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The City Archives contain 1,235 archives. These contain a total of 418,342 archival items (as of 1 November 2004), with documents from the 13th century to 2003.

The “Short Directory to the Archival Collections of the Estonian SSR Tallinn State Central Archives” published in 1976 provides an overview of the archival holdings as of 1 January 1976, and the “Register of Tallinn City Archive Collections” provides an overview as of 1 January 2002.

The latest information on the City Archive holdings is available from its electronic database (as of 1 December 2004, available only at the City Archives).

The archival records of Tallinn from the 13th to 16th century are written primarily in Latin or Middle Low German; the majority of the documents from the 17th to 19th century in High German. Starting from the 1880s most of the documents are in Russian; and starting from 1917–1918, primarily in Estonian.

Most Important Archives

  • The photo collection consists of 5,985 photos (as of 1 November 2004), including rare views of Tallinn from the 19th century and from the beginning of the 20th century.
  • Collection of plans and maps (ca 5,000 documents) include primarily district, street and land property maps from Tallinn and adjacent areas, real estate and building plans and construction projects from the 18th to 20th century.
  • The library contains over 15,300 prints primarily from the 19th and the 20th century. Most of the monographs, reference books, source editions, scientific periodicals etc concentrate on the history of Tallinn, Estonia and the Baltic States.


Last modified 20.11.2022