The National Archives preserves nearly our entire written memory from the 13th century until today. A total of 10 million records are stored across 100 kilometres of shelf space. It is home for the most important documents of Estonian nationhood and the place for researching your ancestry. Parish registers contain important family events since the 18th century and parish court transcripts tell stories about the feuds and bickering of the 19th century ancestors. Some are lucky to find a photo of their grandmother from her youth or old film footage of their home village.
But still, how do documents reach the archives, how are they preserved and why is access in some cases restricted? How many buildings does the National Archives have and which services do we offer? This exhibition aims to answer these and several other questions.
The National Archives has the responsibility to preserve archival records for future generations. In order to do so, archival records need constant care and it is inadvisable to expose them to sunlight too often. Also, digitizing is one of our high priorities to enable public access to a large amount of records without a need to visit the archives on spot.
Being a part of the National Archives’ centennial celebrations, the exhibit offers tangible copies of some of our most special, most common, oldest and newest records to give an insight of what kind of treasures one can find in our storages and databases. The exhibition is compiled by the National Archives’ employees Maarja Hindoalla, Tiina Männapsoo, Maarja Savan, Kati Sein, Liisi Taimre and Kadri Tooming, and designed by the company Pult.
The exhibition is open from 21 August in the National Archives’ gallery in Tallinn, Maneeži 2, from Monday to Thursday at 11–17. The exhibit remains open until the summer season of 2021.
Welcome to visit the exhibition in the series of the National Archives’ centennial events!