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Conference "Publishing and the Nation"

On 7–8 December, 2023, the National Library of Latvia is organising an international scientific conference "Publishing and the Nation". The conference is part of the "Latvian Book 500" series and is dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the prominent publisher Ansis Gulbis (1873–1936). It will stimulate discussion on book publishing as a cornerstone of a nation's culture, focusing on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the establishment of professional book publishing in the Baltic Sea region nations began.

Participation is free of charge. Registration for the conference HERE (by 5 December).



Meelis Friedenhal (Estonia) and Pēteris Bankovskis (Latvia) will give keynote lectures on the role of the book in strengthening the nation. Researchers Viesturs Zanders, Kristina Papule, Mārtiņš Mintaurs, Kristiāna Ābele, Signe Raudive, Kārlis Vērdiņš (all from Latvia), Piret Lotman and Piret Pärgma (Estonia), Melinda Simon (Hungary), Loreta Vinclovienė and Veronika Girininkaitė (Lithuania) and Andreas Hedberg (Sweden) will present the results of their research on different aspects of the role of the publishing and the books.


The conference will feature three discussions. The discussions "Big ideas, big projects, big men? Translation, encyclopaedias and patronage" and "Transformations of ideas. Texts as different forms of art and communication" will be moderated by Gustavs Strenga. Dagnija Baltiņa will moderate discussion "After 100 Years. New Challenges and Tasks". Participants of the discussions will represent different sectors of culture, science, publishing.


The conference will provide a separate session for Latvian educators with introductory lectures on books and the educational process by Mikus Solovejs and Anita Smeltere, concluding with a discussion led by Lolita Tomsone. There will also be a separate session for Latvian librarians with an introductory lecture by Anda Laķe and stories from regional librarians, followed by a discussion led by Liega Piešiņa. Professionals will receive certification of attendance.


To develop an understanding of the themes discussed at the conference, on 8 December, the birthday of the publisher Ansis Gulbis, a tour of the National Library of Latvia's three different exhibitions dedicated to books and publishing will take place. On 9 December, under the guidance of Viesturs Zanders, it will be possible to participate in a city tour "Ansis Gulbis Quarter".


The conference is organised by the National Library of Latvia within the framework of the series of events "Latvian Book 500" with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and the State Culture Capital Foundation.



More information:

Linda Bērziņa

National Library of Latvia

Phone: +371 29449919

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