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National Library of Latvia, Riga

(4.1/5 based on 220+ reviews on the web)
The National Library of Latvia is a national cultural institution under the supervision of the Latvian Ministry of Culture. The National Library of Latvia was formed in 1919 after the independent Republic of Latvia was proclaimed in 1918. The first supervisor of the Library was Jānis Misiņš, a librarian and the founder of the Latvian scientific bibliography (1862–1945).Today the Library plays an important role in the development of Latvia's information society, providing Internet access to residents and supporting research and lifelong education.CollectionsOne of the characteristic cornerstones of the NLL, which characterizes every national library, is the formation of the collection of national literature, its eternal storage and long-term access.The NLL is a centre of theoretical research and practical analyses of the activities of Latvian libraries. The Library carries out the functions of the centre of Latvia Interlibrary Loan, ensures the library and information service to the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia – the Saeima, implements the standardisation of the branch. Since the very outset, its main concern has been the national bibliography. The massive union catalogue "Ancient Prints in Latvian 1525 -1855 "(published in Riga, 1999), received Spīdola Prize in 2000 and was awarded "The Beautiful Book of the Year 99".In 2005 "The Index of the Authors of Letonica Books (1523–1919)" was published, providing information about versatile branches of science and representatives of various nations, Latvia being the main focus of their publications.The NLL includes several collections of posters (artists Oskars Šteinbergs (1882–1937), Sigismunds Vidbergs (1890–1970), Raoul Dufy (1877–1953), Bernhard Borchert (1863–1945), Niklavs Strunke (1894–1966) and others).
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • National library was always questionable architectural endeavour. Project being developed decades ago came to life only recently and unfortunately construction started in years following financial cri...  more »
  • the title is clearly a joke but this library besides being huge, I think the biggest of Latvia, is spectacular as architecture that has nothing to envy to our architect renzo piano. it comes free with some tricks and you can visit his 12 floors if all open. It's just interesting to turn it but worth it.
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  • It looks interesting on the outside, but it was nothing to entertain me on the inside. Maybe I had strange expectations, but a fun exhibit or something would have been nice. The cafeteria was mediocre...  more »
Google
  • The National Library of Latvia is overall a pleasant place for work and studies. The collection is good and new books are added constantly. There are computers, and if you are carrying a laptop - every table is equipped with multiple power sources and free wi-fi is provided as well. There is a restaurant and a cafeteria on the first floor so you can have a lunch if you stay for a longer time. Some of the few drawbacks are the furniture - the chairs could be more comfortable, there is a rule that you have to leave your bags in a locker room for 1 EUR, so you have to have exactly 1 EUR on hand (there is a change machine in case you need to use it) and the rooms in the library are very cold regardless of the time of the year so make sure you are packing an extra sweater and a blanket scarf to keep yourself warm.
  • Great location, interesting architecture, good wifi and quiet places for working. Yes, they have books too!
  • One of the best projects I've seen in Riga in my life. Get someone who works there and does excursions to guide you everywhere and to the top. Amazing ideas behind every detail of design. Spectacular.
  • Modern and huge library. Amazing views through the windows.
  • I love libraries and this is a beautiful library indeed! Ask for a guest pass at the front desk and they'll let you head up to the stacks for a closer look at their collection. It'll be a great photo op, too!