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Collections, Research and Building Heritage

Introduction to Collections

The Open Air Museum has a collection of the largest museum exhibits in Estonia – a collection of folk architecture, which includes 83 buildings from the 18th century to the present day, from an archaic village chapel and windmills to a kolkhoze apartment building and a 21st century manufactured wooden house.

The collection of objects includes, for example, a 300-year-old trunk, farm furniture, lighting, textiles, wooden dishes, tools, as well as an iron bed from the Soviet period, a pack of sugar, a soap box, sports shoes from 1970 and a blue-black-white potato basket from 2000.

The photo collection is decorated with an album of Johannes Parikas with pictures from the countryside at the beginning of the 20th century, there are a total of 55,461 photos and negatives.

The small art collection features works by artists who love village life (K. Burman, M. Bormeister, A. Pulst, R. Sagrits, H. Eelma and others). Architectural researchers are delighted by the watercolours of one of the museum's founders, architect Karl Tihas, which were made while searching for buildings and writing a book on folk architecture.

The ethnographic archive and scientific articles consist data on buildings and living conditions, collected in the fieldwork of the museum's researchers. In the documentary archive we preserve old documents, both love and concern letters, pamphlets; textbooks, books and newspapers in fund library.

All our treasures will be preserved, conservated and, if necessary, restored by the museum's restorers. For wood, metal, textiles, leather, glass, porcelain, printed matter – each museum exhibit has its own expert who will help extend its life and keep it for future generations.

The collections of the Estonian Open Air Museum can be viewed  through the Estonian Museum Information System MuIS.

Northern Estonia
Western Estonia
Southern Estonia