Saaremaa Muuseum. Kaheaastaraamat 2003–2004. Kuressaare, 2005, 380 pp.

Saaremaa Muuseumi kaheaastaraamat 2003-2004

Marika Mägi – Stone graves and mortuary houses. The development of burial rites on Iron Age Saaremaa

The article concentrates on the transformation that took place in the Migration Period on Saaremaa. Burial rites and graves, being the best represented and excavated archaeological monuments, have been chosen for the analysis.

Considering the Iron Age burial customs on the Estonian islands, their singularity compared to the mainland, and especially the inland parts of the country, cannot be overlooked. The local culture was strongly oriented to maritime activities, and connections with overseas neighbours always played a remarkable role in it.

In 2002 and 2003, archaeological excavations were carried out at Lepna, a burial ground situated in the deserted village of Lepna on southern Saaremaa. The site was completely excavated and proved to have been a Migration Period building of stone and timber – a House of the Dead. Drawing parallels with much later ethnographic material, the house might have resembled everyday buildings of the prehistoric people.

The splendid conditions for bones to survive in the soil of Saaremaa has made it possible to analyse the human remains in prehistoric graves, and to suggest quite new interpretations of one-time burial rites and attitudes to the Other World. Burials with intermingled bones, such as in Saaremaa graves up to the Migration Period, indicate strong collectivistic feelings, in the case under review probably the family as the most essential category of identity in the minds of prehistoric people. From the 7th century onward, the burials on Saaremaa can be considered as individual.

The archaeological evidence from Saaremaa points to the 5th–6th century as the period when the whole society was transformed. In many aspects, the change led to a greater similarity with overseas neighbours. In these processes, the mortuary house at Lepna can be regarded as a symbol of old attitudes where, however, the first signs of a new era were already evident. The change in burial customs towards strongly emphasized warrior-attributes and individuality probably indicates crucial changes in the family structure and the power systems of the society, as well as in the interpretation of the Great Beyond. As a reason or a consequence of this development, culture spheres in the Baltic Rim moved. Saaremaa, which had earlier been clearly oriented to the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, rather belonged to a sphere common with eastern Scandinavia from then on.


Ago Rullingo – Traits of the Settlement History of the Tamse Commune of Muhu.

Settlement of Kallaste, Mõisaküla and Põitse

The article views the development history of villages and farms in the 19th century Tamse Commune (peasant community).

The oldest written reports of settlement in the Tamse area go back to 1434. Tamse Manor (Ger: Tamsala, Tamsel, Tamsell, Tamselhoff) was established in the mid-17th century on the basis of the Tamse, Paenase and Lõetsa socage farms making up the Tamse administration (Ampt). In 1674 the manor consisted of 13 villages with 109 farms and four forest holdings (üksjalakoht). By that time half of the former socage had been turned into fields of the manor. This had taken place as a result of the dissolution and resettlement of the peasants of the former Tamse Village, which gave its name to the manor. By the end of the 17th century the number of villages belonging to the manor had further declined and the farms of Päelda, Paenase, Lõetsa and Kesselaiu no longer belonged to the manor. The number of inhabited farms had contracted to 82.

Nearly half the farms on Tamse Manor remained deserted as a result of the Great Northern War. But the Tamse Manor managed to recover rather soon after the war. In 1713 the manor had 42 farms and 187 people and in 1738 there were 225 people on 36 farms. The contraction in the number of farms was mainly due to the fact that side by side with Suuremõisa Manor, Tamse Manor was the second main basis in the settlement of the farmland of newly-established and existing manors. This was accompanied by the development of the rather intricate manor boundaries, as manor territories were made up of numerous separate pieces of land.

At the beginning of the 19th century manor boundaries were regulated and under the peasant law of 1819 peasant communities (communes) were set up as legal entities. In Muhu, the population of the latter was identical with that of the respective manors. Since the beginning of the 19th century until 1891 the Kallaste, Külasema, Mõisaküla, Nõmmküla, Pallasmaa and Põitse old villages belonged to the Tamse commune. The number of farms remained stable since the late 18th century, being 42 in 1782 and 43 in 1816 and 1858. In Külasema and Kallaste there were eleven, in Nõmmküla ten, in Põitse four and in Mõisaküla and Pallasmaa three old farms each. The number of the peasants, however, grew fast. In 1782, there were 401 persons, in 1816 512 and in 1858 693 persons on Tamse Manor. Through the times, Tamse was the second biggest manor on Muhu island both in terms of territory and population. At the same time Tamse had the densest settled manor territory on Muhu Island in the mid-19th century.

