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Latvian Oral History Project interviews
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Latvian Oral History Project interviews
    Date (inclusive): 1995-2016
    Collection Number: 99028
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Library and Archives
    Language of Material: In Latvian and English
    Physical Description: 2 manuscript boxes, 20 digital sound files (0.8 Linear Feet)
    Abstract: Sound recordings of interviews of Latvian political leaders, governmental officials, and others relating to political, social, and economic conditions in Latvia. Includes transcripts of questions and some related printed matter. Project sponsored by the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. Interviews conducted by David Jacobs. Digital copies also available.
    Creator: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace
    Creator: Jacobs, David
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Library & Archives


    The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.


    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 1999, with an increment acquired in 2016.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Latvian Oral History Project interviews, [Box no., Folder no. or title], Hoover Institution Library & Archives.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The initial set of interviews were conducted in 1999 and 2000 by David Jacobs of the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in an attempt to document political and social conditions, as well as cultural trends, in Latvia at the time. Each interviewee was asked a set of prepared questions designed to elicit information on leading issues of the day in a country that had become independent again in 1991, following the break-up of the Soviet Union. Topics covered in the interviews include Latvia's relations with the Russian Federation, its efforts to join the European Union (a goal that Latvia achieved in 2004), and the status of the sizeable Russian minority in the country. The role of business interests in Latvian politics was also addressed in a number of the interviews, as were questions of regional and social inequalities in the country. The interviews were recorded on compact sound cassettes and have since been digitized so that researchers can listen to them.
    The sizeable increment to the collection is comprised of interviews conducted in 2016 (again by David Jacobs) with Latvian government officials, politicians, historians, and archivists. Each interviewee was asked a set of questions tailored to his or her position, as well as a set of questions that was asked of each individual. The questions focus on the 25th anniversary of renewed independence for Latvia: each interviewee was asked to give an account of the country's successes and failures since 1991. Issues such as NATO and European Union membership are addressed in most of the interviews, as are relations between Latvia and the Russian Federation. Other topics include the demographic situation in Latvia following the Great Recession, when some 400,000 Latvians left the country in search of employment. It should be noted that some of the interviews consist of informal discussions rather than structured question and answer sessions.
    The increment also contains background information, as well as lists of the questions that each interviewee was asked. There is also a considerable amount of printed matter, consisting largely of brochures and handouts provided by some of the interviewees.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Latvia -- Social conditions
    Latvia -- Politics and government -- 1991-
    Latvia -- Economic conditions -- 1991-