The 1935 Latvian census identified 93 479 Jews living in Latvia. It is estimated that about 70 000 Latvian Jews perished in the Holocaust. The totality and speed with which this mass murder occured, meant that many families were completely destroyed with no one left to mourn or even inquire about the dead. As a result, disturbingly few of those killed have been identified. Therefore the aim of the project is to recover the names, identities and photos of the vanished prewar Latvian Jewish Community members and to ensure that their memory is preserved.

Project idea was developed in 2001. A year later, after presenting the idea to the President of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia and several international organizations, the project plan was put into action, under supervision of prof.Ruvin Ferber, head of the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Latvia. The website of the database was launched in 2008 with an opening event at the University of Latvia. In January 2022 a newly redesigned website was launched.

You can learn more about the project in the film "Drawers of Memory" (directed by Boris Maftsir).