AEHS Archival Collection to be Donated to the Provincial Archives of Alberta

December 28, 2009

The production of “Alberta’s Estonians” DVD and “Alberta’s Estonian Heritage” website ( has resulted in an impressive collection of historical materials about Alberta’s Estonian community during the past 110 years. At a recent meeting of the AEHS Board, it was decided to donate all suitable materials-photos, historical documents, accounts of Estonian pioneer families, maps and rare books to the Provincial Archives of Alberta (PAA) in Edmonton.

As a result of discussions with Tom Anderson of the PAA, our collection of materials will be donated to the Archives during the first three months of 2010. The Alberta Estonian Collection (AEC) will include records returned to Alberta by the Library and Archives of Canada in Ottawa and the Estonian Central Archive in Toronto. Individuals can donate family records to the Collection at a later date. Efforts will be made to link these items to the AEC. We will assist the archives staff to process and describe the records, thereby making them accessible to interested publics, onsite and online.

Tom Anderson describes the mission and role of the Provincial Archives of Alberta as follows:

It is the mission of the Provincial Archives of Alberta (PAA) to acquire, preserve and make available records of enduring value that represent the history and culture of our province. We were therefore very pleased to hear that the AEHS was willing to donate the research and work related to the wonderful heritage project of the last number of years. It is a grand legacy that will be preserved for all Albertans.

I am also very pleased that Library and Archives Canada is now in the process of transferring the records of the Medicine Valley Estonian Society to the PAA so that these records might be more accessible in the region they were created.

The records of the Alberta Estonian Heritage Society, as with all donors to the PAA, will be open and available to the public once the donation has been appraised, processed and described by archives staff. The records at the PAA are housed in acid-free enclosures, and preserved in climate controlled and secured vaults. The records, regardless of origin or language, are described and file lists created so that researchers may easily access the materials in our holdings, either on site or through the finding aids on our website.

These finding aid descriptions of the records are made available at, and also through the Archives Network of Alberta at Everyone is welcome to visit the PAA, and researchers may access records onsite at 8555 Roper Road, Edmonton. Tours for larger groups can be arranged.

It is important to document the lives, work and lifestyles of the Estonian community in Alberta, and we accept records (papers, letters, photographs, home movies, audio tapes, maps and plans) from individuals, groups and businesses. The PAA is eager to receive donations from the Estonian community in Alberta.

If you are interested in donating family, personal or business records to the Provincial Archives, or to your local archives, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to working with the AEHS and its members to preserve the legacy of Estonians in Alberta and to make this rich history available to everyone.

Tom Anderson
Team Lead, Private Records
Provincial Archives of Alberta