Estonian National Library

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Estonian National Library
Soviet building of the National Librairy in Tallinn (7974002304) .jpg
Photo taken in 2012

founding December 21, 1918
Duration 3.4 million
Library type National Library
place Tallinn , Estonia

The Estonian National Library ( Estonian Eesti Rahvusraamatukogu ) is located on Mount Tõnismägi in central Tallinn . It is one of the most important public institutions for the preservation and communication of Estonian culture.


On December 21, 1918, the Provisional Government of the newly sovereign Republic of Estonia issued a decree establishing the State Library ( Riigi Raamatukogu ). The collection of around 2000 books was originally located in a wing of the Tallinn Castle and was only accessible to members of the Estonian Parliament . Since 1919 every book printed in Estonia has to be given a deposit copy to the library. In 1935 an archival collection of Estonian prints was established. In the 1930s the inventory had grown to around 50,000 units and was now accessible to everyone.

With the Soviet occupation of Estonia, the institution was renamed the State Library of the Estonian SSR ( Eesti NSV Riiklik Raamatukogu ) in 1940 . The collection was expanded to include Soviet printed works, which mainly included deposit copies from all over the USSR. Parts of the library that contained works unpleasant to the communist rulers were closed to the public. In 1953 the library was named after the Estonian writer and publicist Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald (1803–1882). The inventory grew to around one million units.

In 1988, under the sign of glasnost and perestroika , the library was given its current name. Since then, it has performed the classic tasks of a national library . Since 1989 it has also been the Estonian Parliamentary Library .

At the beginning of 2009 the inventory comprised more than 3.4 million media units.


The building was erected between 1985 and 1993 as a fortress-like structure according to the plans of the Estonian architect Raine Karp . Of the eight floors, two are underground. In addition to the magazines, the building includes a conference center, an auditorium and various exhibition halls. 600 reading places are available to visitors.

Web links

Commons : National Library of Estonia  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Eesti Rahvusraamatukogu ajalugu ( Memento from May 9, 2010 in the Internet Archive )

Coordinates: 59 ° 25 ′ 49.2 ″  N , 24 ° 44 ′ 20.2 ″  E