Digital Resources for Humanities: Integration and Development (2020–2022)

State Research Programme “Digital Resources for Humanities: Integration and Development”
No. VPP-IZM-DH-2020/1-0001

The aim of the project is to provide a balanced and diverse program to (1) support the development of existing digital resources and tools in the humanities, preventing unequal development and promoting the re-use of data and solutions; (2) prevent fragmentation and unnecessary duplication of digital resources by providing a basis for productive cooperation between institutions involved in the collection and storage of similar data; (3) provide greater visibility and public access to resources, as well as a solution that provides a superficial link between resources in different sectors; (4) seek the views of different target audiences on the use of digital resources in order to better tailor resources to different target groups; (5) promote the use of digital resources in education and promote the development of digital humanities in Latvia; and (6) develop recommendations for digital resources and tools for the humanities, policy makers, researchers and other target groups. To achieve these goals, the project involves leading research, higher education and cultural institutions that develop digital resources and tools for the humanities, as well as implement educational programs and conduct research in the digital humanities. Within 24 months, five inter-institutional working groups will implement a program that will have a significant and positive impact on the development of digital humanities resources and tools and will significantly promote the development of high-quality digital humanities in Latvia.


Midterm results:

  1. Optimizing of the existing UL LI data infrastructure and eliminating overlapping of data by separating textual parts (corpora and example sentences) and data for place name mapping (geospatial information, background information) from other linguistic data (vocabulary and morphology data);
  2. Adding of database modules necessary for data integration and cross-usage (Sources, People);
  3. Creating linking principles and reference hierarchy for cross-usage of databases;
  4. Creating data export functionalities for separate databases for open-access data usage;
  5. Development of new platform (, including complete redesigning of platform’s visual appearance, cluster structure and functionalities according to the data integration and cross-usage needs (data from other databases; edit in other database; linking of data within the same database and across different databases);
  6. Linguistic data preparation for open access use in database dump form.

Organised scientific conferences and seminars

Livonian Summer University (LSU 2021). 30 July–8 August, 2021. Organised by UL Livonian Institute and University of Tartu (ASTRA Project PER ASPERA). Supported by Ministry of Education and Science, Latvian Language Agency. Programme, teaching staff and other information is available here. Press release in
Consisting of:

Ernštreits, Valts, Kļava, Gunta. Scientific workshop and discussion “Digital Approaches to Endangered Language Communities: a Nordic Perspective (DHN2020)” organised as a part of “The Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries 5th Conference”, Riga, 20.10.2020. The recording of the workshop can be viewed on the UL Livonian Institute’s YouTube channel.

Participation in scientific conferences and seminars

Dailidenaite, Milda. Livonian Commands in the Estonian and Baltic context” at the Congressus XIII Internationalis Fenno-Ugristarum (CIFU XIII) Vienna, Austria. 21.-26.08.2022

Dailidenaite, Milda. “Jussive as a Marker of Concession”. Conference “Historical and Current Perspectives Minor Finnic Laguages” (MFL 1) Program. Uppsala University, Sweden. 02.-03.06.2022

Ernštreits, Valts. “Digital Resources in the Service of the Livonians – an Indigenous People of the Baltics”. The 28th Biennial AABS Conference “Baltic Studies at a Crossroads”, Digital Humanities and Language Technology. An abstract is available here. Seattle, USA. 27.05.2022

Balodis, UldisThe Lutsi Primer: A Tool for South Estonian Language and Culture Revival in eastern LatviaA nyelvjárások írott formái – hagyomány, helyzetkép és fejlesztési lehetőségek = The tradition, the state of art and the future possibilities of the written dialects. Tiešsaistē, Ungārija, Budapešta. Rīko: Magyarságkutató Intézet =The Institute of Hungarian Research. 01.12.2021.

Dailidenaite, Milda. Livonian jussive object marking in the Baltic Finnic context. Cases in Uralic, Altaic and Paleo-Asiatic Languages. Sanktpēterburga. 21.–23.10.2021.

Kalniņa, Elvīŗa. Lībiešu frazeoloģismi 1942. gada “Ūž Testament” tulkojumāLU Studentu zinātniskā konference “INITIUM”. Rīga, Latvija ( Programma.

Kalniņa, Elvīra. Livonian phraseology in “Ūž Testament” 1942 edition8th Baltic student conference „Bridges in the Baltics”. Conference programme is available here. Book of Abstract.

