Head of Department: Vilve Asmer
Phone: 737 7724
The Estonian Cultural History Archives (ECHA) is the Estonian central archive for verbal, written and audiovisual cultural heritage. It was founded in 1929 and the bases for its founding were the collections of the Estonian National Museum, the Estonian Literary Society, and the Estonian Literary Association. The oldest archive materials date back to the 14th century.
ECHA’s mission is to collect, preserve, and research the sources of cultural history including manuscripts of the works, correspondences, life stories, photos, artworks, audiovisuals, and more. Altogether, there are 408 collections of manuscripts and 245 photo collections open to the public. The collections are open for research in the reading room during business hours Monday through Friday.
ECHA has since its founding been the central research base for literary historians and cultural scholars. Current research projects of ECHA are focused on Literary Studies, Life Writing Studies, (Post) Soviet Studies, and Gender Studies.
ECHA introduces the archival materials via articles, books, conferences, and exhibitions. We have also created a unique information system “KREUTZWALD’S CENTURY: the Estonian Cultural History Web” for the public to read and view on the internet our primary literary sources.