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Cultural Analysis, Volume 19.2, 2021

Scholarly Infrastructure: Latvian Folklore Editions in Exile

Rita Grīnvalde
Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia
Riga, Latvia

Abstract: As a consequence of changes during World War II, many Latvians who were educated professionals in the field of folkloristics were exiled and found their new homelands in Sweden, Germany, the United States of America, and other countries. Gradually, together with researchers from other fields, they created a scholarly infrastructure for continuing Latvian folklore studies. This included making core Latvian folklore texts available for research. This article contextualizes and traces the course of the creation of two major editions, 12 volumes of Latviešu tautas dziesmas (Latvian Folksongs, 1952–1956) and 15 volumes of Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas (Latvian Folk Legends and Fairy Tales, 1962–1970).

Keywords: history of folkloristics; exile; Latvian folklore; folklore text editions; Latviešu tautas dziesmas; Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas



After World War II, a new phenomenon began to emerge the disciplinary history of Latvian folkloristics, respectively, Latvian folklore studies in exile. Until then, professional folklore studies had developed in Latvia, particularly in Riga, where the national institutional foundations were laid in the 1920s and developed throughout the 1930s. Soon after establishing the University of Latvia (1919), the Faculty of Philology and Philosophy introduced regular lecture and practical seminar courses in folklore; however, only a narrow emphasis on Latvian folksong interpretation and mythology studies were available for the basic level Baltic philology students. The future philologists were also encouraged to engage in individual fieldwork research and folklore collecting in rural areas of Latvia. In the 1930s, the gap between international folklore research trends and Latvian academic practice was partially remedied by lectures delivered by visiting foreign scholars from Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and France (Reinsone 2017, 103–106). In 1924, the Archives of Latvian Folklore was funded. Its postulated goals were to collect, archive, publish and study folklore. The Archives served both Latvian and international scholars in their studies, particularly those who had asked for information about specific focus areas (Vīksna 2017, 88). Like in many European countries of the interwar period, folkloristics in Latvia developed as an important element of national educational and cultural policies with State funding for “spiritual culture” studies (Vaivade 2017, 66–75). Simultaneously, Latvian folkloristics was also among the humanities with a dynamic international context (Treija 2017, 126–133). The end of World War II was followed by decades of Soviet occupation in Latvia (1945–1990). The Soviet totalitarian regime marked an abrupt end to the former academic practices and inclinations, and folkloristics was not an exclusion. The continuation of the interwar period folklore studies was embodied on the other side of the iron curtain, in the settings of Western democracies. These studies were primarily developed thanks to the efforts of individual intellectuals.

What could be called Latvian folklore studies in exile were activities carried out by many Latvian émigrés. The community of Latvian folklore researchers was scattered across continents and countries. Still, they kept together based on personal involvement and interest, contacted each other through mail correspondences, met at Latvian academic events, and cooperated on solo and joint publications. Apart from the homeland and its traditional culture, several Latvian scholars who were professionally trained in other fields, such as linguistics, law, and theology, showed interest in folklore research. From the history of knowledge perspective, these new adepts to folklore studies conformed to the double roles of migrant intellectuals; respectively, they were migrants both to foreign countries and “academic nomads and renegades” (Burke 2016, 43) to an alien discipline. Both trained folklorists and the newcomers joined forces to create a scholarly infrastructure useful for Latvian folklore studies in the conditions of emigration.

A big task before the engineers of scholarly infrastructure was to ensure the availability of Latvian folklore texts. The most logical step for implementing this idea was to republish formerly printed texts in sufficient numbers of copies. Latvians implemented two large-scale folklore publishing projects in exile. The edition of Latvian folksong texts, Latviešu tautas dziesmas (Latvian Folksongs, 1952–1956), was published in Denmark, Copenhagen. The voluminous folk narrative edition, Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas (Latvian Folk Legends and Fairy Tales, 1962–1970), in its turn, was released in the United States by Waverly, Iowa. The two editions presented potential knowledge on Latvian folklore: the bodies of folklore texts to be studied in the future manifested the potential knowledge “which can be reactivated by actors who read the books and research the archives” (Mulsow 2019, 162). However, the volumes also demonstrated actual knowledge through research articles on various folksong topics and the motif index, which added value to the editions—seeing these educated individuals preparing these folklore editions as well as the exile audience at the receiving end of the published books as, in Swiss historian Philip Sarasin’s terminology, “actors of knowledge” (in German, Akteure des Wissens; Sarasin 2011, 169–171), this article seeks to examine their roles in knowledge-making. What was the cultural and political context for Latvian folklore editions? What was the individual knowledge actors’ input? What disincentives did these actors face? What was the reception of the published volumes?

Maintaining Latvian Folklore Studies in Exile

From 1944 to 1945, as World War II came to an end, the Red Army approached Latvia, and many Latvians, among them a significant number of educated people, representatives of the intelligentsia, fled from their homes. The number of emigrated citizens from the three Baltic republics, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, was estimated at around 620,000 people (Švābe 1950–1951, 235), and among them, approximately 175,000 were Latvians (Plakans 2017, 41). In the initial period of Latvian exile, there were two “safe havens for the reluctant refugees,” Germany and Sweden (Lazda 2015, 16). From 1945 to 1950, those in Germany lived in displaced persons’ camps which were supervised by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and, later on, by the International Refugee Organisation. After that, the period of dissemination began, and the refugees found their way to their new home countries. A considerable proportion of Latvians moved to the United States, but many also settled in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and South American countries. Only a handful remained in continental Europe. Despite this dispersion, the Latvian exile community largely tried to keep in touch with each other. Among the means for keeping Latvianness alive and cultivating Latvian culture were joint events in smaller ethnic circles, like attending Latvian church or festivities, publishing and reading Latvian exile press and books, and, for the younger generation, attending the Latvian weekend schools and summer camps.

The Soviet occupation split the Latvian folklorists into two groups: those who stayed in Latvia and tried to cope with the new Soviet ideology and those who found their way to the free democracies and hoping to continue their research work away from their homeland. Among those who fled, the best-known Latvian folklore scholars were Ludis Bērziņš (1870–1965), Arveds Švābe (1888–1962), and Kārlis Straubergs (1890–1962). Bērziņš moved to the United States, whereas Švābe and Straubergs connected their later lives with Sweden. From 1929 to 1944, Straubergs had been the head of Archives of Latvian Folklore. His colleagues, the heads of the Folklore Archives of the other two Baltic countries, had also emigrated: the Estonian folklorist Oskar Loorits found asylum in Sweden, and the Lithuanian folklorist Jonas Balys, in his turn, after a period in Germany, moved to the United States. In exile, they all continued active professional lives and, in one way or another, devoted themselves to folklore research. While abroad, representatives from other fields such as writers, musicologists, historians, etc., also began to show interest in studying traditional culture. Unfortunately, the opposite happened in exile as well: once active folklore researchers disappeared from the field. Thus, for example, Eduards Zicāns (1884–1946) passed away already in the camp period in Germany, but Heronims Tihovskis (1907–1991) spent busy years in Canada, with no chance or need to continue his studies of traditional folk costumes.

