Elle-Mari Talivee, Kri Marie Vaik (Under and Tuglas Literature Centre of the Estonian Academy of Sciences)

The Collections of Friedebert Tuglas and the History of Ideas in 20th Century Estonia

The Museum Department of the Under and Tuglas Literature Centre administers the legacy of Friedebert Tuglas, the writer and Member of the Academy of Sciences, in the form of his library, photographs, manuscripts, postcards, art collection and sound recordings; the library and art collection that formerly belonged to the writers Artur Adson and Marie Under and arrived in Estonia in 1996 from Sweden; and the art collection of the Foundation for Estonian Arts and Letters and the book and art collection of the writer and art scholar Paul Reets, which arrived in Estonia from the United States of America in 2004 and in 2012. Tuglas is the key figure in that rich collection because he deliberately collected a wealth of materials about cultural and political changes from the beginning of the 20th century and the history of ideas of Estonia. His collections illustrate the unfolding of the 1905 Russian Revolution in Estonia; his forced political exile after that until 1917; the founding of the nation state and its cultural policy until 1940; the internal exile of Tuglas in the 1950s; and the gloomy results of first decades of the Soviet occupation and the erratic literary contacts through the iron curtain.

The collections will be all accessible as a digitised archive by 2020, with the manuscripts and the collected volumes of Tuglas also available as machine-readable texts. This paper intends to show how the digitised collections of Tuglas as a very transdisciplinary field of research are designed for use, and to illustrate their importance through some research results that have already been achieved.