Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art of the University of Latvia (ILFA) is a research institution whose main tasks are the study of Latvian cultural heritage in both historical and theoretical perspective.
The origins of the Institute as a research unit go back to 1924 when the Archives of Latvian Folklore was established by the government of Latvia. In 1935, the Archives of Latvian language was also founded which later became the basis for the establishment of the Institute of Language and Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the Latvian SSR.
In 1992, the Institute was reorganized as the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art, and it is a part of the University of Latvia since 2006.
The research activities include the examination of Latvian literature in the contexts of the historical Baltic space as well as of comparative literature, the studies of Latvian folklore, and the analyses of historical and current trends in the development of Latvian theatre, cinema, and music.
A significant part of the academic activities is the maintenance of the Archives of Latvian Folklore, one of the largest of its kind in Europe. The collection of this archive has been acknowledged internationally – Krišjānis Barons’ Cabinet of Folksongs was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2002. The Archives of Latvian Folklore was established as a manuscript archive, but it also holds a substantial number of sound recordings as well as video recordings, drawings, and photographs.