Latvian schooner becomes focus of ‘strange shipwreck yarn’

April 29, 2018

A failed ‘leap to liberty’ just part of Latvian’s criminal career

The image shows a dapper man with a mustache, a cigarette in his left hand, posing in a photographer’s studio. Although the monochrome photograph does not reveal it, he was short — just 5 feet, 4 inches (about 162 cm) — with brown hair and blue eyes. His name, if we are to believe what was published in newspapers following his two daring attempts to escape American authorities, was Max Selling and he was a Latvian anarchist.

April 13, 2018

Mapping many museums is internship’s next task

The newest challenge in our virtual internships with the Smithsonian Institution’s Cultural Rescue Initiative is to create a map of the museum data that we have been collecting this semester. That means trying to figure out the smartest way to visualize thousands of data points.

March 29, 2018

Address book from 1898 helps map Latvians in North America

In October 1897, an immigrant in Cleveland published the first edition of an address book for Latvians living in the United States and Canada. A second edition appeared in early 1898.

March 9, 2018

Baltic countries home to hundreds of museums

A semester ago, I was among graduate students from George Mason University serving as virtual interns for the Smithsonian Institution, cataloging cultural repositories on several Caribbean islands affected by recent hurricanes. On some of the islands, the number of museums and other sites was a mere handful, but finding information on even them at times proved challenging.

March 4, 2018

Immigrant’s 1923 death in East Alton leaves open questions

A poker game in a western Illinois river town turned deadly one weekend in October 1923, claiming the lives of two men, one of whom was a Latvian immigrant described in a local newspaper as a “gallant soldier.” His story, still in pieces, is a reminder that among the many Latvians who settled in America in the early 20th century are those who vanished from their ethnic roots and community.


June 22, 2018

Guide to writing a lot is perfect kick in the pants

How to Write a Lot by Paul J. Silvia.

If someone told me they had just read Paul J. Silvia’s How to Write a Lot and now were doing just that, I would scoff. I don’t need some book to tell me that writing according to a schedule is better than “binge writing.” But I do. Silvia’s short book primarily is aimed at psychologists […]


February 5, 2018

Guide to teaching journalism in college arrives just in time

Master Class

University graduate programs in journalism and mass communication should adopt a new tradition: Give a copy of Master Class to everyone along with their diploma. The textbook, a project of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s (AEJMC) Elected Standing Committee on Teaching, arrived in my mailbox just days before spring semester courses […]


Just a list of books on my nightstand. #tsundoku

The New CSS Layout

The New CSS Layout

By Rachel Andrew, published 2017 by A Book Apart.

Journalistic Authority

Journalistic Authority: Legitimating News in the Digital Era

By Matt Carlson, published 2017 by Columbia University Press.

Putekļi smilšu pulkstenī

Putekļi smilšu pulkstenī

By Arno Jundze, published 2015 by Zvaignze ABC.