120 years ago the Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition of 1896 was held in Rīga. It became the first and largest representation of the Latvian nation and its history, culture and achievements, in addition it was an explicit application of the Latvian nation to be located alongside other nations in terms of historical and language values, national culture achievements, economic efforts.
The books has been prepared in cooperation with the National History Museum of Latvia.
In order to speak of a nation, there needs to be a community of people with their own territory, a name they call themselves and language, cultural elements and memories of the past that are particular only to them, and a consciousness of their being a united whole. Several of the features mentioned that characterise the Latvian nation (territory, language, culture) took shape in the Middle Ages and at the first stages of the Early Modern Period. National consciousness, on the other hand, Latvian people becoming aware of themselves as a nation, was a later phenomenon. It was precisely during the 19th century that, influenced by socioeconomic processes and internal political affairs, the path of the Latvian people towards consolidation was finished and the creation of nationhood began. One of the seminal events that formed part of this process that is of interest to us was the preparatory work and proceedings of the Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition.LNVM direktors Arnis Radiņš
In the first part there are three texts prepared by specialists of the National History Museum of Latvia. The author of the first text ‘The Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition of 1896 — Witness to an Era’ is the Head of the Department of Medieval, Modern and Contemporary History, Dr. hist. Toms Ķikuts, the author of the second text ‘The All-Russian X Archaeological Congress in Riga and its Significance in the Research of Baltic Prehistory’ is the Head of the Department of Archaeology, Mg. hist. Jānis Ciglis and the author of the third text ‘Let us hurry thence where roads converge, small and large, to Riga — to the Latvian exhibition!’ is the Head of the Department of Ethnography, Mg. hist. Sanita Stinkule.
The second part is based on the "Catalogue of the Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition during the All-Russian X Archaeological Congress in Riga in 1896". Transliteration, explanations, photographs of exhibition objects and reproduction of the catalogue is being published.