The Estonian Web Archives was created at the Estonian National Library with an aim to preserve websites that are significant from the point of view of Estonian cultural heritage. According to the Legal Deposit Act, since 2006 all Estonian online publications (including websites) have to be submitted as deposit copies to the Estonian National Library. The collected material will be made available for the general public, whereas owner of the publication retains the right to restrict access to the publication. While the archiving of websites was started according to the selection principles of Estonian web archives, compiled in collaboration with specialists from various Estonian memory institutions, in 2014, according to the plan, the entire Estonian national domain (.ee) and identified Estonian websites outside the domain will be archived as well.
The resulting corpus will open remarkable opportunities for researchers to study processes occurring in Estonian culture and society and their representation in online content.
The Web Archives allows preserving short-lived websites and the different versions of rapidly changing online sites (e.g. news portals), online coverage of major events, civic journalism, weblogs, and also proving the validity of online references in academic research works.