The writer, literature researcher, linguist and folklorist Jacob Lautenbach (Jēkabs Lautenbahs, penname Jēkabs Jūsmiņš) was born in Kurzeme in 1847. He studied theology at the University of Dorpat (1875-1878) and was also engaged in philology and philosophy. He graduated from the University in 1887, awarded the degree of cand. philos., and in 1896 successfully defended his thesis "Очерки из истории литовско-латышского народного творчества".

From 1919, until he died in 1928, Jacob Lautenbach was a professor of Latvian and general literature in the University of Latvia. He was elected doctor honoris causa (Baltic Philology) of the University of Latvia in 1924.

In 1929 the Library received the donation of J. Lautenbach’s books (433 items) and manuscripts of his works. The most represented fields in this donation were linguistics, fiction, literature research, folklore and theology. The most notable part of the donation was attributed to philology of various nations and various times, as well as classical philology. The donation includes editions in such scientific fields as history, biology, geology and physics.

The manuscripts and personal documents of J. Lautenbach (awards, heritage documents etc.) retained in the donation give a great insight in his scientific work.

The manuscripts contain a wide variety of information, starting with J. Lautenbach’s early study notes in philosophy, theology and logic. The collection is complemented with several notable summaries on Latvian grammar and the art of poetry. As J. Lautenbach was a private docent lecturing on the literature of Western Europe, his collection also includes summaries about the history of literature of various nations. This unique manuscript collection is enriched by a Latvian-Russian dictionary of 740 pages, manually written by J. Lautenbach. In the manuscripts one can find travel notes by the author, thoughts and feelings and personal notes. The manuscripts are written in Latvian, Russian and German, using a goose feather quill.

Items can be ordered via the Union catalog.

A list of the editions included in the collection is available here.