Estonian Conference at Stanford and more … LEP-ESTO 2013

May 28, 2013

On June 27th 2013, a conference will be held at Stanford University Libraries (SUL), dedicated to Estonian archives, libraries, museums and research possibilities abroad.

The organizers hope to bring together representatives from institutions, organizations and societies interested in collecting, preserving and researching Estonian cultural heritage abroad, in order to instigate discussion about the current state and future of these matters. We would be very glad if participants and guests would bring their questions and ideas about what the near future of collecting and researching Estonian material abroad could and should look like.

Presented by: Stanford University Libraries, in collaboration with Baltic Heritage Network (BaltHerNet), Estonian Museum Abroad / Estonian Studies Center (VEMU/ESC) and National Archives of Estonia (NAE).

Venue: Green Library, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA.

Conference layout: At the conference, representatives of BaltHerNet, VEMU/ESC, NAE and Stanford, as well as the Estonian Minister of Culture Rein Lang, Director of Estonian National Museum (ENM) Tõnis Lukas and IT advisor of The Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (EMEAC) Taavi Kotka will give an overview of their recent activities and discuss future goals and collaboration possibilities regarding the matters of collecting, preserving and researching Estonian cultural heritage abroad. In addition to presenters, Estonian Ambassador to the United States Her Excellency Marina Kaljurand and Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet will attend the conference. The day will conclude with the opening of the exhibit “A Harsh Spring” at the Hoover Tower’s Rotunda.

Target Audience: Members of Estonian societies, organizations, institutions as well as everybody else interested in collecting, preserving and researching Estonian cultural heritage abroad.

Conference agenda:

Green Library, Stanford University

9:30-9:40 Opening remarks by Michael Keller, University Librarian (SUL).

09:40-10:10 Estonian Minister of Culture Rein Lang will introduce the Estonian Republic’s museum policy in general and focus on its relationship with the Estonian diaspora.

10:10-10:40 Tõnis Lukas (ENM) will give an overview of the Estonian memory institutions’ viewpoint on collecting and researching Estonian cultural heritage abroad.

10:40-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-11:30 Piret Noorhani (BaltHerNet, VEMU/ESC) will discuss the Estonian diaspora’s cultural heritage, its current state and future possibilities, as well as BaltHerNet’s role in collecting and preserving Estonian and Baltic cultural heritage and collaborating with diaspora communities in the United States and Canada.

11:30-12:00 Maarja Merivoo-Parro (BaltHerNet) will explore the landscape of Estonian diaspora studies with an emphasis on the up and coming generation of researchers who are associated with BaltHerNet and/or the Immigration History Research Center (University of Minnesota). Examples of good practices will be shared alongside plans for further development.

12:00-1:30 Lunch

1:30-2:00 Tiiu Kravtsev and Birgit Kibal (NAE) will introduce NAE’s collecting and preserving principles and possibilities to access their collections abroad. In addition, questions concerning NAE’s experiences and possibilities in collecting diaspora archives and what kind of assistance NAE can offer owners of archives/records will be answered.

2:00-2:30 Taavi Kotka (EMEAC) will discuss Estonian memory institutions’ IT-related collaboration with EMEAC and explore some of the ways in which memory institutions can use the developments of IT-sector in order to broaden the ways of collecting and researching material.

2:30-2:40 Coffee break

2:40-3:10 Liisi Eglit (SUL) will discuss SUL’s increasing role in enhancing Estonian and Baltic studies abroad. SUL’s collecting policies, recent initiatives and collaboration projects with parties in both the United States and the Baltic states will be introduced.

3:10-3:40 David Jacobs (Hoover Institution Library and Archives, HILA) will give an overview of HILA’s Estonian and Baltic collections and discuss the possibilities of using them for research.

3:40-4:20 General discussion

Hoover Tower’s Rotunda, Hoover Institution

4:30-5:30 The day will conclude with the opening of the exhibit “A Harsh Spring”. The exhibit, created by the National Archives of Estonia, tells the story of the forced deportations of Estonians to Siberia in March 1949. The exhibit has received positive reviews both in Estonia and Canada. For the event, State Archivist of Estonia Priit Pirsko will send a missive of greetings and collaboration.

The working language of the conference is English. The admission is free of charge.

Additional information and registration: Liisi Eglit,