Documentation of traditional skills and lifestyle in the collection of negatives of the expeditions made by the Board of Monuments between 1924 and 1931

The nomination “Documentation of Traditional Skills and Lifestyle in Photo Negatives made by the Board of Monuments during the Expeditions from 1924 until 1931” is the only authentic collection of negatives, which reflects the documentation of visual testimonies on the traditional Latvian lifestyle in the beginning of the 20th century and was developed on purpose and by objective considerations, in particular, recording the historically determinative time of Latvia – the implementation of the Agrarian reform.

Main tasks of the Board of Monuments founded by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Latvia in 1923 were to organize expeditions to gather some information on cultural monuments, to conduct archeological excavations, to study, protect and maintain cultural monuments and to promote cultural heritage. This work was recorded throughout the period of functioning of the Board of Monuments between 1924 and 1944 and an extensive photo fixation was done. After WWII, a large part of the archives, including the unique collection of negatives, was given to the current National History Museum of Latvia, and today it forms a significant part of the collection. The expeditions conducted from 1924 until 1931 by the Board of Monuments were organized in particular Latvian districts in order to gather information, protect and collect the vanishing phenomena of the traditional Latvian lifestyle.

The significance of the document collection in the context of the history of Latvia should be highlighted especially today, because photo negatives depict the cultural reality that no longer exists and form a qualitative, unbiased and very important visual source of information that can contribute to interpretation of Latvian history of those years.









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