Ernštreits, Valts. “Livonian as a source for better understanding Baltic languages: opportunities and challenges”. XIII Starptautiskais baltistu kongress. Rīga, Latvija (Zoom). 1. kongresa dienas video ieraksts redzams šeit (V. E. no 2:15:49) Programma šeit. 13.10.2021.

Ernštreits, Valts. Ливские базы данных – опыт извлечения, интеграции и стандартизации лингвистических данных для исчезающих языковe. The Electronic Writing of the Peoples of the Russian Federation 2021 and the Seventh International Workshop for Computational Linguistics of Uralic Languages (IWCLUL2021)Online (Komi Republic). 23.–24.09.2021.

Miina Norvik, Uldis Balodis, Valts Ernštreits, Gunta Kļava, Helle Metslang, Karl Pajusalu & Eva Saar. Typological convergence in the Central Baltic area. 54th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE2021). Accepted papersProgramme. 01.09.2021.

Ernštreits, Valts. Livonian in the Digital Age. The World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples. Tartu, Estonia.  Programme. 16.–18.06.2021.

Dailidenaite, Milda. Lībiešu jusīva morfosintaktiskā variācija. Jauno pētnieku diena. Rīko: LU Literatūras, folkloras un mākslas institūts, sadarbībā ar LU Humanitāro zinātņu fakultāti. Zoom. 21.05.2021.

Kalniņa, Elvīra. Livonian phraseology in the New Testament’s (“Ūž Testament”) 1942 edition. International Finno-Ugric Students’ Conference XXXVI. Rīga, Latvija. Zoom. 12.05.2021.

Dailidenaite, Milda. Indirect imperatives in Livonian and Latvian folk songs. International Finno-Ugric Students’ Conference XXXVI. Rīga, Latvija. Zoom. 12.05.2021.

Ernštreits, Valts. Lībiešu valodas un kultūras digitālie resursi. LIKTA/VARAM Digitālā nedēļā 2021 seminar “Digitālie resursi novadu savdabības atklāšanai, izglītībai un kultūrai”Video recordingProgramme. 24.03.2021.

Ernštreits, Valts; Dailidėnaitė, Milda; Lazdiņa, Annija; Kalniņa, Elvīra. “Integration of data from different fields as an opportunity for interdisciplinary research: Livonian model”University of Liepaja 27th International Scientific Conference “Current issues in research of literature and culture”, the digital humanities panel “Digital Resources of the Humanities: Experience and Cooperation”. The full conference programme is available here. 10.–11.03.2021.

Ernštreits, ValtsLU Lībiešu institūta veidotie resursiLiepU conference demonstration seminar and discusion “Humanitāro zinātņu digitālo resursu plašāka pielietojuma iespēja”. Programme. 10.03.2021.

Ernštreits, Valts. Electronic resources for the Livonian language. The UL Section of 78th International Scientific Conference “Digital Latvian Language Resources and Tools in Common Research Infrastructure”. 05.03.2020.

Ernštreits, Valts. Baltijas jūras somi Latvijā. 3. virtuālais Zemgales Krieviņu saiets (Lietuva–Latvija). Online: Zoom. 30.11.2020. [The recording will be added at a later date]

Ernštreits, Valts. Digital resources developed by the University of Latvia Livonian InstituteMeeting DH institutions in Latvia. Riga: Riga Technical University. 16.11.2020.

Ernštreits, Valts. Digital resources developed by the University of Latvia Livonian Institute. Autumn seminar „Soome-ugri keelekogud, korpused ja andmebaasid meie asutuses“. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Instituut. 12.11.2020.

Ernštreits, Valts, Kļava, Gunta. Taking the Livonians into the Digital Space. The Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries 5th conferenceLatvija: Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art (University of Latvia). Book of Abstracts. 60–64 pp. ISBN 978-9984-893-46-4. DOI 10.5281/zenodo.4313141. Conference webpage: 20.–23.10.2020.

Ernštreits, Valts, Kļava, Gunta. Can Christmas gifts ensure language acquisition? Experiences with teaching Livonian. Foundation for Endangered Languages Annual Conference: FEL24. Online. London: Foundation for Endangered Languages, University College London, 2020. 23.–25.09.2020.

