The museum celebrates 175th anniversary

The Latvian Museum of Natural History 175
The Latvian Museum of Natural History 175
Photo - LMNH

In year 2020 the Latvian Museum of Natural History is celebrating its 175th anniversary. To mark the special occasion various public events will be organized. We aim to celebrate together with our devoted visitors – naturalists, families with children, and fans of wide spectrum exhibitions – from natural sciences to bird photography and annual gardening shows.  

The Latvian Museum of Natural History is one of the oldest multi-disciplinary museums of natural sciences in the Baltics, and it holds the largest collection of natural specimens available to the public in Latvia. The history of the museum dates back to 1845, when representatives of the Baltic German intelligentsia founded the Riga Naturalist Society (Der Naturforscherverein zu Riga) with a museum and library.

The museum's main collection is a part of the National Museum Collection and is a national treasure.

The anniversary will be marked with various events as well as with significant reconstruction works as part of the Cohesion fund project. Several permanent exhibitions (Birds of Latvia, Mammals of Latvia, CITES) will be reopened after reconstruction as well as major changes are planned for the facade and the lobby.

Main events and activities 

The collection calendar 

The collection calendar delivers access to the collection specimens that are normally held in the collection storage facilities. 

Every week a short story and photos of particularly important and interesting specimens are published on the museum’s website. The story tells history of the object, how it was acquired by the museum, and why it is important to preserve it for next generations. 

175th Anniversary postage stamp 

Five years ago a cooperation with the Latvian Post (VAS “Latvijas Pasts”) was started to design and issue a collection of six postage stamps “The unique specimens of the Latvian Museum of Natural History”.

Every year one stamp was designed representing natural history of Latvia. The 175th anniversary stamp and the final sample of the collection was presented on February 14, 2020 and it features Baltic amber. 

Postage stamp Baltic amber
Postage stamp 2020 the Baltic amber
Postage stamp
Postage stamp 2019 the Noble chafer Gnorimus nobilis
Postage stamp
Postage stamp 2018 Gypsum
Postage stamp
Postage stamp 2017 the Dog rose Rosa canina L. 
Postage stamp
Postage stamp 2016 the Black grouse Tetrao tetrix, abberation
Postage stamp
Postage stamp 2015 the Armoured fish Asterolepis ornata

The curator and designer of the collection “The unique specimens of the Latvian Museum of Natural History” is artist Ģirts Grīva. 

The Big Mushroom Book of Latvia

The anniversary year will be highlighted by the publishing of long awaited “The Big Mushroom Book of Latvia”. 

The Big Mushroom Book of Latvia will be the most comprehensive publication about fungi of Latvia so far. It will include more than 730 species of fungi illustrated with more than 1120 photographs. It is intended for nature enthusiasts, mushroom pickers and mushroom photographers to aid in identifying species and learning about the diversity of them.

Authors Inita Daniele and Diana Meiere are mycologists currently working at the Latvian Museum of Natural History.

Publishers are the Latvian Museum of Natural History and Jana seta Map Publishers, Ltd. (SIA “Karšu izdevniecība Jāņa sēta”). 

The book opening event will take place on April 17, 2020. 

Other events
  • January 9, 2020 The animal of the year announcement. 
  • May 16, 2020 The museum night "The museum 175th anniversary celebration".
  • November 6 - December 31, 2020 The 175th anniversary exhibition "The Latvian Museum of Natural History collection - four centuries". 

Information published on February 25, 2020.