Starting with the 1860s small plots were cut off peripheral lands of Tamse Manor, with the Ranna and Rebaski homestead villages born as a result. In 1900 there were 395 hectares of land belonging to the manor and 2,338 hectares to farms in the territory of Tamse Manor. In the mid-1920s the Tamse settlement was established in the former Tamse Manor fields.

Three villages have been viewed separately – the development history of the Kallaste, Mõisaküla and Põitse farms and small holdings. Thanks to good archival documents it has been possible to establish most of the masters of the farms in these three villages in the period following the Great Northern War. To a certain extent it  has been possible to find links of the farms in those villages with those from before the Great Northern War. In a few cases earlier links can be found already in the 1569–71 land books of the Saaremaa Maasilinn (Soneburg) bailiwick.


Kalle Kesküla – About Kuressaare’s Development History

The forerunner of the town of Kuressaare, a coastal village, sprang up around an inlet between Kure (= Crane) Island and the mouth of the Põduste River. Suppression the St George’s Night Revolt ended the power of the Vikings, and the house of the village elder became a manor (Schulzenhof). Construction of a castle on Kure Island consolidated the conquerors’ power and promoted birth of the town in the 16th century. The cultural boundary between the Estonian-speaking village and the German-speaking town persisted, with the indigenous people disparagingly called sauna-dwellers (Badstüber). Destruction of the Maasilinna Castle (Soneburg) made Kuressaare the only centre of power on Saaremaa. The town grew around the port and the first town square was Sõrve Market.

The Trading Company established in 1625 to continue the export of grain and import of salt brought economic boom to the town. There were both noblemen and citizens among the shareholders, the cornerstone for commercial success being custom-free passage through the Danish straits. The then Kuressaare merchants owned the biggest ships in the Baltic.

Danish-Estonian historian Vello Helk has helped bring to us the names of the then citizens that are published for the first time in Estonian in this article. With his cooperation it is possible to draw up a list of Kuressaare’s citizens almost throughout the 17th century.

At the beginning of the Swedish period (1645) Kuressaare had 111 citizens and 150 cottagers. The Kuressaare County made high-flown development plans, but couldn’t carry them out due to changes in the Royal Household. Count of Kuressaare Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie gave the Trading Company privileges to operate in Haapsalu, and also Haapsalu mayors were by origin from Kuressaare until the end of the 17th century.

A town hall, a weigh house and a new church were built in Kuressaare in the Swedish period.  The town centre moved away from the port, and opportunities were looked for to take the port away from the shallow inlet.  The castle was modernised and when the Great Northern War broke out it was at the highest level in the world.  The war and the accompanying Black Death stopped development of the town, the number of citizens declined to 11 and of cottagers to 60.  This makes it simpler to draw up a list of citizens in 18th century Kuressaare, including addition of citizens of Estonian stock.

The standstill in the Russian period ended with the establishment of regency and residence of the deputy governor for Livonia in Kuressaare. The construction of manor lords’ town residences and other stately buildings laid the basis to the Classical appearance of the town, a nobility club and a newspaper were established, culture developed etc. Naming of the streets makes it possible to analyse the then toponyms and better understand the development of the town.

The first land link with Kure Island ran along the present Tolli Street, leading from the castle gate to the coastal village.  Form there the street continued along the Põduste River bank to the so-called Kaarma Gate.  The main street linked the manor with the market, while there were two streets leading from the market to the port and to the sea. The street leading to the Riga Gate extended towards the west in the same pace with the young town and created new markets in Kuressaare’s triangular squares.

The new main street from the castle to the town centre was laid out after the county-period plan and named Castle Street. The second part of the new main street was named Province Street, as it began at the Provincial House in the new central square. Court Street led from the new central square to the town’s old hinterland. The fourth major street was Long Street as before.


