The Library of Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music
The Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music, previously the Latvian Conservatoire was founded in 1919. Its first director until 1944 was Latvian composer Jāzeps Vītols (1863–1948). The library was founded soon after the Latvian Conservatoire was established. Over the past ninety-seven years, the small library has grown and developed into a modern printed, written, and recorded data storage and distribution facility.
The Library is the oldest music and related literature repository in Latvia. It houses traditional forms of materials, and the library is now creating a collection of photos about the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music and Latvian music history.
Currently the library consists of three departments, located in different rooms and floors of the Academy: Scores Department, Books Department, and Audiovisual Department.
The library's primary objective is to ensure that students, faculty, and staff of the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music have access to required print materials (books, scores, periodicals), as well as sound and video recordings for study and research.
L'Académie de musique Jāzeps Vītols, anciennement Conservatoire letton, fut fondée en 1919. Son premier directeur jusqu'en 1944 fut le compositeur Jāzep Vītols (1863–1948). La bibliothèque fut créée peu après la fondation du conservatoire. Au cours des quatre-vingt dix-sept dernières années, la modeste bibliothèque s'est développée et transformée en installation moderne de fonds écrits et enregistrés.
Cette bibliothèque représente la plus anciennce en termes de musique et de littérature musicale en Lettonie. Elle conserve les supports traditionnels et élabore en ce moment une collection de photographies sur l'histoire musicale en Lettonie et sur l'Académie de musique Jāzeps Vītols.
Actuellement, la bibliothèque comprend 3 départements situés dans les différents endroits de l'Académie – les partitions de musique, les ouvrages, et l'audiovisuel. L'objectif est de favoriser l'accès aux documents imprimés (livres, partitions, périodiques) ainsi que les enregistrements audio-visuels pour l'ensemble des étudiants, des enseignants et de l'équipe de l'Académie, dans leurs projets de l'étude et de recherche.
Die lettische Musikakademie Jāzeps Vītols, das ehemalige Lettische Konservatorium, wurde 1919 gegründet. Ihr erster Direktor, Jāzeps Vītols (1863–1948), leitete diese bis 1944. Die Bibliothek wurde kurz nach Gründung des Konservatoriums eingerichtet. Über die vergangenen 97 Jahren ist die kleine Bibliothek gewachsen und hat sich in eine moderne Einrichtung verwandelt, die gedruckte Medien und Tondokumente speichert und verbreitet. Die Bibliothek ist das älteste Archiv für Musikalien und Musikliteratur. Sie stellt traditionelle Materialarten und neuerdings zusätzlich eine Sammlung von Fotografien über die Geschichte der Akademie zur Verfügung. Derzeit besteht die Bibliothek aus drei Abteilungen, verteilt über verschiedene Räume und Stockwerke des Akademiegebäudes: Die Noten-, die Bücher- und die Audiovisuelle Abteilung. Oberstes Ziel der Bibliothek ist es, für Studenten, Lehrkörper und Personal der Akademie den Zugang zu den benötigten Druckausgaben an Büchern, Noten und Zeitschriften wie auch zu Ton- und Videoaufnahmen für Forschung und Lehre zu ermöglichen.
"The library can be compared to a heart of a living organism, because with countless threads as arteries it is linked to studies in the classrooms. Whether it is a solfeggio lesson, music history course or orchestra rehearsal, not to mention the special classes for performers—instrumentalists and vocalists, amongst others—the sheet music and books continuously flow away from the library and soon return to their shelves again, to rest in one of the three separate, dedicated, book-filled spaces"1.
This quote, from a book published in 1965, describes the Library of the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music.
Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music
The Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA) previously the Latvian Conservatoire was founded in 1919. Its first director until 1944 was Latvian composer Jāzeps Vītols.
The Latvian Conservatoire was founded as a classic-type music education institution following the ancient traditions of the famous St. Petersburg Conservatoire where Jāzeps Vītols taught for thirty years. Main tasks formulated by the program of the new educational institution were significant and extensive: "development of the inner culture in Latvia, broadening of possibilities for perception of the art, as well as furthering and promotion of real talents in achievements of higher levels of musical maturity and virtuosity"2.
