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The Archival Library (AL) was founded on April 14, 1909 as an archival collection of the publications in Estonian on the basis of the 10,000 volume library of the Estonian Students' Society which had been started at the beginning of 1880. The initiator of both libraries was Oskar Kallas.
The AL collects books, periodicals, pamphlets, maps and bookplates.
The AL also collects publications concerning Estonia in other languages.
The AL completes its collections by using compulsory copies, purchase, ordering, donations and exchange.
The total amount of the collection is more than 809,000 registration units.

The AL comprises the following collections:

A Collection of books in the Estonian language which comprises archive collection and collection for use. It includes more than 90 per cent of all books published up to 1917 and also nearly all books and booklets published since 1918. The oldest known complete book in Estonian - the first part of Heinrich Stahl's "Hand- und Hausbuch...", published in 1632, is the pride of the collection, as well as some oldest Estonian grammar books, primers and calendars. The collection holds all the first publications by Estonian authors and most of the later publications. A relatively complete set of exile publications has been added during the recent years.

Baltic collection gathers books in other languages concerning either Estonia, Baltic countries in general, or Fenno-Ugric peoples; also translations of Estonian authors into other languages. The older part of the collection includes old Estonian and Livonian chronicles (those of Balthasar Russow, 1578, 1584 and Christian Kelch, 1695), travelogues and scientific investigations.

Periodical collection has two parts - periodicals in Estonian (comprising more than 90 per cent of all peri-odicals published in Estonian), and periodicals in other languages published in Estonia as well as in Finland, Riga and St. Petersburg.

Map collection contains maps of historical value and town plans. The main objects of collecting have been maps of Europe and Baltic countries. The most unique map is that of Livonia drawn by Portantius in 1573.

Pamphlet collection contains pamphlets, leaflets and advertisements both in Estonian and other languages, published in Estonia.

Memorial collections (31) are personal collections preserved intactly according to the wish of their donators.

The Archival Library is a member of Consortium of Esto-nian Libraries Network. In 1999 a common electronic catalogue ESTER was started. Tartu data base contains 39,8% of printed works or 321,427 units of the AL. Electronic catalogue contains: Estonian printed work since 1997; Estonian printed work of 1945-1996 almost completely; Estonian printed work of 1918-1944 almost completely; periodicals in Estonian and foreign languages (except Russian) - completely; I. Severjanin collection - completely; K. Menning collection - almost completely.

Digitalization of older rare books has been started in the AL. The first of them can be seen on the address: In collaboration with Estonian National Library older Estonian periodicals are being digitalized (a project DEA -

The AL has been participating in compiling the Estonian National Bibliography and has organised several confer-ences and exhibitions. The AL has taken part in several international projects.

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