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Estonian House in Sydney Australia

About the Archive

The Estonian Archives in Australia (EAA) was established by the Council of Estonian Societies in Australia on 5 January 1952. The EAA is one of the four Estonian Archives existing outside Estonia and holds an important collection of material relating to the lives and achievements of Estonians living outside Estonia.

Members of the Archive Council and Volunteers 2002

Members of the Archive Council and Volunteers 2002
First row, from left: Lea Holm, Aino Loit, Eili Annuk, Maie Barrow, Silvia Silveus, Mara Piira, Reet Simmul. Second row, from left: Kenn Oidermaa, Valdemar Vilder, Toomas Pill, Viktor Valk, Edgar Siimpoeg, Raivo Kalamae, August Kangro.

Since 1994 the Archive has been housed in Estonian House, 141 Campbell St, Surry Hills, not far from the centre of Sydney. EAA are funded for their day to day expenses by the Council of Estonian Societies, the parent body for all Estonian Organisations in Australia. The staff consists of an Honorary Archivist, Maie Barrow, assisted by a small number of volunteers. The work of the Archive is overseen by the EAA Advisory Board whose members are appointed by the Council of Estonian Societies in Australia and to whom it reports annually.

Volunteers in the Archives: Maie Barrow, Mara Piira, Aino Loit, Eili Annuk, Toomas Pill and Reet Simmul

Volunteers in the Archives
From left: Maie Barrow, Mara Piira, Aino Loit, Eili Annuk, Toomas Pill and Reet Simmul. Missing from the photo, Silvia Silveus, Edgar Siimpoeg.

Aims of EAA include

  • to collect material relating to the lives and activities of Estonians in Australia
  • to collect material in Estonian from all over the world
  • to collect material by Estonians or about Estonia in other languages; and
  • to provide public access to the collections.

The archive comprise mainly published material, personal papers and memoirs, records of the activities of organisations, photographs, sound recordings, films, artefacts, ephemera and textiles. A major part of the collection consists of more than 10,000 reprints of scholarly works by researchers of Estonian origin living all over the world. This represents the largest collection of such material anywhere in the world.

A small but unique part of the archives consists of the records, personal papers, publications, memoirs, artefacts, photographs and sound recordings of the lives, activities and achievements of the Estonians in Australia. These records date back to the "first fleeters" of Estonians who came to Australia in the late 1880s, as well as those of the second wave of migration in the 1920s but the bulk of the material relates to the post WW II immigration. This collection is not only important to Estonia and the Australians of Estonian descent but also to Australia as it chronicles the contribution of the immigrants to the Australia of today.

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Estonian House
141 Campbell St
Surry Hills NSW 2010 Australia

Email: archives@eesti.org.au

Postal address: PO Box 492
Darlinghurst NSW 1300, Australia

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This page is sponsored by the Council of Estonian Societies in Australia

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