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« Tuna 4 / 2016

The Archives of Juri Lotman and Zara Mints: a Snapshot

Library and the Tallinn University Estonian Semiotics Repository, and the history of their transfer and delivery are described in this article. The pathos of preserving memory, and a studious attitude towards personal and family archives were inherent to both Lotman and Mints ever since the time of their youth. The diaries that Zara Mints kept in her youth especially bear witness to this. Fragments of these diaries are reproduced in the article. They vividly convey details from everyday life and facilitate the reconstruction of a psychological and intellectual portrait of the author.

A voluminous epistolary collection containing over 2500 letters that were sent to Zara Mints and Juri Lotman from the 1950’s to the 1990’s is characterised in the article.

Materials that are connected with the persecution of the Lotman family by the KGB in the 1970’s are described in detail.