The scholarly infrastructure for Latvian folklore studies in exile was multifaceted and developed unevenly. First, once in a while, the knowledge of Latvian folklore was transmitted through formal and, even more so, through informal education. Academic teaching of some Latvian folklore subjects began at the Baltic University in Hamburg and Pinneberg, Germany, while emigrés themselves still lived in the displaced persons camps. Later, some scholars of Latvian origin included folklore teaching in their courses (e.g., linguist Velta Rūķe-Draviņa at Stockholm University). Second, exile scholars formed networks of cooperation, supported each, and continued researching Latvian folklore. Numerous exile academic organizations, like Ramave, a Chicago Group of Baltic Philologists, and the Latvian Academic Organization in Sweden, maintained a lively spirit and helped exchange knowledge with the exile community worldwide. Third, folklore texts and folklore studies were transmitted to the stakeholders through Latvian exile press publications and books. The volumes of Bibliography of Latvian Publications Published Outside Latvia (Jēgers 1968, 1972, 1977, 1988, 1994) show hundreds of publications relating to Latvian folklore—they vary from small size folklore textbooks to serious monographic studies.

In conditions of exile, keeping their language and traditional culture alive, actualizing folklore in emigration publications, was the strategy of Latvians and other diasporas that had fled communism and resided in the Western world. After the Second World War, other ethnic communities in the new cultural and political settings took even more significant steps than Latvians in building their folklore research infrastructure. For example, due to the efforts of the professional folklorist Jonas Balys, the folklore of the Lithuanian diaspora in the United States, soon after he arrived in 1949, was carefully recorded, published, and archived. Balys visited Lithuanian immigrants in many American cities and collected thousands of songs. His collection was deposited at the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music in Bloomington, at the Archives of Folk Song at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and at the Archives of American-Lithuanian Culture in Putnam, Connecticut (Bradūnas Aglinskas 2006). The Ukrainian diaspora representatives in Canada, with Dr. Bohdan Medwidsky as a central figure, led to the establishment of the Ukrainian Folklore Archives at the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 1977. At the archives, Medwidsky assembled students’ fieldwork projects from a course on Ukrainian folklore. A few years later, the Ukrainian Folklore Program offering both an MA and Folklore followed, and the diaspora archives grew into an extensive repository of materials on Ukrainian folk culture (Chernyavska 2018, 33–35).

On the contrary, the Latvian efforts to collect and archive their folklore in exile had been somewhat sporadic and never on so large a scale. Some significant traces have been left only in individual Latvian-origin researchers’ works, such as Inta Gale Carpenter’s study of her grandfather’s folklore repertoire (Gale Carpenter 1980), which started as a part of the final requirements for her MA in folklore at Indiana University. The recorded repertoire consisted of personal history narratives, animal tales, songs, riddles, puzzles, anecdotes, folk poetry, among others.

Every aspect of scholarly infrastructure is worth a separate research article. The intellectual infrastructure itself is a facet of the broader history of the knowledge realm. The question “What of the arenas for the production and circulation of knowledge?” (Östling, Larsson Heidenblad, Nilsson Hammar 2020, 16) may be asked both regarding everyday life and the disciplinary history of a branch of science, thus, in a wide range of applications, showing the practicality of the infrastructure concept within the scope of the history of knowledge. Keeping in mind that one thing at a time gives the privilege to go deeper into the subject, herein, only one phenomenon will be examined—the publication of the most expansive Latvian folklore text editions.

The Copenhagen Project: An Edition of Latvian Folksongs

Latviešu tautas dziesmas (Latvian Folksongs) was one of the Latvian exile folkloristics grand projects. Following the best folklore publishing standards from earlier times, this edition of Latvian folksongs was carefully prepared by three renowned editors: lawyer, historian encyclopaedist, Professor Arveds Švābe; classical philologist and folklore researcher Professor Kārlis Straubergs; and linguist Edīte Hauzenberga-Šturma (1901–1983). Latviešu tautas dziesmas was prepared and published by Copenhagen-based Latvian publishers, Imanta. The 12 volumes were printed from 1952 to 1956. The body of the texts was a combination of two earlier major folksong editions: Latvju dainas (Latvian folksongs) by Krišjānis Barons and Henrijs Visendorfs (1894–1915, vol. 1–6) and the edition of the Archives of Latvian Folklore, Pēteris Šmits’ Tautas dziesmas (Folksongs, 1936–1939, vol. 1–4). A systematic selection of “the most typical” Barons’ song variants were made, and Šmits’ editorial remarks were kept (LTDz II, 466). The compositional structure of the volumes followed Barons’ arrangement: starting with songs about singing, continuing with the flow of human life, which included a voluminous cycle of the wedding songs, and concluded with a collection of obscene folksongs. The novelty was the orthography and punctuation principles which, with full accuracy, were introduced and looked after by one of the editors, the Baltic philologist Hauzenberga-Šturma. Unlike in Barons’ Latvju dainas, the dialectological differences between regions were respected and demonstrated in print (LTDz II, 463–465).

Figure 1: Title page of the first volume of Latviešu tautas dziesmas (1952)

The exile edition contained over 60,000 folksong texts altogether, most of them trochaic quatrains, as well as 66 game descriptions (LTDz XI, 520–556). A topographic index of the towns and parishes where the folklore materials were collected was provided (LTDz II, 403–409; 411–418), and in the last volume, an extensive index of folksong numbering and a table of contents were added (LTDz XII, 133–166). The volumes were ornamentally decorated in an aesthetically pleasing way by poet and artist Ojārs Jēgens, whose appreciation for Latvian folklore over the same period manifested in several illustrated folktale selections. Inside the grey canvas covers, were special introductory reprints of old engravings, drawings, a photo with ethnographic content, and illustrated essays.

