Nacionālās mutvārdu vēstures projekts (NMV) -
   National Oral History Project (NOH)
   At the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the University of Latvia

   Project director: Dr. Augusts Milts
   Coordinator: Mara Zirnite

   Address: 509.NMV LU FSI
   Akademijas lauk. 1
   Riga, LV 1940
   Tel.: 371 7 227920
   Fax: 371 7 210806

* * *

Oral History: Oral history is a qualitative research method used in the humanities and social sciences. Oral history provides insight into sensitive questions, draws attention to silenced history, and empowers those whose voices have not been heard.

has been financed by the Science Council of Latvia (Latvijas Zinatnes Padome) since 1992. Its approach is multidisciplinary, employing sociological and philosophical theories in particular.

National in this oral history project means connection to Latvia as an entity, regardless of the ethnicity or nationality of the interviewee who is an inhabitant of Latvia or where--even outside Latvia--this lifestory is recorded.

Lifestories are rich resources for a wide range of cultural studies and research. Lifestories present the interaction between daily and professional cultures, family and ethnic cultures, and the diversity of social and historical relationships found in each person's life.

NMV provides resources to all fields of academic research--sociology, social and cultural anthropology, linguistics, individual and social history, ethnology, folklore psychology--but it is also a resource for the greater community. The oral history collection gives a voice and a sense of empowerment to individuals, ethnic groups, and minorities, and helps them define their place in society and history. The lifestories in the collection reveal the dynamic between the individual and life in society--standards, style, fashion, conflicts, ideas, and spiritual life.

NMV observes how individuals define themselves and their position in history, opens ways for understanding, based on the individual's ability to comprehend and to understand the value of others' different experiences.

Oral history also studies the unique characteristics between regions, and at the same time fosters integration between these regios--ethnic, generational, social, historical, and geographical.

   NMV projects and research topics include:
Testimonies of repression in war, peace, and occupation as found in lifestories
The experience of the diaspora and exile
The contrast between apolitical lives and a political history
History as seen from a woman's perspective
The differences in women's and men's lifestories Latvia's ethnic, historical, and regional identities
The role of time and place in lifestories
The study of a Home/House in Riga, Latvia
Cultural identities
Familial, generational, and ancestoral ties