Bruno Pao – Land Marshal of Saaremaa

When the society in Estonia was still divided into different estates, nobility corporations had a very important role. The nobility’s highest body of power, the diet and its executive body, were headed by the land marshal (Landmarschall) who also represented the interests of the nobility in front of the emperor and the state. The role of the land marshal became particularly important in the process of the economic and political development in the 19th century. Improvement of traffic conditions was an important issue, mainly due to the geographical position of the island.  In the conditions of Russification and the growing interference of state power into local politics it was necessary for the nobility corporation to have a leader who could stand for the preservation of the noblemen’s’ former rights and independence, if only partly.

Such a man was found in Oskar Arkadius Otto von Ekesparre (1839–1925), who stood at the head of the nobility corporation for as much as thirty years, from 1876 to 1906. Having studied at the Military Engineers’ Academy in St Petersburg and at the Karslsruhe Higher Technical School, the talented young man became an outstanding railway construction engineer, chief engineer and director of several railways in Ukraine. In those posts he managed to accumulate a considerable property and create useful connections in higher circles of power in Russia.

In 1874 Ekesparre, then 35 years old, returned to his native island, bought four manors on the Sõrve Peninsula and united them into a complex under the name of Olbrück. He even made plans of developing resort economy in the European style, but these were never accomplished. The article brings a number of examples of undertakings of the Saaremaa Nobility Corporation in Oskar von Ekesparre’s time, including organisation of boat traffic between Muhu Island and the mainland and the construction of a causeway to link Saaremaa and Muhu (completed in 1894–96). He initiated refurbishment of the Kuressaare Castle, and as a sign of gratitude it now has an Ekesparre room.

Oskar von Ekesparre had a leading role in the decades-long struggle of the Baltic nobility with the Russian imperial authorities for the preservation of their privileges and consuetude. In 1906 he was elected to the Russian State Council as representative of the Baltic nobility corporations. Ekesparre was a man of great authority both in the imperial court and among politicians. Eugenie Baroness Pilar von Pilchau, daughter of the Russian Minister for Justice Count von der Pahlen and wife of the Livonian land marshal, characterised him as follows: ”In all political matters the Saaremaa Land Marshal Ekesparre was always the leading figure, cleverer than everyone else. With a perfect command of Russian, he always helped settle things whenever there was deadlock. He knew the whole of St Petersburg, where he had a flat, and consulted with all the Balts. He masterfully found the right kind of approach with the Russians and obtruded his will on them.” In 1912 he was appointed life member of the State Council and deputy chairman of the financial committee. In 1913 he also became a member of the Senate dealing with peasant and agrarian issues.

Oskar von Ekesparre spent the last years of his life in Kuressaare, where he was elected chairman of a new noblemen’s’ organisation, the Saaremaa Non-profit Society. The outstanding public figure of the last years of tsarist Russia died on 27 December 1925.


Heino Kermik – The Muhu Islander Who Walked by Himself

Jaan (Ivan) Vorms (1885–1936) had a comparatively peculiar but firm place in the cultural history of Saaremaa. Born on Muhu Island in a poor cottager’s family, his education was limited to three years at village school and two years of forestry study.  Despite that the self-educator served for sixteen years as the executive and responsible editor of Saaremaa’s biggest newspaper, Meie Maa.

Jaan Vorms’ youth passed earning subsistence in odd jobs here and there. But he also wrote poetry and well-received contributions to a number of newspapers. In 1920 he was asked to become editor of Meie Maa, a position where he worked until his death. Feuilletons he wrote under several pen names became very popular. Side by side with newspaper work Vorms also wrote about a dozen novels and longer stories, some of which were published as books – Punased leegid (Red Flames), 1927 and Painaja poeg (Incubus’ Son), 1935.

The article looks at Vorms’ rather contradictory personality on the background of his partly autobiographical historical story Red Flames. It describes events of the Saaremaa revolt of 1919, in which the author, a man of decidedly left-wing views in his youth, had taken part (and luckily escaped being shot by a punitive expedition). But his nature was that of an observer rather than a hot participator and seeker of profit. All his further life he was the successful editor of a bourgeois (originally left centrist) paper. Here is what Marxist Joosep Saat, a personal acquaintance of Vorms, has said about him: “He was a democrat but thought it was possible to do without revolutions, only by means of voting. […] Speaking with him in 1922 he explained that he was in favour of socialism because socialism made it possible to avert wars, but did not want capitalism because there were wars under capitalism.  But socialism must come when “the whole nation wants it”. Therefore his writings in Meie Maa are full of contradictions and discrepancies.”