The essays that accompanied the volumes are an essential contribution to the research of Latvian folklore in exile. The articles’ topics were aligned to the themes of the songs contained in each volume, and several studies; for example, the ones on folksong language issues, presented topics that had never been examined by Latvian scholars before (Rudzītis 1977, 471). The articles were different in length and thoroughness; thus, they fit both the former academic circles and general audience of diaspora Latvians. The most productive contributors were the editors themselves. Kārlis Straubergs prepared at least one essay for almost every volume. He wrote about Latvian folksongs written on monuments of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries (LTDz I, XXVI–XXXII); pregnancy and childbirth (LTDz I, 151–161); child celebrations (LTDz I, 162–169); the Latvian family and the mother’s role in it (LTDz II, 7–9); relationships between young people (LTDz III, 279–301); weddings, as shown in folklore and historical sources; several essays covering the various stages and manifestations of wedding rituals (LTDz IV, 277–296; V, 1–15; V, 155–169; VI, VII–XVIII; VI, 65–97; VII, VII–XII; VII, 157–183; VIII, 1–133; VIII, 395–415); funeral rituals (LTDz IX, 91–104); and annual Latvian festivals (LTDz XI, 5–29).

Straubergs’ writing was inherent in retrieving evidence of his ideas in folklore texts themselves in combination with a historiographical approach. In Sweden, where he settled in exile, he had a research fellow position at the Institute for Folklife Research, affiliated with the Nordic Museum. Research duties at his workplace were centered around Latvian folklore (Ekmanis 1994, 41); therefore, to a great extent, they overlapped with the studies published in Latviešu tautas dziesmas. Unlike other Latvian folklorists in exile, Straubergs had the privilege of access to unpublished materials of the Archives of Latvian Folklore. Being the Archives’ Head from 1929 to 1944, he efficiently arranged for the typed copies of written folklore manuscripts to be taken with him on the boat to Sweden. Planning on further studies, he commented on the inexhaustible treasures he had taken with him: “For my future research work I need exactly what I brought with me from Latvia. It came out naturally—I took what I had not yet worked on, which I had not yet started. It just seemed to me the most valuable—I couldn't part with it” (Kārkliņš 1962, 126). This well-organized primary source collection let Straubergs continue Latvian folklore research addressing his studies both to the Latvian exile community and international scholarly circles to which former independent Latvia was now closed off behind the Iron Curtain. At the Archives of Nordic Museum in Stockholm, Kārlis Straubergs’ fund, there are manuscripts of his studies on Latvian family traditions, with proofreading notes, excerpts and transcripts of published historical sources and Latvian valuable folklorefor his research (Nordiska Museets Arkiv, Kārlis Straubergs’ fund, Vol. 14, 20–22, 41–46, etc.). The interested audience in Latvia got acquainted with Kārlis Straubergs’ scholarly heritage from the exile period only in 1995 when his studies were published in various volumes of the exile folksong edition later to be compiled in a book which came out in a special collection of his articles (Straubergs 1995). During the Soviet period, he belonged to the silenced “bourgeois” scholars of the Interwar period (Treija 2019, 27).

Arveds Švābe briefly covered topics of folksong collecting history (LTDz I, V–XXV), orphan songs (LTDz II, 10–12), some legal aspects in folksongs, like inheritance rights (LTDz II, 83–85), Latvian social status, as it appeared in folksongs (LTDz X, 249–255), and songs on war (LTDz X, 373–378). The third editor, Edīte Hauzenberga-Šturma, did major language editing of the volumes (Reidzāne, Treija, Vīksna 2017, 38–47). In connection with this work, she prepared two articles on the linguistic rules of Latvian folksongs and the new edition’s orthography matters (LTDz II, 463 – 465; XI, 614–625).

Tocover all the various topics of the volumes, other exile authors were invited to contribute to Latviešu tautas dziesmas. Three articles demonstrated a philological analysis of folksongs: meritorious folksong researcher, Professor Ludis Bērziņš had allowed to extract his former writings on problems of stylistics of folksongs (LTDz IV, V–XXVI, Bērziņš 1935, Bērziņš 1940); literary critic Jānis Rudzītis contributed an essay on folksong metrics (LTDz V, VII–XXVI); poet Veronika Strēlerte, in her turn, wrote on the lyricism of folksongs and other poetic aspects, comparing those to the professional poetry (LTDz III, V–XII). Composer Volfgangs Dārziņš provided an extensive study on Latvian folksong melodies; the article included music notation and maps of different melody types (LTDz XI, 577–613). The reviews of traditional material culture were entrusted to the archaeologist, and long-time director of the National Museum of History, Dr. Valdemārs Ģinters, and to architect and ethnographer, founder and former director of the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Latvia, Professor Pauls Kundziņš. For the exile folksong edition, Ģinters wrote on Latvian folk costumes (LTDz II, 279–321) and traditional women’s work at home, such as weaving textiles and grinding grain. (LTDz III, 1–16). Meanwhile, Kundziņš’ studies illuminated traditional architecture, interior elements, and household items (LTDz VIII, VII–XVI; IX, VII–XXV; X, V–XXVI). Agronomist Jānis Vārsbergs analyzed the folksong texts and thus reflected on the agrarian lifestyle of Latvian peasants (LTDz X, 1–38). Two shorter essays by medical representatives broadened the range of topics. Anatomist and anthropologist Dr. Lūcija Krastiņa-Jēruma was represented by her short study on Latvian female physical constitution (LTDz II, 245–246). She was the first woman in Latvia to receive a scientific degree in medicine, and she defended her dissertation “A Latvian Female from Anthropological Point of View” in 1935 (Jerums 1935). Apparently, in the second volume of to Latviešu tautas dziesmas, she was quoted in Kārlis Straubergs’ excerpt collection (an identical quote included in his article in 1949 (Straubergs 1949, 6), and the reference included in the volume was inaccurate since it referred to a secondary source (Cielēna 1942, 261–262). Along with that, some semi-anonymous Dr. med. J. Ā. introduced the collection of obscene folksongs with some contemplations on reproductive health issues (LTDz XII, 5–8).

The topic of Latvian mythology was presented by an epitome from a more extensive study by Ludvigs Adamovičs, “Old Latvian Religion”, presented in the form of lectures in 1937 (LTDz XI, 557–576; Adamovičs 1937). The remarkable church historian, religious researcher, and politician Adamovičs became a victim of the Soviet regime. In 1941, he was deported to Siberia. He was executed in Solikamsk in 1943 (Staļinisma represēto ... 1989, 180). Another author from the other side of the Iron Curtain whose work was honored by the exile folksong edition was Kārlis Straubergs’ brother, historian Jānis Straubergs. He stayed in occupied Latvia and passed away in 1952. A shortened combination of his articles on Latvian jewelry found in archaeological excavations (Straubergs 1938; 1939) was included in the second volume of Latviešu tautas dziesmas (LTDz II, 322–332).

