To mark the tercentenary of the birth of Gotthard Friedrich Stender (1714–1796), a set of three books has been published, comprising two facsimiles of ABC written by Stenders in the late 18th century: Jauna ABC un lasīšanas mācība (New ABC and Teaching of Reading) and Bildu ābice (ABC in Pictures), as well as a supplement including transcription of both ABC’s texts and documentary essays.
The life and personality of Stenders was an outstanding example for the 18th century European science and culture where a witty mind and proficiency were valued as the highest adornment of a man.
Traditionally Stenders was known as a populariser of natural sciences, founder of a special era in the history of Latvian writing and an authority in Latvian linguistics. Stenders was interested also in measuring distance at sea; he was carried away with alchemical experiments; he made globes and popularised washing machine.
During the later part of his life Stenders created two innovative textbooks: Jauna ABC un lasīšanas mācība (1782) and Bildu ābice (1787). His aim was to reduce illiteracy among Latvians. Bildu ābice is, in fact, the first real example of the Latvian secular book design.
Only 3 copies have survived till nowadays of the first edition of Jauna ABC un lasīšanas mācība, and 7 copies of Bildu ābice.
* 150 sets of books have numbered copies of Bildu ābice. Each of these copies has pictures glued in manually.