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Past projects


The National Archives of Estonia was participating from 2014 to 2018 in the project of Community as Opportunity – Creative archives’ and users’ network (CO:OP for short), co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. The project had 17 institutions from 11 European countries. The National Archives of Estonia had its aim to create 5 web-based topotheques for to consolidate historical photos and other documents from private individuals digitally as well as to organise “Bring your history!”-days for local communities. By the end of the project in November 2018, there are 6 topotheques with thousands of unique photos available in public use (Adavere, Are, Laeva, Oru, Toila, Uhtna).

One of the project’s main fields concerned also archival education. National Archives participated in Adventures in Archives  work-package to encourage students and youngsters to explore archives by visualizing studies in the archives. Learning by filming gave teachers the chance to link diverse subject matters. Also, students experienced a comprehensive understanding of how archives function as mediators of heritage as well as a different style of learning history through storytelling and moviemaking. Find the movies in YouTube at Adventures in archives, and read more about the filmings in Estonia from the article published in magazine Insights, 1/2018.

Also, the project met the needs of a tighter co-operation by organising conferences that invite researchers and users to meet and exchange at eye level as well as create a new tool for communication – the European Archival Blog. Finally, there were several activities concerning development of databases and testing crowdsourcings in the frames of the project CO:OP. For instance, National Archives’ database of land registry was constantly complemented, crowdsourcing on Tartu citizens in 1867 was tested, and crowdsourcing on communal courts from the 1820s to 1891 was technically  supported and designed.


In 2011, the National Archives and the partners from Sweden and Iceland participated in the joint project of APIS (Access to Public Information) together with the Estonian Business Archives. The project focused on access of records in the archives and was financed by Swedish innovation organisation VINNOVA from a programme of citizen-centered e-government services. Activities of this project covered also preparations of continuation of project carried out in 2012–2014 and called YEAH (You! Enhance Access to History). YEAH concentrates to a crowdsourcing principles in archives.

Also in 2011, there was set a stage to apply for the project APEX (Archives Portal Europe network of eXcellence) as a joint portal of archives for European national archives. The project started in 2012 and the National Archives of Estonia led a package of “Usability and Web 2.0”.

Cross Border E-archive

The National Archives of Estonia participated in 2012–2014 in the project Cross Border E-archive within Estonia–Latvia–Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme together with the Latvian State administrative institution „Culture information systems centre“ as lead partner, Latvian National Archives, Latvian non-governmental organisation „Ideju Forums“, Saint-Petersburg Information and Analytical Centre and Archival Committee of St. Petersburg as associate partner. Within the framework of the project the National Archives has digitised 3256 personal files of students/employees and 9 matriculation registers of Imperial Tartu University (107,637 images) and 135 images of maps from 19th and the beginning of 20th century. Digitised materials are available through the collection of digitised archival records Saaga (see subdivision Estica, some images are accessible in our reading rooms only).

Estonia–Latvia–Russia Cross Border Cooperation Programme within the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument 2007–2013 financially supported joint cross border development activities for the improvement of the region’s competitiveness by utilising its potential and beneficial location on the crossroads between the EU and Russian Federation.


The National Archives was in 2010–2013 involved together with the Estonian Heritage Board as a lead partner, Estonian Maritime Museum and Swedish Maritime Museum in an international project SHIPWHER, financed by the European Union’s Central Baltic Programme. The National Archives was responsible for searching archival records pertaining to shipwrecks in the Estonian waters in the Estonian archives as well as in the archives abroad (Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden) and fed the collected data into the shipwreck register. Within the framework of the project over 110,000 images of sources related to the maritime history and shipwrecks were digitized and made accessible through the collection of digitized archival records Saaga which has been linked with the register.