Research/academic projects (since 2017)
2023–2025: Capacity Building for Data-Driven Cultural Heritage Management in Ukraine (Data4UA). Funded by the Erasmus+ K2. Head of the project
2023-2025: Towards Development of Open and FAIR Digital Humanities Ecosystem in Latvia (DHELI). Funded by the Latvian Science Council. Head of the project
2023–2026: Language Technology Initiative (coordinated by the Faculty of Computing, University of Lavia). Funded by the European Union and the National Development Plan. Role: Leading researcher, ILFA coordinator.
2022–2023: Teaching Nordic and Baltic Lives. Lead partner: Tartu University. Funding: NordPlus
Digital resources and tools
"Balsu Talka" is a voice-collecting crowdsourcing initiative and I am honoured to be part of the organizing team. It is implemented by the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science and the Institute of Literature, Folklore, and Art at the University of Latvia, in collaboration with the Latvian Open Technology Association and the UNESCO Latvian National Commission. The aim of this initiative is to collect a diverse range of voice samples in the Latvian language and provide open access to them for research and industry purposes. The first publicity campaign took place in early May, 2023 and it was a resounding success—within a few days, we received over 100 hours of recorded voices.
The Pandemic Diary Project, which is part of the Autobiography Collection (collection number LFK-Ak-166), was started by my team in March 2020 in collaboration with the culture magazine Punctum. The goal of the project was to document the unusual times of the pandemic through diary entries. During the first wave of the pandemic, the project gained popularity in Latvia and received significant media attention. 238 authors contributed to the project, writing about a total of 2324 days. The diary entries are published online and the locations mentioned in the entries are annotated. Maps with various visualizations can be found on garamantas.lv, and the text corpus is available in the National Corpus Platform and CLARIN repository.
The Autobiography Collection (Archives of Latvian Folklore, ILFA) was established in 2018 through my initiative. The primary motivations for creating the collection were to document the tradition of life writing, centralize the preservation of these written works in Latvia, and provide a resource for research, particularly the creation of a corpus of diary texts. Currently, the collection holds more than 200 collections, several of which feature extensive multi-volume diaries written over the course of 50 years or more. The collections have been digitized and processed, and while some are publicly accessible, they are all available for research. One such diary, the 100-year-old diary of Emīls Pudelis, has been published on Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis since 2018.
The Digital Archive of Latvian Folklore is a landmark project, launched in 2014 with the goal of preserving and sharing the rich cultural heritage of Latvia. This participatory platform invites users to play an active role in digitizing folklore, vernacular culture, and oral history, through its innovative crowdsourcing tools for manuscript transcription, translation, and annotation.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of a passionate community of volunteer transcribers, over 46,000 hours have been invested in the archive as of June 2022. garamantas.lv is a vibrant hub of cultural preservation and exchange.
I played a leadership role in the development of garamantas.lv from 2013 until the end of 2020 and remain involved in its ongoing evolution, particularly with regard to the Autobiography collection and communication with the volunteer community.
iesaisties.lv (in English: 'get engaged') is a straightforward crowdsourcing and citizen science platform created by the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art at the University of Latvia (ILFA). The platform brings together all of ILFA's society involvement initiatives and provides direct access to citizen science initiatives hosted by garamantas.lv, literatura.lv, and other projects. The goal is to evolve the platform into a central hub for Latvian citizen science. I have been leading and working on this project since 2017.
I initiated digitalhumanities.lv in 2018 with a clear purpose: to bring Latvian institutions and researchers in the digital humanities together. Through our combined efforts, we have achieved great results, organizing conferences, summer schools, and collaborating on the creation of digital tools and resources, and infrastructures. Now, digitalhumanities.lv is a dynamic community fully dedicated to promoting digital humanities in Latvia. It is a privilege to be a part of this amazing interinstitutional team.
This is a wiki-based database that features over 3,500 Latvian folk legends, which were originally published by folklore researcher Pēteris Šmits in the 1920s and 1930s. The German version of this collection is kept at the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities Folktale Encyclopedia (Enzyklopädie des Märchens). The digitization and development of this corpus was accomplished by the Archives of Latvian Folklore, ILFA, and the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Sciences in around 2010. Despite the progress made, much work still remains, as only three out of the fifteen volumes are currently included in the corpus.