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Digitisation of documentary heritage

The first digitisation project titled “Let us remain Estonians but let us become Europeans as well (1860–1920)” lasted from February 2019 until December 2020 and it covered digitisation of 2.7 million of frames.

From the collections of the National Archives, there were chosen the records of parish governments (commune administrations) for digitisation. The sources of rural community administrations include a wide range of information about the living on local level. For instance, the lists of welfare, taxation and military servants were digitized together with massive number of correspondence files which expose statistical data and descriptions about the commune schools, health care, military service, assistance of poor individuals, arranging censuses etc.

The following institutions participated in the project: National Archives of Estonia, Estonian History Museum, Estonian National Museum, Museums of Virumaa, Saaremaa Museum, Tallinn City Archives, Tartu City Museum, University of Tartu Museum, Valga Museum, Estonian Literary Museum, Estonian War Museum – General Laidoner Museum, Theatre and Music Museum, Estonian Open Air Museum, and Museums of Haapsalu and Läänemaa.

Digitised collections are available in Saaga (National Archives of Estonia), MuIS (Estonian Museums Public Portal), and Kivike (Estonian Literary Museum). Project was operated by Andmevara Ltd and project manager was Kristina Teral (National Archives of Estonia).

In 2021, the second digitisation project titled “Free nation in a free country (1920–1940)” started and it will run until December 2022. Project covers 2.7 million of frames of documentary heritage, including the lists of farmsteads of the census of agriculture completed in 1939, being a widely used collection of the National Archives.

Among other memory institutions’ collections, there will be digitised collections of folklore, personal archives and biographical lexicon of the Literary Museum, records of schools and city government of Tallinn City Archives, collections of medical science and correspondence of the University of Tartu Museum, the archives of the correspondent’s replies and the postal museum of the Estonian National Museum, and also the archives of the societies and persons from the collections of the University of Tartu Library.

Digitised collections will be made available in Saaga (National Archives of Estonia), MuIS (Estonian Museums Public Portal), Kivike (Estonian Literary Museum), DSpace (University of Tartu), and in the info system of the Archives’ Museum of Pedagogy (Tallinn University). Project is operated by Andmevara Ltd. Project manager is Reet Randoja (National Archives of Estonia).

The third digitisation project titled “The archive of the University of Tartu in 1918–1944” covers 1.2 million of frames which includes digitisation of the personal files of students and academics. Project will be finished by February 2023, it is operated by Andmevara Ltd and project manager is Katri-Liis Ojamets (National Archives of Estonia).