In the introductory essay, “The Fates of Folksongs”, Arveds Švābe gives an overview of Latvian folklore collecting, systematization, and research history. In conclusion, he predicted the immanent significance the new edition might have in uniting the exile community:

The many editions of the folksongs show that our nation has such great piety towards this ancestral legacy that we can even speak of a folksong cult. Therefore, a mood favourable for common goals, where even a wise politician often fails, can quite easily be achieved by a choir song that every Latvian listens to, regardless of his or her religion, political beliefs and social status, and feels that centuries of fate bind him to the people who sing and listen to these songs. (LTDz I, XXV)

The huge corpus of Latvian folksong texts, as well as the articles which accompanied the volumes laid the foundations for the continuity of Latvian folklore studies outside Latvia. The authors’ overview involved in the project shows the carefully selected cast of knowledge actors: they presented both independent state researchers and those intellectually active in Latvian exile society.

The potency and function of Latviešu tautas dziesmas was twofold: to strengthen the Latvian identity and promote the folklore research in exile. In the following years, this edition was used in numerous folksong studies. It was also the basis for the first Latvian folklore digitalization project, which began as early as 1974 by Canada-based Latvian computer specialist Dr. Imants Freibergs and psychology and folklore researcher Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga (Freibergs 1989; Kanada atbalsta ... 1974, 3; R. 1977, 7–8; Veldre Beldava 1989, 3, 6). This project later developed into the Boston-Montreal Dainas Data Base, and the computational processing of Sun songs led to the exploration of their multifaceted semantics and resulted in a monograph series by Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga (Vīķe-Freiberga 1997, 1999, 2002, 2011, 2016). In 2005, this remarkable work of Latvian exile folkloristics was prepared by Maruta Lietiņa Ray for publishing online (Baumanis 2006, 8). It is available in the XML version at the site of the Library of the University of Virginia. 1

This was a financially demanding publication. Hence, the Latvian exile society was mobilized throughout the free world. This folklore edition had a pre-signup. In the first volume and subsequent volumes, there were lists of the subscribers’ names. The lists included several hundred individual Latvians living in Australia, the United States, Canada, England, Sweden, and Germany in the early 1950s. There were also New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, and Denmark among less represented countries. Among other interested persons, one can see names of Latvian language and culture researchers who were prolific in following their years of exile, including Haralds Biezais, Kārlis Draviņš (Sweden) and Jānis Bičolis (the U.S.). Some Latvian exile organizations, like Cultural Fund of Australian Latvians, the Latvian Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, New York, and the Latvian Society of Sydney, were also among the money donors and edition subscribers (LTDz I, 425–431; II, 469–471; III, 489–491; IV, 441–442; V, 459–460; VI, 507–508; VI, 479; VIII, 461).

In 1956, after the preparation and printing of Latviešu tautas dziesmas was completed, it was the most ambitious edition in the history of exile publishing. In order to reach a wider Latvian audience, it was advertised in exile press. The Cultural Affairs Office of the American Latvian Association proposed the idea of donating it to local libraries. Thus, in 1957, the publisher Imanta developed a special offer: everyone who bought two sets (at subscribers’ price) would get a third set free to give away to their local library (Imanta 1957, 4).

In an interview with a London-based Latvian newspaper in 1961, publisher Imants Reitmanis reported that Latvian diaspora readership was constantly shrinking, making successful publishing more difficult (Jaunajai paaudzei … 1961, 5–6). The edition was available for purchases even in 1976; however, it was not easily available (Irbe 1976, 26). The new generation of Latvian emigrés was growing, and youth and children were explicitly addressed as a part of the edition’s promotional activities. There was a big concern that the young generation would not read in Latvian as much as their parents did (Jaunajai paaudzei … 1961, 5) To cultivate feelings of Latvianness among youth, the Australian diaspora organized a special debate on Latviešu tautas dziesmas subscriptions. The discussion questions were these and the like: Do you agree that the youth should subscribe to the Latvian folksong edition? What should be done to make young people aware of this responsibility? How many Latvian families at your place of residence should subscribe to the folksong edition so that you say that they have fulfilled their role in protecting Latvian culture? (Jaunatnei 1953, 7) In the Latvian exile community, reaching out to the younger generation to know their people’s folklore was a constant and continuous process. Even very young children were introduced to main facts of Latvian folkloristics and Latviešu tautas dziesmas (Drusciņas par … 1973, 4).

When it came to managing the process of preparing this grand edition, Imanta faced several difficulties. For instance, the publishing house director was forced to give explanations on copyright issues (Reitmanis 1953, 3). With sarcasm, Jānis Rudzītis described those demands as “Jesuit-raised dust of royalty claims” (Rudzītis 1953, 5). Twenty years after the volumes were published, journalist Viktors Irbe let it be known that the publishing work was not a complete success story. Not only did the publishers struggle with the sales of the folksong edition, but their storage was affected by a fire. Only with the support of the Danish Government could the missing volumes have been reprinted. (Irbe 1976, 26)

Overall, the Latvian community welcomed the new edition with compliments and gratitude. Jānis Rudzītis remarked that, before the Latviešu tautas dziesmas project started, the only hope for restoring the availability of folk poetry collections in exile were photocopies of Krišjānis Barons’ Latvju dainas. The grand publishing of Imanta, according to his testimony, did the work that the Archives of Latvian Folklore had planned in the future. Rudzītis pointed out that the emigrés were committed to the major work in folklore publishing, whereas the occupied Fatherland went through the process of folklore fabrication (Rudzītis 1953, 5). Indeed, the initial period of the Latviešu tautas dziesmas publicationoverlapped with the flourishing of so-called Soviet folklore and the new discipline of Soviet folkloristics in the republics of the USSR, among them Latvia. The grotesque phenomenon of Soviet folklore evaporated soon after Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953 (Ķencis 2019, 28, 36, 57). Jānis Rudzītis also indicated the target audience of Latviešu tautas dziesmas volumes: they were meant for “a scholar’s and national fanatic’s eye” (Rudzītis 1953, 5).

A review, titled “A Work for Tomorrow”, published in 1952 in the New York Latvian newspaper Laiks (Time), was full of national excitement. The folksong edition was seen as proof of national identity and diaspora vitality. “In the face of the vastness of the world and the unknown tomorrow, we will survive and remain Latvians as long as our hearts keep hearing the simple but profound teaching of the folksongs which are collected for generations” (R. J. 1952). This review warned against the assimilation of Latvian diaspora people into their homeland countries. The author projected the new edition as a means to an end against the loss of Latvian identity.

