C E N T E R   f o r   B A L T I C   H E R I T A G E

History and culture

Our quest is to to find and preserve long forgotten pieces of paper holding accounts of the Baltic past, produced during the times they describe—or accounts by those who were there to experience events. The purpose? To see the Baltics through the eyes of their times, no hindsight, no spin doctoring. Our search for objectivity also extends to present, to disseminate reputable scholarship to counter the mischaracterizations and misperceptions which still envelope the Baltics more than two decades after they regained independence.

The Baltic past is rich in ancient cultural treasures and in the geopolitical lessons it teaches, as relevant to today as when Count Shuvalov, Russian governor-general of the Baltic provinces, first stated:

“The historical mission of the Baltic provinces is to serve as a battlefield for the problems of the highest politics in Europe.”

That role continues even today as the Baltics find themselves between an autocratic-leaning Russia flush with energy revenues and a Western Europe seeking to fashion them into a geopolitical "front-line" of democracies.

Yet, the significance of the Baltics is not that they have been a battlefield for eight centuries—their significance is that those eight centuries are but a fraction of the millennia the Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians have lived and thrived along the Baltic coast as stewards of some of Europe's oldest and richest cultures.

Our digital collection brings the Baltic past out of obscurity to light for a new century and millenium.

New and notable

Album of illustrations added!

Latvia and Latvians - Lettische Butter (Latvian Butter)
"Latvian butter." The quality of butter produced by the newly independent Latvia between the wars is nearly as steeped in mythology as is the Latvian Brown cow (brūnā govs)—recognized as its own cattle breed, with cows registered since 1885—from whence it was produced. ... Tue, 25 Feb 2014
Our facsimile of Edvards Paegle's "Latvju Rakstu Ābecīte" starts with the simplest borders and progresses through ever more complex variations, over 100 examples in all.

Latvju Rakstu Ābecīte (An ABC of Latvian Ornaments)
Complete facsimile! Tue, 19 Nov 2013
Eiropas apvienošanās kustība un mēs (The European Unification Movement and Us)
Latvians already imagined a united Europe even while in the post-war DP camps. Modris Gulbis' "The European Unification Movement and Us" (in Latvian, translation in progress, Google translate available) is now available on our site. Tue, 19 Nov 2013
We've completed our ons-stop shopping exercise! CFBH and new content are now at LATVIANS.COM, look for the CFBH logo and links from the home page. Tue, 19 Nov 2013
Just a quick note that we're working on recombining LATVIANS.COM and CFBH.ORG. Too many have told us they miss our old one-stop shopping. Look for news later this fall. Wed, 25 Sep 2013Recommended reading:
Legacies, Coercion and Soft Power: Russian Influence in the Baltic States
Russia attempts to constrain the independence of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and to undermine their political, economic and civilizational choices. However, it has failed to alter significant aspects of their strategic direction. ... Tue, 25 Sep 2012
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