Bibliography
in Latvia
History of Latvian bibliography must be considered within the context of  history of Latvia and Latvian publishing. History of bibliography in a country usually is as long as the national publishing, but the beginning of Latvian bibliography falls behind the beginning of publishing in Latvia for more than 200 years. The origins of  Latvian publishing dates back to the 16th century, but those of bibliography - to the 18th century only. The reason for it is the political and economical dependence of Latvians, which delayed both the development of education and  the necessity for bibliographic information about the national printed production. The first bibliographic production in Latvia was not national either by contents or the compilers’ nationalty, but still it was intended for Latvians.   Most of the 18th century bibliographic material in their form only conventionally corresponded to the notion “bibliographic production” in the modern understanding of it. 
The first bibliographic materials of the 18th century were notices about printed materials. They were compiled both about materials which were already published and about the planned materials in order to inform the potential readers about the possibilities to acquire the printed materials, to organize subscription, to collect money for publishing, to forecast the number of copies to be printed. The first attempt to organize subscription to a manual was in 1731, performed by Vidzeme clergy: general supercommissary Jacob Benjamin Fischer organized subscription to the second edition of the Bible in Vidzeme and in Kurzeme. They sent  sample pages of the new edition to the potential customers. 
Beside notices about subscription, the notices about the books already published were compiled. The texts of notices were included in other publications. The oldest discovered notice was published in the book  “Jauna un veca latviešu laiku grāmata uz to 1774.gadu” (“Old and New Book of Latvian Times for the Year 1774”) by J.F. Stefenhāgens under the title  “News” and it contained the publisher’s annotation about Johans Rozenbergs’ book “Salasīšana, pēc godīgas, jaukas un auglīgas laika kavēšanas pie tiem gariem ziemas vakariem” (“Reading for Honest, Nice and Fruitful Pastime in Long Winter Evenings”), which was published in 1773. The notice is a typical example of  bibliography of the period.
Beginning with the 1890ties the notices about the printed materials were published also separately - on leaflets. One of the first notices of the kind was published in 1791 under the title  “Nachricht” ("News”) about Gustavs Bergmanis’ book “Labu ziņu un padomu grāmata, vidzemniekiem par labu taisīta” (“Book of Good News and Advices, Well- Written for the Inhabitants of Vidzeme”), published in the same year.  There is information about 11 separately published notices, containing bibliographic information. Only one of them is written in Latvian  J.F.Stefenhāgens' “Mīļie latvieši” (“Dear Latvians”) (1796.g.) about the book “Latvisku gada grāmatu” (“Latvian yearbook”).
The 18th century is marked by the first lists compiled by publishers about their printed materials. First, one must mention J.F.Stefenhāgens. They have found his list, published in 1788 in Jelgava, including also 26 books published in the Latvian Language. J.F.Stefenhāgens compiled also lists of Latvian books. One of the first lists of Latvian books was published in his  “Jaunā un vecā laiku grāmatā uz tu [!] 1794.gadu” (“Old and New Book of Times for the Year 1794”) under the title  – “Latvisku [!] grāmatas, ko par to naudu, kā še pierakstīts irad, pie tā grāmatu spiedēja Jelgavā neiesietas dabūt var” (“Latvian Books Which Are Available For the Price Mentioned Here From the Publisher in Jelgava”). J.F.Stefenhāgens thought not only about the elements of the bibliographic record, but also about comfortable division into languages in two parts - German and Latvian. It was the first attempt to introduce the systematization of printed material, creating separate chapters for religious books, scientific books, first readers, fiction. 

“J.F.Stefenhāgena un dēla” (“J.F.Stefenhāgens and Son”) publishing house introduced a new type of printed material - journal “Latviska Gada Grāmata” (“Latvian Annual Book”), in order to inform about the materials they publish. In 1797 it contained the list of books “Grāmatas, kuras šeitan Jelgavā pie grāmatu spiedēja Stefenhāgena, Rīgas un Liepājas pilsētā pie grāmatu preciniekiem, kā arīdzan citās pilsētās pie bokbinderiem par to klātdriķētu maksu neiesietas var dabūt” (“Books Available for The Indicated Price from the Publisher Stefenhāgens, Booksellers in Riga, Liepāja and Other Cities”) (Latviska Gada Grāmata, 1797, Nr. 3, 162.-168.lpp.).

