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Latvia State Historical Archives

Latvijas Valsts Vēstures Arhīvs

visiting addresses
Slokas iela 16
1048, Riga

Palasta iela 4

postal address
Slokas iela 16
1048, Riga

+371.761 24 06 / +371.761 31 18

+371.761 24 06



opening hours
Slokas iela 16:
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 9.00-16.00, Wed 13.00-20.00
Palasta iela 4:
Tue, Wed, Thu 9.00-16.00
in August: closed

The main building of the State Historical Archives of Latvia (at Skola iela) is situated in the Pārdaugava area (across the Daugava River from the old town)) and can easily be reached by tram or bus. The reading room at Palasta iela (former Riga City Archives) is located in old town near the Dom Church. The reading rooms are open to the general public and documents can be ordered free of charge. An application with personal data and the subject of study is needed for access.

holdings, mission, structure
The State Historical Archives of Latvia was established in 1919. Since 1991 it has been a structural unit of the National Archives of Latvia. The State Historical Archives preserves records of former central state and administrative institutions on Latvian territory, local governments, courts and police organs, dating from the thirteenth century until 1945. The repository also keeps documents of churches, social organisations and enterprises, personal files and important collections of maps and parchments. The holdings consist of more than 6 million record files or 47 km of shelved records.

relevant publications

holdings concerning the Baltic Sea
In the State Historical Archives of Latvia are vast holdings regarding political, economical, cultural and personal contacts between the territory of Latvia and countries around the Baltic Sea as well as regions beyond it. Especially the archives of the administrative, court and financial institutions of Riga include a great number of minute books, letters, bookkeeping documents, series of custom and toll registers and other types of documents, which are reflecting trade in Riga and its contacts with the Baltic Sea region and the Netherlands.
The archives of Swedisch (seventeenth century) and Russian (eighteenth century)administrative organs on the territory of Latvia contain legal documents and correspondence about trade regulation and diplomacy. Documents of the Duchy of Courland and Semigalia (1561–1795) represent its trade, naval and political contacts. The archives of the Duchy's ports of Liepāja (Libau) and Ventspils (Windau) must also been mentioned.
The Latvia State Historical Archives also holds bookkeeping documents and personal archives of some merchants and merchant houses from the eighteenth century (Sengbusch, Woehrmann, Witte, etc.).

Riga customs book, 1731