Cultural history collection

This collection is divided into six sub-collections.

Object collection

EsemekoguIt includes very different ethnographical and historical objects. A considerable amount of these are related to farm life and have been collected from all Saaremaa parishes. The biggest groups of objects are dishes meant for preparing and preserving food, tools used in animal keeping and farming and various tools used in handicraft. Collection objects represent almost all the important areas of life in Saaremaa. Here one can find museum objects that are associated with pivotal historical events or have belonged to famous people from Saaremaa, such as Aadu Hint, August Mälk, Gustav Ränk, Johannes and Joosep Aavik, etc.

There are also some objects that reflect the activities of some Saaremaa institutions and organization, such as objects from the Aste workshop of Tallinn’s Jewel Factory, Saaremaa Meat and Dairy Factory, schools, Soviet military bases, etc.

In terms of types of objects, the biggest sub-collections are those of various bottles, seals and stamps and radio engineering. The oldest dated exhibits of the collection include a wax seal of a guild of saddle and belt makers from 1701 and a powder horn made of an ox horn from 1708. One of the oldest horse-drawn water wagons in Estonia is from Kuressaare from the 1830s.



MööbelNearly half of the collection is made up of chairs, armchairs, sofas and benches. The collection includes both the products made over here, such as garden chairs made in Kärla and products of Kuressaare Industrial School, as well as important examples from the history of furniture, such as Vienna chairs and Luther’s chairs, etc.

Furniture that has belonged to institutions and to famous people of Saaremaa is of great value to the museum, just like furniture from city apartments and furniture made by peasants. The most remarkable pieces include chairs that were made for Kuressaare Castle in 1910 on the order of Saaremaa Knighthood and furniture that belonged to Johannes and Joosep Aavik, the Kingisepp family, Alma Klauren, etc. Some of the furniture also comes from Kuressaare courthouse, Haagi former house of prayer, etc.

The most majestic objects of the collection are baroque chairs from Kuressaare Town Hall from the beginning of the 18th century.


Weapon collection

RelvakoguA great number of firearms and cold weapons are from the so-called old collections of the museum. A big part of these have come the museum from the arsenal of the Estonian Defence Forces during the change of a year in 1929/1930. The weapon collection has grown thanks to many private persons; however, some of the weapons have also been received from the Department of Internal Affairs of the Regional Executive Committee, Saare Police Prefecture, etc.



TekstiilThe collection includes the following things:

  • National clothes. There are most headdresses, belts and ribbons. Ruhnu, Muhu and Mustjala are best represented out of the parishes. Some of the national clothes have been categorized under a bigger region, such as Sõrve, East-Saaremaa, etc.
  • Overdresses, which the museum began to collect in 1950s.
  • Examples of underwear have been produced mostly before the 1940s.
  • Uniforms.
  • Bedclothes and table linen.

The majority of the textile collection is made up of women’s clothing. There are relatively few men and children’s clothes.



Märgid ja medalidThe collection contains souvenirs, badges, insignia, etc. related to Saaremaa. Here one can see various medals and orders, distinguishing mark (rosettes, ribbons/bands), epaulets, etc.

The biggest areas:

  • Different locations in Saaremaa, including natural objects
  • Administration, politics, military: judicial power, police, different armies, wars
  • Culture: song festivals, choirs, societies, associations
  • Sport: competitions, associations, athletes
  • Education: schools, graduation badges, children and youth organizations
  • Economy: businesses, institutions, collective farms
  • Examples of local products


Pennons and emblems

Vimplid ja embleemidThe biggest areas:

  • Sport – about half of the collection; adventure racing with its emblems is best represented.
  • Culture
  • Education: various educational institutions, children and youth organizations, pupil and student brigades
  • Saaremaa: different locations, nature and nature conservation
  • History and politics: anniversaries of the events of World War II, things related to political parties
  • Economy: businesses that have operated in Saaremaa
  • Agriculture and forest management: collective farms