Finding Latvian Archival Records on the Raduraksti Website
Unless you are a Latvian speaker, you will need to use the Translate function of your browser. You should keep the translation function active EXCEPT when viewing the lists of cities and towns, which may not show up correctly if translated. The major headings on the home page are: Church books (Baznīcu grāmatas), Audits of Souls (Dvēseļu revīzijas), Home books (Mājas grāmatas - Riga house registers), Census - 1897 (Tautas skaitīšana), Memory Stories (video memoirs - Atmiņu stāsti), Passports of Latvian residents (Latvijas iedzīvotāju pases), University of Latvia Students (database of students between 1919 and 1944), and Deported residents of Latvia (deported by USSR 1941-1953). Church books include vital records for all denominations, including Jews (translated as “Moses believers” or “The believers of Moses,” depending on the browser). Audits of Souls include various family, revision, guild, merchant, and other lists, including a number of Jewish lists, many of which are in German. These lists are not part of the JewishGen Latvia Database. The other major category of interest is the 1897 Census images.
The first step in using the Raduraksti website is to create a userid and password. With the translate function of your browser, this will be an easy one-time process. Once you are a registered user you may stay signed in and access the various categories of records.
Vital Records - Baznīcu grāmatas
Jewish vital records, filled out by the local rabbinate (crown rabbis of the Russian Empire), are included under the category of Church Records (Baznīcu grāmatas) on the Raduraksti website. The file path in Latvian is Baznīcu grāmatas > Mozus ticīgie > Rabināti, or Church records > Moses Believers (or believers in Moses) > Rabbis (Rabbinical records). After you click on the Rabbinical records, be sure to change your browser option back to Latvian – some city names will have bizarre translations otherwise.
This is the JewishGen Latvia database example from the previous page.
When you click on the year and category, the next page will show thumbnails of the requested volume. The archival information will be summarized under the heading, and should match the archival number circled above. Click on the first thumbnail. It will summarize the archival information, city, year, and category of information, which should all match the information in the record from the Latvia Database.
On the top left, there will be a sequence number showing the frame number and the total number of frames. The sample record is frame/image number 144, so you can overtype the number and navigate to image 144, which is at https://www.raduraksti.arhivi.lv/objects/1:4:13:2022:2025:8064#&gid=1&pid=144 (note that you need to be signed into Raduraksti to view specific records).