The publishing house Imanta with its founder Imants Reitmanis thought of the Latviešu tautas dziesmas edition as a political act. Their goal was to keep Latvianness alive and to demonstrate to the free world the existence of Latvian culture. Imanta never hid the fact that through the books they published (folklore selections, history studies, Latvian literature, etc.) their national ideological agenda was implemented. They refused to compromise, even though it would have been more commercially viable by issuing non-relevant easy-to-read books (Landavs 1966, 4; Landavs 1971a, 5; Landavs 1971b, 3–4). The monumental edition of Latvian folksongs was the publishers’ special pride. Reasonably, both by contemporaries and later generations of Latvian diaspora, it was seen as “the greatest monument erected in exile to Krišjānis Barons” (R. S. 1985, 6). On several occasions, this folksong edition also appeared as an argument in political rhetoric. Thus, in an article dealing with cultural life in occupied Soviet Latvia, in a somewhat naive manner, its author expressed disappointment that not the smallest crumb of information in the Copenhagen folksong edition appeared in the Soviet press. In contrast, the exile community tried to be informed on Soviet folklorists’ achievements (R. D. 1958, 6). For Latvian Independence Day on November 18, 1953, the Latvian envoy Kārlis Zariņš wrote to their compatriots around the globe:

I think we must first be aware that we are not just Latvians, but nationally united Latvian nation. (…) We have the edition of Latvian folksongs, Latvian encyclopaedia, poetry, shirt stories, novels, research studies—can’t we be glad and proud of that? Isn't this a forward-looking vision of Latvian creative intelligence and a fierce struggle to preserve our national spirit and regain independence? Every job in our cultural field is a struggle, a vivid struggle for our freedom. (Vienība … 1953, 2)

His words echo the passion that many exile Latvians had for keeping the spirit of the Latvian nation alive and the importance he placed on folklore in achieving this goal.

A critical voice regarding Latviešu tautas dziesmas could be heard in writer Valdemārs Dambergs’ reviews. Observing the articles included in the volumes, he opposed the reckless interpretations of folksong metrics and character. He refused the anachronistic and romantic approach of adjusting the folksongs to today’s worldview and standards:

One of the most important factors which we have to consider is the one that this folk poetry belongs to a different era of folk whose character, social system, mentality was different from our current nation. Therefore, the gauges and scales of our era cannot match those under which folk poetry has developed. (Dambergs 1955, 381)

Thus, Dambergs concluded that, despite the efforts of the representatives of prolonged emigration, the understanding and knowledge of Latvian folksong rules is “still hazy” (Dambergs 1955, 382), in other words, relative. He demanded that the research essays on folksongs issued go into depth (Dambergs 1957: 460). However, Dambergs closed his reflections on a positive note. He acknowledged both the edition’s cultural value among emigrés and also the fact that articles published in Latviešu tautas dziesmas would raise many research questions in the future, including topics like folksong metrics, original vs. borrowed melodies, among others (Dambergs 1957, 465).

Some promotional reviews on the new Latvian folksong edition also appeared in English and German language publications. Their authors were more or less directly related to the Latvian exile community. Latvian poet Astrīde Ivaska introduced the readers of the international literary quarterly, Books Abroad, to the edition in a review with the laudatory title, “A Monument to the Anonymous Genius of Latvian Folk Poetry.” To the Western audience, she proudly stressed the uniqueness of Latvian folklore:

What makes the Latvian folk songs unique and interesting to the world? Definitely cultic in origin, they are of surprising antiquity: the age of some types of Latvian folk song is estimated (by methods which will be discussed later) as close to two thousand years. They have sprung directly from the native soil without foreign influence (except during the postclassical period of the folk song, the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries). As the oldest monuments of one of two remaining Baltic languages, they are of interest to the linguist. Close to the common Indo-European heritage not only linguistically, they yield rich insights to the student of comparative mythology. (Ivask 1960, 126)

Although somewhat apologetic, Ivaska’s review was not biased and could serve as a roadmap for foreign researchers from different disciplines.

A short informative review in the German academic journal, Zeitschrift für Slavische Philologie (Journal of Slavic Philology), on the first printed volume of Latviešu tautas dziesmas was published by the Estonian folklorist Oskar Loorits (Loorits 1954). Loorits was the founder of the Estonian Folklore Archives (1927) and its first Head. He was a good acquaintance of his Latvian colleagues, Kārlis Straubergs, with whom he shared the same home country in exile, Sweden, and Edīte Hauzenberga-Šturma. He tried to popularize the achievements of Latvian folklore in several articles both during the Interwar period and later in solidarity with the Latvian folklorists in exile. Similarly, in The Slavonic and East European Review, the new edition was appreciated by “a Latvian friend” (Hauzenberga-Šturma 1991, 133), William Kleesmann Matthews (Matthews 1957). He knew Hauzenberga-Šturma and other Latvian emigrés from the Interwar period. The Estonian-born English linguist Matthews was an English lecturer at the English Language Institute in Riga and at the University of Latvia.

The enthusiasm of the Latvian exile publishing house, Imanta, as well as the engagement and input of the three energetic scholars, Arveds Švābe, Kārlis Straubergs, and Edīte Hauzenberga-Šturma, in the role of the editors, made Latviešu tautas dziesmas, or, as the edition was commonly called, Copenhagen Folksongs, into one of the most significant projects of Latvian exile folkloristics.

Waverly, IA, Project: Edition of Latvian Folk Narratives

The other grand project’s story was a little bit different. Inspired by the favorable outcome of Imanta’s folksong edition, the publishers Latvju Grāmata (Latvian Book), who were based in Waverly, Iowa, USA, decided to provide the Latvian audience with the primarypublication of narrative folklore, a supplemented reprint of Pēteris Šmits’ Latviešu pasakas un teikas (Latvian Fairy Tales and Legends). This project was carried out between 1962 and 1970. Šmits (1869–1938) was an honorableLatvian sinologist, linguist, and ethnographer

Figure 2: Title page of the first volume of Latviešu pasakas un teikas (1962)

The 15 volumes of folklore were originally published in Riga from 1925 to 1937, and it was one of the most significant works of Latvian interwar period folkloristics. Šmits compiled former collections of prose folklore, published and unpublished sources. Among the published materials, a large part was Ansis Lerhis-Puškaitis’ collection, and his seven volumes of Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas (Latvian Folk Legends and Fairy Tales, 1891—1903). The first 12 of Šmits’ volumes consisted of fairy tales which were arranged according to Antti Aarne’s typology of folk tales, and the last three were folk legends. The 15 volumes contain 7895 folklore texts altogether. To the present day, his Latvian fairy tale publication remains the largest and most representative edition of Latvian folk narratives (Pakalns 2017, 192). Professor Šmits had provided the publication with a thorough introduction (130 pages) which covered multifaceted topics: collection and arrangement of fairy tales; origins of fairy tales; fairy tales and legends; historical evidence in fairy tales; variants of fairy tales and legends; and foreign fairy tales in Latvian literature.

