Estonian Diaspora Archives: At Home and Abroad

Birgit Kibal (National Archives of Estonia)

The presentation opens the traces of migration from Estonia to the East and West in three waves, i.e. from the mid-19th century until the first decade of 21st century. The most intense migration occurred during and after WWII, when 80,000 civilians were forced to flee west (in fear of falling victim to repressions under Soviet occupation) and 30,000 civilians were deported to the East. While living in these new locations, mainly in Sweden, US, Canada, Australia and Russia, Estonians as well as all the Baltic nations collected and preserved their written and visual heritage, which nowadays offers many opportunities for research but also needs a steady cooperation with the Estonian communities around the globe. Some examples of records, photos and film reels available both at the diaspora archives and the National Archives of Estonia will be handled during the presentation.