Scientific publications

Dailidėnaitė, Milda; Ernštreits, Valts. Latvian prefixes in Livonian: frequency, consistency and distribution. In: Metslang, H., Kalnača, A., Norvik, M. (eds.). Circum-Baltic languages: varieties, comparisons, and change. Potsdam Linguistic Investigations series. Frankfurt: Peter Lang Publishing. [2022]. Scopus indexed. [accepted for publishing]

Ernštreits, Valts; Kļava, Gunta. Experiences in teaching an endangered language: finding the motivation and means to ensure the acquisition of Livonian. In: Foundation for Endangered Languages Annual Conference: FEL24 conference proceedings. FEL and ELPublishing, [2022]. Open Access. [accepted for publishing]

Dailidėnaitė, Milda. Derivational productivity of the Latvian prefixes in Livonian and stability of the prefixed verbs. Linguistica Lettica. ERIH PLUS & Index Copernicus International, [2022] Open Access. Linguistica Lettica, Nr. 29 ( 179-190 pp.

Ernštreits, Valts. Ливские базы данных – опыт извлечения, интеграции и стандартизации лингвистических данных для исчезающих языков. Сборник конференции «Электронная письменность народов Российской Федерации-2021 & IWCLUL2021», Сыктывкар. Сыктывкарский государственный университет имени Питирима Сорокина. Open Access. [accepted for publishing]

Balodis, Uldis. The distribution of inessive case endings in Lutsi. In: Metslang, H., Kalnača, A., Norvik, M. (eds.). Circum-Baltic languages: varieties, comparisons, and change. Potsdam Linguistic Investigations series. Frankfurt: Peter Lang Publishing. Scopus indexed. [accepted for publishing]

Balodis, Uldis. Lutsi speakers and rememberers in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Eesti ja soome-ugri keeleteaduse ajakiri = Journal of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics 12(2). ESUKA– JEFUL 2021, 12–2: 211–249 pp.

Balodis, Uldis; Pajusalu, Karl. Introductory survey of the South Estonian language islands. Eesti ja soome-ugri keeleteaduse ajakiri = Journal of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics 12(2). ESUKA– JEFUL 2021, 12–2: 7–31 pp. Scopus indexed. Open Access.

Ernštreits, ValtsKļava, Gunta. Taking the Livonians into the Digital Space. DHN2020 Post-Proceedings, edited by Reinsone S. et al. CEUR-WS Vol-2865, 2021, 26-39 pp. Scopus indexed. Open Access.

Norvik, Miina; Balodis, Uldis; Ernštreits, Valts; Kļava, Gunta, Metslang, Helle, Pajusalu, Karl, Saar, Eva. The South Estonian language islands in the context of the Central Baltic area. Eesti ja soome-ugri keeleteaduse ajakiri = Journal of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics 12(2). 2021. 33–72 pp. Scopus indexed.Open Access.

Popular scientific publications


Doctoral, master’s and / or bachelor’s theses supervised

Kalniņa, Elvīra. Livonian phraseology in the “Ūž Testament” 1942 edition. University of Latvia Bachelor thesis. Defended: 11.06.2021. Supervisor: Valts Ernštreits.

Cooperation with the public

Cooperation with the public happened through providing consultations on the use of digital tools and through providing resources to higher education institutions, research institutions, cultural heritage institutions, cultural heritage NGOs both on the individual (consulting a researcher or student) and institutional levels.

              Cooperation with Livonian NGOs:

UL Livonian Institute actively cooperates with Livonian and other public organizations, local governments, state institutions and entrepreneurs.

Educational activities

Project participants took part in various educational programmes, for example, summer and winter schools:

  • 10th Winter School of the Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts: The Digital Condition: Arts and Humanities in the Digital Age. Tallinn University, 25–27 January 2021 (Dailidėnaitė);
  • Summer school “Catching Language Data”, 21-25 June 2021 Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (LILEC) of the University of Bologna. (Dailidėnaitė);
  • Summer school “Language in the human machine era (LITHME summer school), Uned Facultad de Filologia, University of Jyväskylä (Dailidėnaitė);
  • MPI SHH Summer School: Doorway to Human History, August 16-27, 2021, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH), Munich, Bavaria, Germany. (Dailidėnaitė, Kalniņa);
  • COPIUS Summer School in Uralic Etymology, August 9 to 13, 2021, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. (Kalniņa)

Cooperation with other research institutions

The Institute’s research partners are the Tartu University (also Institute of Computer Science), Uppsala University, Eötvös Loránd University, University of Helsinki, University of Göttingen, University of Tromsø and University of Colorado Boulder. With these partners cooperation in the development of resources was carried out.

Tartu University (Estonia) joint project planning 2020-2021

Publication of a special Livonian issue of the journal ESUKA / JEFUL (included in the Web of Science) together with Tartu Univeristy, Estonia (2020–2021).

