Saaremaa Museum is one of the oldest (founded in 1865) and biggest museums in Estonia and is visited by 70-80 thousand people every year. As a county museum it plays a major role in helping to preserve and strengthen the identity of Saaremaa as a region with extraordinary nature, history and culture. One of the main things that helps to shape this identity is Kuressaare Castle/Fortress.
As a result of consistent and varied research, Saaremaa Museum is one of the leading research establishments in the county and a research coordinator, primarily in the field of history and local studies. Diverse collections that have been assembled over one and a half century and consist of more than 152 thousand museum objects (2012) serve as the basis for research.
The museum is an important study centre of the county and one of its aims is to provide different kinds of educational activities. A couple of hundred educational events are organized every year for about 3,000–4,000 people and a growing number of these people are adults. About twenty educational programmes have been developed for both younger and older people and can be ordered in the case of interest.