There was quite a bit of confusion regarding the second print of Pēteris Šmits’ work because of the title. The publisher Eduards Dobelis (1915−1977), apparently due to negligence, had named the 15 volumes not identically to the Šmits’ original, but after the earlier collection by Ansis Lerhis-Puškaitis, Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas. The references to the artistic design of the volumes also give a hasty and careless impression. In the first volume, the name of the active exile artist Vitauts Sīmanis (Aistars 2004) is shown; however, the introductory pages of many other volumes seem to present different styles and “handwritings” without artists’ names being mentioned. Only from the publisher’s correspondence, one gets to know that the ornamentation design was done by artist Žanis Ventaskrasts (LNB RXA263, 234, 63). In some cases, ready-made generic imprints seemed to be used (LTTP III, XV). Every volume consisted of Šmits’ editions’ facsimile pages, which were surrounded by front pages of the National Latvian Publishers (under this name, Latvju Grāmata addressed to the English-speaking audience) and the motif-index in the English language. In several cases, the index was in typescript, and its pages were numbered separately. From time to time, the empty pages at the back of the volumes were filled with publishers’ advertisements, lists of new books, and their prices. Thus, despite the ambitious intention, this edition’s overall impression leads one to think that it was completed in haste with carelessness and commercial motives of the National Latvian Publishers.

The first volume was introduced by Eduards Dobelis’ address, a page of quite rambling text in the English language. He began as follows:

This work is dedicated for the time coming and for the destiny of people living far away at the Baltic Sea – the Latvians. Throughout centuries, since pre-historic times, the Latvians being in cross-roads of East and West, in the very heart in Europe, have survived and outlived the conquerors and developed a stubborn ability to live and love their homeland. All that has brought up a rich and colourful folklore and national culture – and it is our duty to bring it up. (LTTP I, a-4)

The actual addressee is not clear by this input. On the one hand, the publisher in a foreign language presumably addressed the international community. On the other hand, the pathos of ethnocentrism appealing to national feelings permeates the text.

Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas was a cooperative work between the Latvian publishing house in the United States and Haralds Biezais, Ph.D. (1909—1995), a Latvian scholar exiled to Sweden. After completing successful theology studies and attaining a doctoral degree in his new homeland, Biezais studied at Uppsala University, where he managed to receive a doctoral degree in philosophy. His main research interests were the history of religion, mythology, and folklore. (Kalnačs 2003) At the initial phase of the edition’s publishing (from 1962), Biezais was a deputy professor at Uppsala University, whereas, by the 14th volume (in 1970), his academic position had changed to professor at the Academy of Åbo (Turku) in Finland.

Haralds Biezais provided the first volume of Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas with a Latvian introduction “Collectors of Latvian Fairy Tales” (LTTP I, a-5–a-14), which contained biographical information on Ansis Lerhis-Puškaitis and Pēteris Šmits. Meanwhile, he also pointed out regardless of the purpose of the edition, may it be for the continuity of the spiritual life of the nation or for research purposes, the precondition is the availability of the folklore material itself (LTTP I, a-5). Biezais’ own goal was to make the Latvian folk narratives available for international research. Therefore, in parallel with the preparation of reprint volumes, he kept preparing the motif-indexes corresponding to each volume’s content. For all volumes together, the total extent of the index was 368 pages. In the “Introductory Notes” to the motif index, Haralds Biezais mentioned to specialists in the field of folklore:

The Motif-Index used here has been prepared in accordance with the requisites internationally known Stith-Thompson “Motif-Index of Folk Literature”, I-VI, 1955-58, in order to facilitate the accessibility of this very rich Latvian folklore (fairy-tales) to international research. This will be of great help even to those who are not familiar with the Latvian language, who, understandably, are in the majority. On the other hand, this index will assist our own Latvian researchers to refrain from recognizing as genuine those Latvian motifs which in reality have travelled around and readily are found in other nations’ as well. (LTTP I, 434)

It is clear that he had not only a Latvian audience in mind but saw a much broader scope in the work he was doing. Biezais was probably one of the most international-scholarly-audience-oriented Latvian folklore researchers in exile. Biezais also pointed out that, contrary to his desire, “for technical reasons,” they have failed to give a systematic synopsis of each motif group, as it showed in Stith Thompson’s work. (LTTP I, 435)

Starting in the 3rd volume, Liene (Lena) Neulande’s (1921–2010) name appeared as another compiler of the motif index. Neulande, who later became Biezais’ spouse, was a Latvian folklore and mythology researcher who also had emigrated to Sweden at the end of World War II (Krogzeme-Mosgorda 2010, 247). Liene Neulande developed the long-term work on Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas motif index into a separate publication in the Finnish Academy of Sciences prestigious series Folklore Fellows’ Communications. It was supplemented with later published sources, including fairy tale and legend selections prepared by Soviet Latvian folklorists, namely, Austra Alksnīte, Alma Ancelāne, Kārlis Arājs, Alma Medne-Romane, and Jānis Niedre (Neuland 1981, 12–13). In the preface, Neuland credited the Swedish and Finnish folklorists, her University professors Dag Strömbäck and Lauri Honko, and the Nordic Museum librarian Jan-Öjvind Swahn, whom all had encouraged her to work on the Motif-Index of Latvian Folktales and Legends (Neuland 1981, 5).

The latest volumes were regularly mentioned in short book reviews in the Latvian exile press, for example, in Latvija (Latvia), Latvju Vārds (Latvian Word), Latvija Amerikā (Latvia in America). However, these short paragraphs were rather generic press releases than critiques. Some press publications mentioned that Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas are among the books that Latvian organizations would buy for their libraries (Bibliotēka … 1967, 5). One of the few slightly more detailed and evaluative articles was by historian Edgars Andersons. He emphasized the usefulness of the edition for non-Latvian researchers due to the English motif index (Andersons 1968, 80) and encouraged Latvian students to base their research topics in their Master’s and doctoral degrees on the new edition (Andersons 1968, 81). Andersons also addressed a short review, published in the American journal, Western Folklore, to the international audience, encouraging libraries to buy the new Latvian folklore edition (Anderson 1964).

