Culture Minister Dace Melbārde and Latvian Ambassador to the United States Andris Razāns have presented a facsimile of the "Terra Mariana. 1186-1888" album as a gift to U.S. Congress Librarian James Billington.
The Library of Congress is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States and the largest library in the world.
During the meeting with Billington, Melbārde told him about the successful completion and opening of the new Latvian National Library building, and said she had a high opinion of the Library of Congress in keeping a great number of materials about Latvia in its collection.
The album "Terra Mariana. 1186-1888" tells about the spread of Christianity in Latvia, formerly part of Livonia. Terra Mariana, or the Land of Mary, was the official name for Medieval Livonia. The album includes visually and textually-rich entries about Livonian castles, castle ruins, churches, coats of arms of members of nobility, seals, historic personalities, and pictures of ancient silver and golden coins.
During the visit to the United States, Melbārde also presented the Cabinet of Ministers' Diploma to Gunārs Birkerts, the renowned architect who designed the new National Library.