Baltic Heritage Network’s Information Day for the Keepers of the Estonian Diaspora Cultural Heritage in Estonia

May 5, 2008

The traditional information day, this time aimed at the keepers of the cultural heritage of the Estonian diaspora in Estonia, was held on April 15, 2008. The aim of the meeting was to introduce BaltHerNet’s plan of activities and expand the cooperation network with new Estonian partners.

The participants represented 17 Estonian memory institutions, all of which are involved in preserving the cultural heritage of the Estonian diaspora. Aho Rebas from the Bureau of the Minister of Population and Andero Adamson from the Ministry of Education and Research were also present. The information day was opened by Aho Rebas who talked about the future of the Compatriot Program and the developmental directions of the new Program. Rebas confirmed that the financing of the Compatriot Program, coordinated by the Bureau, would continue within the bounds of possibility and that there would be no major changes in its contents.

After that Piret Noorhani gave an overview of the activities and future plans of the Estonian archives abroad working group. She also introduced the NPA Baltic Heritage Network established in January 2008, its raison d’être and its programme, expressing hope that some of the participants would join the non-profit association.

Kersti Koll introduced the exile Estonian art working group established in 2007. The financial support from Erika and Osvald Timmas Memorial Foundation contributes to the mapping of the exile Estonian art and preparing a catalogue. K. Koll and other members of the working group Tiiu Talvistu and Enn Lillemets considered the cooperation with BaltHerNet and the Estonian archives abroad working group very important.

After lunch the information portal Baltic Heritage Network was introduced. The leader of the Estonian archives abroad working group Piret Noorhani and its members Birgit Kibal, Anne Valmas and Karin Kiisk talked about the idea and structure of the portal and about the information it contains.

During the following discussion the presenters answered questions and explained some aspects concerning the development of the portal. The listeners made several relevant comments and suggestions. The participants were also eager to join the cooperation network in order to improve information exchange between Estonian memory institutions and contribute to the development of the portal. The meeting proved that there is a willingness to work together in the name of common interests as this is the best way to achieve the desired aims – which was the aim of the information day.

Karin Kiisk