th century shows Latvia and Estonia in predominantly dark colour, which indicates a high literacy rate. This had a number of significant implications in many areas, and I expect a very lively debate here today on what they were,’ President of Latvia said as he opened the think tank discussion.

After the think tank discussion, President of Latvia also attended the opening of exhibition ‘Awakening. The Story of the Herrnhutians’, which is one of the highlights of ‘500 years of Latvian literature’ series in 2022. Exhibition showcases a unique item of LNL’s collection, the scriptures of Herrnhutians (Moravian Church). These scriptures were included in the National Register of UNESCO’s Memory of the World in 2017. Exhibition is located on the 5th floor of the Library and will be open to visitors until 30 July 2023.

26.04.2022. Valsts prezidents Egils Levits Latvijas Nacionālajā bibliotēkā atklāj domnīcu “Latviešu grāmatai 500” un izstādi “Modināšana. Stāsts par hernhūtiešiem”