Photo and multimedia collection

This collection has both physical and digital specimens of scientific and historical material related mainly to Estonia. There are more than 18,000 paper photos, negatives, diapositives, photo, video, audio and other multimedia files that document the changes in the Estonian nature and soundscape over time. The collection is growing mainly thanks to photographs and recordings of nature sounds from the museum’s staff. From time to time donated materials are also added to the collection.

You can view our photo collection on the webpage >>>


Scientific collection

This collection includes approximately 9700 photographs of wildlife and the surrounding environment taken over the past hundred years. This includes photos of animals, their nesting places and habitats, plants in their natural habitats and protected natural monuments. There are also geological sites like boulders, banks and various fossils. Since most of the locations of the photographed specimens are known, they are great for showing the changes in nature over the decades.

The largest donations made to the collection are the paper photos, diapositives and negatives of natural scientists Linda Pootsi and Viktor Masing, which arrived at our museum at the turn of the century, and diapositives of experienced hunter and naturalist Harri Põldsam, which arrived at the museum in 2017. The curator is still working on systematising, digitising and adding this material to the collection.

Historical collection

This collection contains about 8500 photographs of the museum's development and daily work since 1946. The photographs capture the collecting of specimens, fieldwork, expeditions in Estonia and abroad, exhibitions at the museum and much more.

The film and sound tapes included in the collection mainly contain activities related to organising exhibitions and making study materials. Among them is, for example, an interview from 1977, in which museum staff members August Mank, Aino Kumari, Elisabeth Peikel and others share their memories of the founding of the Natural History Museum and the war years.

Leida Ojasoo
specialist in the collections department