Library Centenary Books

In 2019, the National Library of Latvia celebrates one hundred years of operation. Continuing what we did for Latvia’s centenary, this year the People’s Bookshelf continues to fill up with donations from visitors to the library – personally selected and favourite books, and in each of them – a special message. Here you can see the most significant anniversary gifts in addition, let us introduce you to their recipients, NLL staff members.

Donation by the Counsellor of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Latvia, Kairat Kambarov, on 25 October.


Dzintra Mukāne, Executive Director of the NLL, receives the gift.

On 18 October – a gift from Klaus Luger, Chairman of the Linz City Council, Austria, and a Council delegation.

Ieva Gundare, Director of the NLL’s Communication Department, receives the donation.

A gift from Odile Soupison, Ambassador of France to Latvia On 18 October, the gift is received by Dagnija Baltiņa, Director of the NLL Special Collection

Donation by Dastanbek Dzhumabekov, Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament, and a parliamentary delegation on 15 October.

The gift of Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Foreign Minister of Armenia, on 18 September. The donation is received by Andris Vilks, Director of the NLL.

On 29 July, Chinese entrepreneur and artist David Lee donated one of his paintings to the Library, featuring the National Library itself,

A donation by Gitanas Nausėda, President of Lithuania, on 23 July, being received by Andris Vilks, Director of the NLL.

On 26 June, Mark Watson-Gandy, a relative of the first British diplomat in independent Latvia, Professor Herbert Grant Watson, presented a gift – Herbert Grant Watson’s book – An Account of a Mission to the Baltic States – published in the 1950s.

On 3 June, the NLL hosted the Annual General Assembly of the European Writers’ Council, which brought together writers from 20 European countries.


Sanita Burķīte, head of the NLL’s Main Repository Centre, received the writers’ gifts, mostly from the authors themselves.

On 14 May, Arno Jundze, President of Latvia’s Writers’ Union, presented 66 books by Latvian authors, translated into 21 languages, to Astra Šmite (on the left), bibliographer of the NLL’s Humanities and Social Sciences Reading Room and Dagnija Baltiņa, Director of the Special Collections Department.

On 14 May, judge Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade of the International Court of Justice in The Hague (Netherlands) and judges of the Latvian Constitutional Court presented gifts to NLL Director Andris Vilks and Inga Vovčenko, Head of the Economics and Law Reading Room.

On 4 March, writer Andrei Kurkov, head of international writers’ organisation PEN in Ukraine, and Irina Baturevich, representative of the Folio publishing house, as well as representatives of the Ukrainian Embassy and the Latvia-Ukraine Cultural Centre presented their gifts to Astra Šmite (on the left), bibliographer of the NLL’s Humanities and Social Sciences Reading Room, and NLL Deputy Director Anita Goldberga (on the right).

On 23 April, St Jordi’s Day, Linda Mazure, Coordinator for the Catalan National Assembly in Latvia, presented gifts from the President-in-exile of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, and President of Catalonia, Quim Torra.

On 2 April, pupils from Class 1.d of Rīga’s No 6 Secondary School donated a book they had created themselves to the People’s Bookshelf.

On 14 February, Valentine’s Day, staff of Latvia’s Centenary Information Centre presented their best-loved books to the People's Bookshelf.

In February, German public TV channels ZDF and ARD filmed the story of the much-loved Michael Ende book, The Neverending Story,
which reached the People’s Bookshelf through the efforts of Elīza Palanska and Intra Dīriņa, pupils at the Rīga State German High School.

In 1992, while working as deputy to Minister for Culture Raimonds Pauls, Nellija Janaus visited faraway Australia.

On 24 January, launching their new TV series Literatūre (“Literatour”), travellers Marta Selecka and Gustavs Terzens, along with director Uģis Olte, present the People’s Bookshelf with the works of the writers featured in the programmes.

A gift from Albert Pèlach, Director of Enciclopèdia Catalana participating the opening of the digital National Encyclopedia of Latvia in Bebrene, 18 december 2018.

Albert Pèlach and his wife Betina Askanazy in the Manor house of Bebrene