In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Estonia’s independence, the National Archives of Estonia is putting on a collections campaign titled “Independent Country 30 (103)” to bring more attention to the collection of documents from this period in Estonia’s history.
The Deputy Manager of the National Archives of Estonian Tallinn Collections Department, Gristel Ramler, explains that the documentation of these revolutionary times is complicated, as at the moment documenting events for the future isn’t thought about. However, some items have already been stored in the archives. For example, arriving already in the 1990s the privately owned archives of the Estonian Group for the Disclosure of the MolotovRibbentrop Pact, the Popular Front of Estonia, and the Estonian National Independence Party. Similarly, in the 2000s, the archives of political parties, which preserve the political diversity of the historical 1990s, were added to the collections. The archives of Ülo Nugis and Mart Laar must also be mentioned here.
Estonians living abroad played an important role in the restoration of Estonia’s independence, as they maintained the country’s continuity during the years of occupation. The archives of the Estonian National Council, the Estonian National Fund, the Estonian Government in exile, the Consulate General of Estonia in New York and the archives of many other organizations describe the role of Estonian refugees in maintaining and restoring independence, as do many personal archives such as those of Ernst Jaakson, Aleksander Varma, Arvo Horm, and Karl Robert Pusta.
The National Archives of Estonia asks all those who possess documents from the years 1980-1990 to consider donating them to the archives. Documents from organizations and individuals, diaries and letters, audio and video recordings are all priceless source materials for preserving Estonia’s history of the restoration of independence. For more information, please contact the National Archives of Estonia: Gristel Ramler, Gristel.Ramler@ra.ee, 693 8003.