Jointly organising Livonian Summer University (summer of 2021) together with Tartu University, Estonia (2020–2021). Co-operation in carrying out the event (The learning process during LSU happened through getting to know the digital resources created within the project and also by teaching their practical use).

Workshop of Livonian language researchers. Mazirbe, UL Livonian Institute and Tartu University. 17.–19.08.2020.

Educational visits in DH institutions together with University of Latvia Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art,  National Library of Latvia, Institute of Mathematics and Computer Sciences of University of Latvia,The Latvian Language Agency, Rēzekne Academy of Technologies, Tilde, NATO StratCom. 16.11.2020.

Talks with the Language Technology Research Group of the University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science on the use of digital resource data developed within the project for the development of an experimental translation tool and voice synthesis tool based on neural network technologies for the Livonian language. Talks on the possibility to prepare for an international competition for the development of machine translation tools based on Livonian digital resources data developed within the project for Open Access. 08.–09.2021

Talks on the development of a keyboard driver and a proofing tool for the Livonian language, using the digital resources developed within the project with University of Helsinki start-up Rootroo. Talks on ensuring the sustainability of the tool by continuously integrating it (through the data exchange module) with the data of digital resources developed within the project. 04.–09.2021.

Involvement in policy making

UL Livonian institute participates in pannel discussions: 1) Kultūrvēsturiskās (lokālās) identitātes loma valsts attīstībā un pārvaldē and 2) Latgales kultūrtelpas identitāte – latgaliešu valoda izglītībā (iespējas attīstīt digitālus resursus latgaliešu valodas apguvei). 26.09.2021.

UL Livonian institute participates in the discussion on the preservation and use of the language and intangible heritage of Kurzeme, the accessibility of culture in the regions and the use of digital resources in the discussion group on the development of the Kurzeme Planning Region Development Programme 2021–2027. 19.02.2021.

Cooperation with Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia at least once a year.

  • Participation in the development and implementation of the National Language Policy Guidelines (VVPP).

Cooperation with Latgalian Cultural Society (LKB); Latvian National Centre for Culture; 4th World Latgalian Meeting Action Committee (SaRIK), 26.09.2021.

  • The UL Livonian Institute participates in panel discussions: 1) The role of cultural and historical (local) identity in national development and administration and 2) Latgalian cultural identity – Latgalian language in education (opportunities to develop digital resources for Latgalian language learning).

Cooperation with Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 30.09.2020

  • Meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia Urmas Reinsalu, presenting the work in the field of creating Livonian language and cultural resources, their usage possibilities and discussing potential co-operation with Estonian institutions and Estonia’s policy in supporting safeguarding Livonian language and culture.

Cooperation with Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, 07.–08.2021.

  • Providing views on the forthcoming Cultural Policy Guidelines (2021–2027) and the use of digital tools.

Cooperation with Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia, 01.–07.2021.

  • Providing views on future National Language Policy Guidelines (2021–2027) and the development and use of digital resources of the Livonian language.

Cooperation with State Culture Capital Foundation (SCCF), 08.2021.

  • Informing on the development and use of digital resources in the field of culture within the framework of the development of the State Culture Capital Foundation Strategy.

Cooperation with Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM), Ministry of Economics, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Planning regions, 12.2020.–

  • Participation in the Working Group for the Protection, Preservation and Development of Livonian Culture and Language established by the order of the Prime Minister, providing an opinion on the development and use of digital resources of the Livonian language.

Cooperation with UN and UNESCO, 15.03.2021.–

  • Participation in the working group for the preparation of the UN Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022–2023) and its Action Plan (embedding the role of digital resources in documentation; networking in the field of Indigenous Digital Humanities)

Cooperation with UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII or PFII), 03.–04.03.2021.

  • Participation in the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, promoting the development of indigenous digital resources.

Promotion of the project and its research topic

> Events and presentations

> Publicity

Ernštreits, ValtsKošragā notiks lībiešu vasaras universitāte (information about LSU 2021 in Latvian). 29.07.2021.

Ernštreits, Valts. The Livonian Summer University opens in Kuoštrõg (Košrags) (information about LSU 2021 in English). 30.07.2021.

Ernštreits, Valts. Košragā notiks lībiešu vasaras universitāte (information about LSU 2021). 29.07.2021.

Ernštreits, Valts. Lībiešu vasaras universitātē tapuši jauni vārdi un īpaša klaviatūra (information about LSU 2021). Talsu Vēstis. 16.08.2021.

LU Lībiešu becomes one of the co-producers in the project. LI Līvõd institūt Facebook. 13.11.2020.