Priest of Mazsalaca and later Rūjiena Gustavs Bergmanis also gave his contribution to the field of bibliography. He founded a house printing workshop and produced books for the Latvians. The priest was a passionate collector of printed material. He possessed a collection of Biblical texts, which he wanted to enlarge.  Therefore in 1789 he published a bibliographic list in German “Zur Nachricht” (“About the News”), which enumerated all printed materials in his possession, as well as indicated the books which were not included in his collection. The list gains its significance as the beginning of the retrospective bibliography. The retrospective bibliography of Latvian printed material was started by German priests at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. At the second half of the 18th century the Germans started to produce the bibliographic dictionaries. Frīdrihs Konrāds Gādebušs compiled  “Livländische Bibliothek nach alphabetischer Ordnung”  (Rīga, 1777). Heinrihs Baumanis compiled a bibliographic list “Bibliotheca Lettica” about the period from 1766 to 1783. Unfortunately the list was preserved only in the handwriting. 

The first half of the 19th century continued and developed the bibliographic traditions established in the 18th century. The period is characterized by the first attempts to create analytical bibliography, current bibliography, printed catalogues of the libraries, as well as to survey the whole Latvian printed production. The most significant work of the period is the  “Hronoloģiskais konspekts” (Chronologischer Conspect der lettischen Literatur von 1587 bis 1830) by K.E.Napjerskis and three continuations of it until 1868. The last part about the period from 1856 to 1868 was compiled by A.Dobner.
Preconditions for the development of the bibliography were created by the Latvian periodicals. The first Latvian newspaper was founded in 1822 and it regularly published the notices about the new books. Since 1824 the information was published under the title “No jaunām grāmatām” (“From the New Books”). Bibliographic information was published also in the newspaper “Tas Latviešu Ļaužu Draugs" (“The Friend of the Latvian People”) - surveys of the new calendars and other printed materials. Several pieces of regular bibliographic information were published in the calendars - “Vecā un jaunā laika grāmata” (“Old and New book of Times”), “Vidzemes kalendārs” (“Calendar of Vidzeme”).
The first half of the 19th century was marked by the beginning of the Latvian analytical bibliography. In 1822  “Latviešu Avīzes” (“The Latvian Newspaper”) began to compile the annual lists of contents:  “Īso rādītāju to lietu, kas Avīzēs ierakstītas” (“Brief Index of What is Written in the Newspapers”). It included information about the articles in the order of publishing within one year.

In the middle of the 19th century the Latvians had already gained certain economical and legal independence from the German noblemen and clergy, and some of them had already acquired the secondary or even the higher  education. The Latvians acquired certain positions in economics, culture, literature and in bibliography. Beside the traditional types of bibliography a new type - local history bibliography - originates. Its foundations are laid by Kr.Barons with the separately printed publication  “Указатель сочинений о коренных жителях Прибалтийского края” (“Index of Publications About the Natives of the Baltic Region”). B.Dīriķis provides a historical survey of printed material in different branches “Latviešu rakstniecība”  (“Latvian penmanship”). Publishers’ and book sellers’ bibliography beside publishers is also compiled by the Literary Society of the Latvians, by publishing the ”Grāmatu rulli”, (“Roll of the books”), which indicates the books to be borrowed and purchased from the Society of the Latvians  at the Latvian Newspaper House in Jelgava - “Jelgava, 1860”.  "Grāmatu rullis” (“Roll of the Books”) is published in "Magazin, herausgegeben von der Lettisch-Literarischen Gesellschaft” in the 3rd part of the Volume 12; later published also in 43 pages’  separate copy.
Kr.Barons’ contribution is the first local history index about the Baltics and Latvia. The basis of the work includes vast material both by the form and the contents - chronicles, official documents, scientific research. The bibliographic index was highly appreciated by the bibliographer K.Egle. He considered that even if Kr.Barons had not contributed by his life - time work  “Latvju Dainas”, ”,  he would be mentioned in the history as a compiler of a bibliographic work. 

In  the 19th century, form 1872 to 1885, the number of Latvian publishing houses increased and the German companies also continued work. The various production of the book publishers also determined the variations of bibliography and its further development.  The regular bibliography was compiled, although it was not sufficient and regular. They compiled the lists of advisory bibliography, surveys of the works published in separate fields, as well as lists of printed material to be acquired by school libraries.  The most important bibliographic catalogues of the 1870ies-1880ies are the Brothers Bušs’  “Rādītājs no visām grāmatām, kādas tagad ir dabūjamas Latviskā grāmatu bodē un bibliotēkā pie brāļiem K. un M.Buš” (“Index of All Books Available Now in the Bookshop and in the Library of Brothers K.and M. Bušs”). Similar compilations were published annually from 1872 to 1876. The second most important compilation was "Rādītājs par J.E.K.Kapteiņa lasāmu grāmatu krātuvi” (“Index About J.E.K. Kapteinis Collection of Books for Reading”), published from 1877 to 1883.

