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Every Wednesday from 10am-3pm, the Archive is open for visitors to come. The Archives are accessible up a small flight of stairs to the side of the main foyer entry. Some people want to show it to guests, others are searching for information about their families, and many visit for academic or research reasons.

The most popular reasons people like to visit the Archives include the Displaced Persons Camp records from Germany and the Friedrich Lustig, Buddhist Vicar of the Baltics collection.  Please contact us via email archives@eesti.org.au if you:

  • would like to visit the Archive
  • you have material that you would like to donate to the Archive
  • you would like copies of material from the Archive

The Estonian Archives in Australia (EAA) was established by the Council of Estonian Societies in Australia in 1952. EAA is one of the four Estonian Archives existing outside Estonia and holds an important collection of material relating to the lives and achievements of Estonians living outside Estonia.

The Estonian Archives in Australia (EAA) was established by the Council of Estonian Societies in Australia on 5 January 1952. The first archivist was Alexander Peel, a year later Dr Hugo Salasoo was appointed as the archivist, a position he held for nearly 40 years. He was succeeded by his son, Dr Inno Salasoo. In 1994, following the move of the archive from Dr Salasoo’s house, Maie Barrow was appointed as the archivist. EAA is one of the three big Estonian Archives existing outside Estonia and holds an important collection of material relating to the lives and achievements of Estonians living in Australia.

Since 1994 the Archive has been housed in Estonian House, 141 Campbell St, Surry Hills, not far from the centre of Sydney. EAA is funded for day to day expenses by the Council of Estonian Societies, the parent body for Estonian organisations in Australia and by donations from the public. 

The staff consists of an Honorary Archivist, Maie Barrow, assisted by a small number of volunteers. The work of the Archive is overseen by the EAA Advisory Council whose members are appointed by the Council of Estonian Societies in Australia, to whom it reports annually.

The aims of EAA include:

  • to collect material relating to the lives and activities of Estonians in Australia
  • to preserve the Estonian cultural heritage in Australia and to share it with the Estonian and Australian community
  • to provide public access to the collections.

EAA exhibitions are developed by Archive volunteers and in some cases with help from additional people or groups. Most exhibitions are held in the foyer of Estonian House, Sydney but for Estonian Festivals and special occasions, the exhibitions are displayed in other venues as well. The “DP camp life 1945-1950” exhibition has travelled around Australia and the world: Vilnius in Lithuania, Riga in Latvia, Tartu in Estonia and Turku in Finland.

The current exhibition “The Story Continues” was originally curated as part of the Archive’s contribution to the 2010 Estonian Festival in Adelaide. Estonians have been coming to Australia for hundreds of years.  Some like the early sailors in 1686 only stayed a few months, others arrived in the goldrush days either legally or by jumping ship. A large migration started in the 1920s and soon there were sizable communities in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The big migration occurred after WWII when about 6000 Estonians arrived.

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