- Using the library
- Federated Search Portal
- Borrowing items
- Requesting and renewal
- Reading rooms
- Subject Guides
- Lists of new literature
- Rare books
- National items
- Personal archives
- Original art
- Digital collections
- Sound recordings
- Sheet music
- Posters and postcards
One of the main tasks of the National Library is to collect, preserve and make available national items. The national items are documents published in Estonia in any languages or published abroad in the Estonian language; translations of Estonian publications and foreign language publications by authors of Estonian origin. The Library acquires books, periodical publications and serials, pamphlets, maps, sheet music, posters and postcards, sound and video recordings, electronic items on physical media, web publications and print files.
The national items have been collected since 1918, the year when the State Library was founded. In 1919, the Library began to receive legal deposit copies of Estonian publications. In 1935, the Archival Collection was created with the aim to collect and preserve Estonian-language publications and publications issued in Estonia. The Archival Collection existed until 1950, was re-established in 1965, including into it the collection developed in 1935-1950. The Archival Collection holds one of the first libraries created by Estonian peasants – the Metsiku village lending library of Virumaa founded in 1872.
At present, all Estonian publications issued before 1861 and foreign-language national publications issued before 1831 are stored in the Rare Books Collection; and one, the best preserved copy of publications issued at the later period, is stored in the Archival Collection. Other copies are kept in the basic collection. Books, newspapers, journals, serials, maps and sheet music issued on the Internet are acquired as web publications and are stored in the digital archives DIGAR.
The national items are acquired currently according to the Legal Deposit Act and the Acquisition Guidelines. Additional acquisition and items issued elsewhere are obtained by the placing of orders, purchases, donations and exchange.
The national items are recorded in the online catalogue ESTER and in the database of the Estonian national bibliography. Web publications and print files are to be found through the DIGAR search and the bibliographic databases created by the National Library.
The use of national items is regulated by the Rules for Users of the National Library. The items from the Rare Books Collection and the single copies of the National Library kept in the Archival Collection may be used in the Rare Books and Archives Reading Room. Digital copies of publications are available as digital collections, also through DIGAR and the database of digitised Estonian newspapers DEA.
Information on national items is also provided by thematically designed e-exhibitions.
In July and August Mon-Fri 12-18
The Book Return Box