The regular bibliography was published by  “Правительственный Вестник”(“Government Announcer”) in St. Petersburgh. 
One must mention also the bibliographic index by E. Dinsberģis - the recommended list of literature for the school libraries “Rādītājs” (“The Index”), which includes 372 books about the religion study, history of the country, geography, language and the social life, including the stories and world legends, ethnography, nature stories, body culture, household and agriculture, songs and dances, books for reading at home and at school. E.Dinsberģis  “Rādītājs” (“Index”)  was handed over to the school advisor Robert Julius Bethers. They founded a committee which reviewed and edited the manuscript of "Rādītājs” (“Index”), changed the title, structure, bibliographic records and included new bibliographic records. Thus a new work was created on the basis of E.Dinsberģis’ work, which was printed in 1879 under the title  “Skolas bibliotēka” (“School Library”).

The end of the 19th century is marked by the beginning of the Latvian current bibliography, which registered all Latvian printed materials. One of its founders A.Bandrevičs with   “Latviešu grāmatu vācelīti” (“Container Of Latvian Books”) which was published in 1866 in 5 issues of journal  “Austrums” (“Orient”) as lists of current bibliography. The period is also significant by the book reviews from Science Commission of Latvian Society. Latvian printed materials are also surveyed by  “Latviešu rakstniecības rādītājs” (“Index of Latvian Penmanship”) by J.Berģis and J.Šablovskis. The bibliography of Latgallian printed material is compiled by G.Manteifels. Beside separate book publishers and booksellers, the lists of printed materials were also compiled by the Department of Useful Books of Latvian Society.
At the end of the 19th century the society felt necessity for a complete survey of Latvian printed materials, because since 1809 nothing was compiled. It was demanded by Latvian intellectuals, publishers, translators. A vast bibliographic index was compiled by the bookseller Jānis Šablovskis and the litterateur Jānis Berģis, who intended to combine information about the offer of several publishing houses and bookshops.  “Latviešu rakstniecības rādītājs” (“Index of Latvian Penmanship”) was published in 2 volumes in 1893 and in 1899, including the total of about 4000 titles. 
The history of Latvian bibliography links the name of G.Manteifelis with his “Bibliographische Notic uber lettische Schriften, welche von 1604 bis 1871 in der hochlettischen ober der sog. Oberlandischen resp. polnisch-livlandischen Mundart veroffentlicht worden sind, in rein chronologischer Ordnung zusammengestellt”. The list includes a great deal of books published in the Latgallian dialect  for the needs of the Catholic church; they were arranged in chronological order. The work was initially published in the collection  “Magazin herausgegeben von der Lettisch-Literarischen Gesellschaft” (Bd.XVII, zweites Stuck, 1885, S.181-204), later published also separately. G.Manteifelis’ index supplements the indexes by K.E.Napjerskis and A.Dobner. The bibliographic index lays the fundament for bibliographing the Latgalian book production. 
In the field of retrospective specialized bibliography one must mention the index published by Ādolfs Reinbergs (Spodrkalns) in 1891 in Jelgava “Spodrkalns. Rokas grāmatiņa teātra vadoņiem: visu latvisku drukātu lugu rād., līdz ar piez. Par lugu personālu, skatuves ierīkojumu utt.” (“Spodrkalns. Handbook for Theatre Directors: Index of All Printed Latvian Plays With Remarks on Characters, Stage Design etc.”). 
At the end of the 19th century a new type of printed catalogue was introduced - catalogue for the libraries, a list of recommended literature, e.g. “Rīgas Latviešu biedrības lasāmās bibliotēkas katalogs” (“Catalogue of Rīga Latvian Society Readable Library Catalogue” (Riga, 1897).  It was the first catalogue which provided information about the printed materials recommended for libraries to be purchased.
The bookselling and publishing houses’ bibliography traditions were actively continued by Ernests Platess “Rādītājs, kādas latviskas grāmatas pie Ernesta Platesa, Rīgā, drukātas un dabūjamas viņa drukātavā un latviešu grāmatu pārdotavā” (“Index of Latvian Books Printed and Available at Ernests Platess Printing House and Bookshop of Latvian Books”). In the 1890ies the title was changed  – “Katalogs par Ernesta Platesa apgādībā, Rīgā, pie Pētera baznīcas iznākušajām grāmatām” (“Catalogue of Books Published by Ernests Platess Publishing House in Rīga, Near St. Peter’s Church”). Since 1886 the Department of Useful Books of Latvian Society began its activities. It compiled special lists of bibliography under the title “Sludinājumi” (“Announcements”), which contained the materials already published and planned to be published. (1898, 1899). 
 


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