Justifying Harald Biezais’ expectations, the exile edition of Latvian folktales and legends was obtained by libraries in the United States, Germany, Sweden, and other countries and became available for more international scholars. This edition was also translated into German by the editorial team of the international folk tale research project, Enzyklopädie des Märchens (Encyclopedia of Fairy Tales), respectively, by a native Latvian involved in the translation work (Pakalns 2005, 158–161). A part of the translated manuscript, three volumes of folk legends, kept by the Göttingen Academy of Sciences, has been published online as a Latvian and German bilingual text corpus in 2012 (Pakalns 2005, 162–167).2

By the time the index began to be published, Haralds Biezais promised the readers: “A review about the attempts up to now in editing, selecting and indexing of Latvian fairy-tales will appear in a critical form in the last volume of this work” (LTTP I, 434). However, the 15th volume ends abruptly with the last portion of the motif-index. There are neither concluding words nor summary from Professor Biezais, nothing recapitulating other than a short anniversary announcement from publishers on the front page: “Celebrating 20 years of activities in America, publishing house thanks all who supported the preparation of the biggest Latvian folklore work” (LTTP XV). The correspondence between publisher Eduards Dobelis and researcher Haralds Biezais kept by the National Library of Latvia (LNB RXA263, 234) exposes hidden unpleasantries.

An exchange of letters between Eduards Dobelis and Haralds Biezais began peacefully in 1961, in a rather business-like manner on both sides. The original purpose of the cooperation between the two was Haralds Biezais’ offer to review the forthcoming edition in international academic journals, one review after the first volume, another after the last (LNB RXA263, 234, 1–2). After that, Dobelis proposed to append every volume with a few pages of commentary and bibliography, addressing the Latvian Uppsala researcher to this work. (LNB RXA263, 234, 3) On July 27, 1961, Haralds Biezais sent the publisher a programmatic letter with milestones described: the edition, in Biezais opinion, needed 1. a motif index, based Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson’s developed system; 2. A critical bibliography of Šmits’ sources; 3. short biographies of Latvian folk tale collectors, Lerhis-Puškaitis and Šmits; 4. a critical bibliographical overview of printed folk tale sources after Šmits’ edition; 5. a list of international scholars who already had used Latvian folklore narratives in their research, Matti Kuusi from Finland, Jan-Öjvind Swahn and Anna Birgitta Rooth from Sweden, Will-Erich Peuckert from Germany. Haralds Biezais also regretted that the Copenhagen folksong publishers did nothing to reach an international audience: “Once the exile people made material sacrifices, they had to seize the opportunity to make the edition available for international scholarship. We and our culture are silenced, largely through our own fault” (LNB RXA263, 234, 4). Despite being very busy, Haralds Biezais agreed to cooperate on preparing a decent Latvian folklore publication, and the contract between Dobelis and Biezais was signed on November 15, 1961 (LNB RXA263, 234, 15). However, Biezais insisted that his texts should not be corrected or altered in any way (LNB RXA263, 234, 14). At the beginning of correspondence, a constant feature is a mutual exchange of ideas on the best ways to advertise the Latvian folklore publication. In Biezais’ opinion, along with the Latvian exile community, the target audiences were international research institutes and scientific libraries (LNB RXA263, 234, 14, 63, 69 et al.). For reviews, Biezais recommended Dobelis get in touch with the most prominent journals in folkloristics, like Fabula and Journal of American Folklore (LNB RXA263, 234, 140). However, the reviews in these journals never did appear, most possibly, due to the publisher’s passive action.

The first misunderstanding began already at the signing of the contract remotely. Haralds Biezais refused Eduards Dobelis’ proposal, for promotional purposes, to write a superficial non-scientific blurb for the edition which would propagate the romantic but unsubstantiated idea of Latvians’ origin from the ancient Indians and the similarity of the Latvian language with Sanskrit (LNB RXA263, 234, 17). “I cannot write such a script as you want without losing my repute of an internationally renowned scholar,” Haralds Biezais replied to him (LNB RXA263, 234, 18).

Soon Biezais also realized that the publisher did not take the accuracy of the technical recording of the index seriously enough. Along with the poorly organized proofreading process by Dobelis, this created tensions between the two partners (LNB RXA263, 234, 22). After the first volume was published, Biezais pointed out some typesetting issues and index numbering errors due to the publisher’s editing. However, he was determined to continue the thorough work he had begun (LNB RXA263, 234, 63). In 1963, as the volume publication picked up the pace, Eduards Dobelis impatiently asked if the index could be simplified. On this slip of Latvju Grāmata, Biezais had written a blunt reaction response: “Science cannot be simplified” (LNB RXA263, 234, 70). Biezais was very angry when he learned that Dobelis was making arbitrary and incomprehensible corrections to the index, “You have shamed me in front of the whole world!” (LNB RXA263, 234, 72) Realizing that their understanding of research-based publications was very different, Biezais, in a sarcastic tone, on January 26, 1964, explained to Dobelis what such an index meant to folklore studies:

You are worried about the index. That is the only gate to the international world. Šmits’ fairy tales have lied and would lie, forgotten by the world, because they cannot be studied in Latvian. Thanks to the index, everyone knows what is inside. I gave the index of the first two volumes to the editorial board of the journal Arv, which is distributed worldwide in 3,000 copies. And, at the academic meeting, the editor came up and told, that it was a great thing, he had not known that Latvians had such a great material. He also promised to include a review on the first two volumes in the journal. Therefore, pray to God that I may have enough time and patience to bear these sacrifices. (LNB RXA263, 234, 72)

Here Biezais is clearly frustrated and trying to focus on the importance of the work he has done. One can also ascertain of Biezais’ work ethics the importance he set for his professional reputation. That, however, did not match the value system of Dobelis, or at least his real business interests for the folklore edition they cooperated on.

On March 18, being in a better mood, Biezais mentioned that such hard work as making the index can be done “only with motives of national romance, but not with the justification of the mind” (LNB RXA263, 234, 74).

Eduards Dobelis’ and Haralds Biezais’ letters show mutual dissatisfaction, and eventually, their communication turned into ceaseless clarifications of misunderstandings. Dobelis constantly complained about financial failures related to the Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas (LNB RXA263, 234, 80–83, 85 et al.). Biezais sometimes had to remind that he had not received his symbolic salary (LNB RXA263, 234, 89, 100, 107, 111 et al.). Due to financial difficulties, part of Biezais’ royalty was paid in Latvju Grāmata books; unfortunately, the books were not always sent in a disciplined manner, as promised by Dobelis (LNB RXA263, 234, 74, 75, 86, 87 et al.). The authors of the index, Biezais, and Neulande often did not receive their copies of their published work or received them after multiple reminders. A great deal of Biezais’ dislike was caused by the fact that Dobelis arbitrarily left a part of the third volume’s index unpublished (LNB RXA263, 234, 87, 93, 103). Their communication escalated most in 1965, when Biezais concluded that a temporary solution could be an ultimatum: either Dobelis settled all obligations with him, or the work would not continue (LNB RXA263, 234, 89, 93). It helped to move forward. For Haralds Biezais, it required great diplomacy to maintain cooperation with Eduards Dobelis. Sometimes Dobelis appeared blatantly vulgar (LNB RXA263, 234, 92). Sometimes he appeared quite cynical. For instance, on September 25, 1967, Dobelis wrote to Biezais: “I have to rush you because my subscribers die one after another.” (LNB RXA263, 234, 89, 113) With resentments, still, in 1970, the publishing of Šmits’ exile edition was finally finished.