During the first period of Latvian independence (1918–1940), JVLMA was the leading force in the music life of Latvia, well integrated into European culture. In 1940, the JVLMA was incorporated into the Soviet system of music education, while the '60s and '70s saw the loosening of restrictions on international contacts that again opened up new possibilities for students and teaching staff.
The main goals of the Latvian Academy of Music are to provide studies of exceptional quality in the subjects of music, choreography and education sciences, and humanitarian and social sciences; to conduct research projects in arts and sciences; and to encourage the artistic creativity of young musicians. The Academy supports higher education and cooperates as an independent entity with foreign institutions for arts and education3. [End Page 146]
The idea of creating a library is to the credit of the academy's students, and the library was founded soon after the Latvian Conservatoire was established. The JVLMA library is the oldest music and related literature repository in Latvia. It houses rare manuscripts, scores, books, periodicals, and sound and video recordings.
Currently the library consists of three departments, located in different rooms and on several floors of the Latvian Academy of Music: Scores Department, Books Department, and Audiovisual Department.
Students and staff members of the JVLMA use the library, as well as musicians of the Latvian National Opera and Ballet, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, teachers and professors from other Latvian academic institutions, and heads of various music collections. Library materials located in the reading room are available to the public.
The library's primary objective is to ensure that students, teachers, and staff of the JVLMA have access to required resources—books, scores, periodicals—as well as sound and video recordings for study and research.
The main tasks of the library are collection development, tracking and storage of the library collection, and providing fast, easy, and user-friendly access. [End Page 147]
The Scores Department holds approximately 45,000 music scores, providing access to one of the largest of such collections in Latvia. Items in this collection have a unique layout, one that has not changed since the library's establishment. This particular layout ensures that librarians are able to find scores without having to refer to the catalogue.
The Scores and Books departments are proud of their archive of music scores, which consists of works composed by Latvian musicians, various manuscripts, historical materials, and books. At this time, the archive holds 13,520 items, but the number increases every day. Many of these materials are considered to be of high cultural and historical value to the Latvian State.
Books Department and Reading Room
The Books Department holds approximately 17,000 titles. For research and study, one can find literature in the Latvian, Russian, English, German and French language. Special items consist of research studies by academic staff and students of the former Latvian State Conservatoire and the JVLMA. The Reading Room provides an excellent environment for study and information access. Here one can find dictionaries, encyclopedias, Latvian and foreign-language periodicals, digital catalogues, and databases. [End Page 148]
The Library takes pride in its unique collection of sound and video recordings. Current holdings number 50,000 audio recordings and video tapes/discs. Those who conduct research in interpretation and performance practice are in an excellent position, as most of the musical repertoire are available in up to fifty different versions. The stock of the JVLMA Audiovisual Department is one of the largest and most specialised collections in Latvia. A rich selection of ballets, documentaries about musicians, and relevant subjects of music history is also available and can be viewed/listened to onsite in the department. Information about the library holdings and its digital catalogue is available on the academy's home page4.
Library Photo Archive
In addition to these traditional materials, the library is in the process of creating a photograph collection on the JVLMA and Latvian music history. This process began in 2005, and at this time, the collection consists of about 6,500 items. The purpose of gathering photographic documentation is to preserve the significant historical information in digital form. The collection is available to the public through the library's photo database. [End Page 149]
In the past ninety-seven years, our small library has grown and developed into a modern print, manuscript, and recorded data storage and distribution facility. The library provides access to different library materials, online catalogues, and databases. It collaborates with academic staff to improve and update the collection, with special attention and effort given to the preservation of Latvian cultural heritage. [End Page 151]
Evita Stankeviča is head of the library at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music since June 2012. She holds a master's degree in Intercultural Relations from Daugavpils University and a bachelor's degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Latvia. She has also received first-level professional higher education in culture management with a specialisation in photography from the Latvian Culture College.
1. Jāzepa Vītola Latvijas Valsts konservatorija 1940–1965 (Rīga: Izdevniecība "Liesma", 1965), 106.