On Friday, 8 December, Latvenergo AS signed a cooperation agreement with the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO (LNC UNESCO) at the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation with the aim to ensure promotion, both in Latvia and internationally, of the preservation, accessibility and visibility of “Eduards Kraucs’ Collection of Glass Plate Photographic Negatives – the Course of Construction of Ķegums Power Station 1936–1940” inscribed in the Latvian National Register of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programmethrough mutual cooperation in 2018–2021.
In 2009, Eduards Kraucs’ collection of glass plate photographic negatives, which depicts the process of the construction of Ķegums Power Station, was nominated for the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme for cultural heritage and inscribed in the Latvian National Register. It is an honour and also a great responsibility for the Museum of Energy of Latvenergo Group, which has devoted much effort to taking care of the preservation of the collection and presenting it to the public.
In 2014–2017, Latvenergo AS and LNC UNESCO investeda substantial amount of work into the promotion of E. Kraucs’ collection within the cooperation agreement. The travelling exhibition “Ķegums HPP: Pride of Latvia’s Energy Industry” has been displayed in 50 places, including faculties of Riga Technical University, Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Rēzekne Higher Education Institution, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, Liepāja University, Daugavpils University and Latvia University of Agriculture, as well as the National Library of Latvia, schools, libraries and other places, where it has been viewed by more than 55 thousand interested people, contributing to the recognition of E. Kraucs’ collection. The educational programmes at the Museum of Energy bring together participants ranging from schoolchildren to young people pursuing Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the Latvian Academy of Culture and many other interested persons who can learn about the history of the construction of Ķegums Power Stationand view the originals of the collection in the depositories.
In the coming years, the Museum of Energy will ensure digitisation of E. Kraucs’ glass plate photographic negatives, facilitating their availability in the Internet environment and sustainable preservation. All images of the collection will also be available in the Joint Catalogue of the National Holdings of Museums of Latvia (www.nmkk.lv), as along with the acquisition of the status of a state-accredited museum in October 2016, the assets in the collection of the Museum of Energy are also part of the National Holdings of Museums.
The Latvian National Register of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme was established in 2009 to promote the preservation, visibility and accessibility of a documentary heritage important for Latvia both in Latvia and internationally.
As is known, the nominations are submitted every four years, and so far five nominations have been included in the register: “Eduards Kraucs’ Collection of Glass Plate Photographic Negatives – the Course of Construction of Ķegums Power Station 1936–1940”, “Correspondence between Rainis and Aspazija (1894–1929)”,“Birch Bark Letters from Siberia”, “Memorandum of the Latvian Central Council. Riga, 17 March 1944” and “Documentation of Traditional Skills and Lifestyle in Photo Negatives Made by the Board of Monuments during the Expeditions from 1924 until 1931”.
On 8 December 2017, three new nominations and their holders will receive the certificates for inclusion in the Latvian National Register of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme: the Academic Library of the University of Latvia for “Johann Christoph Brotze’s Antique Collection on Livonia (Latvia and Estonia) from the 13th to the 19th Century”, the National Library of Latvia for “The Collection of Moravian Church (Herrnhuter) Brethren's Manuscripts (18th–19th Centuries)” and the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia for “The Collection of the Phonograph Rollers of the Archives of Latvian Folklore (1926–1947)”, as well as the Tukums Museum and the Jēkabpils History Museum for additions to the nomination “Birch Bark Letters from Siberia” (the nomination is held by 9 Latvian museums).