Browsing the Latvian exile press, quite soon, one can find that the publisher Eduards Dobelis had scandalous fame among his contemporaries. There are very few publications that improve his reputation. In most references, Dobelis appears likea person with low professional standards and questionable interpersonal ethics. The criticism against the owner of Latvju Grāmata included non-agreed “improvements” in authors’ texts, non-agreed publishing of Latvian writers’ and illustrators’ work, unjustified defamation, and more (Autoru apzagšana … 1970, 6, Duniks 1977, 13, Kārkliņa 1975, 3–4, Rudzītis 1966, 2, Sproģis 2009, 5, Unāms 1970, 2, Vidbergs 1961, 6, et al.).

Launching the publication of Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas, Eduards Dobelis had no other than commercial and probably self-pride motivations. Despite his sometimes-odious behaviour, Eduards Dobelis’ work together with Haralds Biezais and Liene Neuldande resulted in a fundamental folklore source publication useful both for Latvian and non-Latvian researchers. For the second half of the 20th century, these 15 volumes of folk narratives along with the 12 volumes of folksongs, prepared by Arveds Švābe, Kārlis Straubergs, and Edīte Hauzenberga-Šturma and published by Imanta, were two cornerstones for Latvian folklore studies outside Latvia.


From the point of view of the disciplinary history of Latvian folkloristics, the same necessity for folklore text as a source for potential studies can be adduced. The assumption of a pure thirst for knowledge can be made respectfully by looking at the substantial volumes on the bookshelves of the Archives of Latvian Folklore (where they were exposed only in the 1990s after Latvia regained its independence). However, when examined more closely, the background motivations and contexts of creation for Latviešu tautas dziesmas, orCopenhagen Folksongs, and the America-published Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas are quite different. The folksong edition was a product of joint efforts of publishers Imanta and enthusiastic scholars, Arveds Švābe, Kārlis Straubergs, and Edīte Hauzenberga-Šturma, and a large team of other knowledge actors who contributed the articles to the volumes of this edition. The folk legend and fairy tale, in its turn, was primarily motivated by the commercial interests of the publisher Eduards Dobelis which contradicted the interests of the scholar Haralds Biezais. Above all, keeping the regaining of Latvia’s independence in mind, these editions were also of national importance for the emigrant society, one way to keep Latvianness alive in exile.

The analysis shows that all the actors of knowledge, respectively, potential and actual folklore knowledge, play their role towards an outcome: publishers, editors, authors of articles, researchers who prepared the motif index of the fairy tales, book distributors, reviewers, academic users, passionate promoters of the projects in the Latvian exile press and during Latvian community events, readers, et al. Regardless of individual motivations of these knowledge actors, ultimately the mere act of preserving, publishing and thus introducing and reintroducing their readers to the Latvian cultural heritage is a testament to the undying hope that Latvians shared under Cold War circumstances in Western exile. Due to the lack of relevant sources, a lesser-known group of these knowledge actors is the readers. How much did the general Latvian audience read volumes? Was the pathos of subscribing to the volumes followed by the actual reading of them? Or was it mostly an elegant gesture of a national agenda? These questions will be answered when the readership audience, the representatives of the Latvian exile community, most of them now at a very respectable age, are interviewed. The author of this article has launched such a research project to understand knowledge transmission in exile communities.


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Kārkliņš, Valdemārs. “Nelaikā rimis darbs.” [Untimely stopped work] Laika Mēnešraksts 4 (1962): 121–126.

Krogzeme-Mosgorda, Baiba. “Liene Neulande (29.03.1921. Majori, Latvija – 13.03.2010. Tēbija, Zviedrija).” Letonica 20 (2010): 247–248.

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LTTP = Šmits, Pēteris. Latviešu tautas teikas un pasakas [Latvian folk legends and fairy tales], I–XV. 2. izd. Waverly: Latvju Grāmata, 1962–1970

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Reitmanis, Imants. “Paskaidrojums tautas dziesmu lietā.” [An explanation of a folk song case] Latvija Amerikā, July 11, 1953.

Rudzītis, Jānis. “Jaunais tautas dziesmu izdevums.” [The new edition of Lavian folksongs] Latvija, September 19, 1953.

Rudzītis, Jānis. “Kāda izdevēja morāle.” [Ethics of some publisher] Latvija Amerikā, June 1, 1966.

Rudzītis, Jānis. Raksti: Vērtējumi un apceres par latviešu literatūru 1935–1970 [Articles: Reviews and essays on Latvian literature 1935–1970], sak. Ofelija Sproģere. Vesterosa: Ziemeļblāzma, 1977.

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Straubergs, Jānis. “Latviešu saktu kalēju amats un Rīgas latviešu rotas.” [Latvian brooch blacksmith profession and Riga Latvian jewelry] Senatne un Māksla 2 (1939): 102–110.

Straubergs, Kārlis. “Līgavas vērošana.” [Looking for a bride] Latvju Vārds, June 10, 1949.

Straubergs, Kārlis. Pār deviņi novadiņi [Nine lands across], sak. Jānis Rozenbergs. Rīga: Zinātne, 1995.

Švābe, Arveds (red.). Latvju enciklopēdija [Latvian encyclopedia], 1. Stokholma: Trīs zvaigznes, 1950–1951

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Veldre Beldava, Aija. “Saules dainām saules mūžs arī elektroniskā laikmetā.” [Life os Sun to the Sun dainas also in the electronic age] Laiks, September 9, 1989.

Vidbergs, Sigismunds. “Māksliniekam Vidbergam prasa pieradīt, ka viņš ir mākslinieks Vidbergs: Sigismunda Vidberga atklātā vēstule sabiedrībai savu darbu tiesību aizsargāšanai.” [Artist Vidbergs is asked to prove that he is artist Vidbergs: An open letter by Sigismunds Vidbergs to society in defence of copyrights of his works] Laiks, April 12, 1961.

Vienība … = “Vienība lai top mūsu spēks.” [May unity be our strength] Laiks, November 18, 1953.

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Vīķe-Freiberga, Vaira. Trejādas saules. Hronoloģiskā saule. [The threefold Suns. The chronological Sun] Rīga: Karogs, 1999.

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Vīķe-Freiberga, Vaira. Trejādas saules. Mitoloģiskā saule . [The threefold Suns. The mythological Sun] Rīga: Pētergailis, 2016.