Bearing in mind the life and convictions of the author of Red Flames, the work is not to explain or justify his rather accidental role in the revolt. Rather, it is a confession. Like the main character of the story, he too had to solve problems to which there were no clear and unequivocal answers ever since his youth and particularly as editor of Meie Maa, that is, as exploited cheap labour.

The serious and hard worker Jaan Vorms, who took his own path between two worldviews hostile to each other, died of tuberculosis on 3 December 1936. “His heart belonged to Saaremaa,” the prominent writer August Mälk wrote in his obituary.


Vassili Auväärt – Reminiscences of Two Wartime Autumns on Muhu Island

The journalist Vassili Auväärt (b 1928) recalls events of war on his native island in the autumn of 1941 and 1944. Among other things he has established the earlier anonymous Muhu islander, whose colourful story in connection with the requisition of his horse on 15 September 1941 has been described by German artillery officer Hans-Eberhard Brossok in his memoirs Das Herz gewogen (Heart on the Scales), Berlin, 1991. It appears that the Muhu islander who would not part with his horse was Konstantin Verendel, who left for Sweden in 1944. The article presents a description of the same story from his handwritten reminiscences. The fact that two persons who accidentally met – the German officer and the Muhu farmer – describe the event in their memories decades later, shows what an important place the horse had both in war as well as in the peasant’s life.

Of the autumn of 1944 when war again came to the island, the author recalls the retreat of German troops through Muhu Island to Saaremaa, civilians’ preparations to leaving their native island for Sweden in September, and the first contacts with fighters of the Estonian Rifle Corps of the Red Army on their invasion of Muhu. Quite a few Muhu islanders lost their lives while doing transport duty for the Soviets.

Memoirs of the German soldier Kurt Vetter published in the previous museum yearbook (2003) focus among other things on the risky retreat of his unit from Muhu via Kõinastu Islet to Saaremaa. On the basis of personal memoirs and others’ recollections Vassili Auväärt brings additional facts of the route of the unit.


Märt Kapsta – Ruhnu Island in 1944–1987

Ruhnu Island (11.35 sq km) standing alone and separate in the Gulf of Riga is the smallest commune in Saaremaa County. Until World War II it was settled with Estonian Swedes (270 inhabitants in 1922), a community with a very individual culture. In 1943–44 almost the whole population resettled in Sweden. This led to thorough changes in the further development of the island, which can be divided into three periods.

Ruhnu was the last part of Estonian territory Soviet forces liberated in 1944, arriving there only on 19 December. The post-war years (1945–48) were characterised by rapid changes in the population; many of them came from the neighbouring island of Kihnu. The property of the former owners, which had been left at their disposal under management contracts, was declared property of the state and had to be bought out by the end of 1947. A weather station was set up on Ruhnu on 1 June 1945, and a shop was reopened in 1947. The four-year elementary school was turned into a seven-year school in 1946. The number of population slightly surpassed one hundred.

The period when there was an independent collective farm (kolkhoz) on the island (1949–70) brought steady economic and cultural development. The agricultural trend in the first years of the collective farm did not justify itself, as the main activity on the island had always been fishing and sealing. On 26 September 1950 Ruhnu Commune was renamed a village soviet and was attached to the Pärnu District (raion), where the island remained until November 1986. In 1951 the agricultural artel Ruhnu was reorganised into the collective fishery Kommunismi Majak (Lighthouse of Communism). Relatively good opportunities were left for private farming, which helped attach the residents to the island. Good catches of fish and seals and a much more stable managing staff than before brought the collective fishery relative prosperity. During twenty years more than a dozen production and public buildings were erected on the small island, six trawlers and 31 smaller fishing vessels were acquired and help was given to members of the collective farm in the building of numerous houses.

In 1958 Ruhnu received an electric power plant driven by a diesel engine, and a new village hall was completed in 1959. The smallest collective fishery in Estonia became one of the few so-called millionaire kolkhozes. Extensive land improvement work was carried out in the mid 1960s, a new central highway was built and the construction of a port began. In 1965 the first games between the neighbouring islands of Kihnu and Ruhnu were held. Organised for five times until 1971, the big cultural and sports festival attracted attention throughout Estonia.

The 1970s brought a major setback in the life of the island. The main reason was a severe storm of 2 November 1969, which wholly destroyed the port, and liquidation of the local collective fishery as of 2 September 1970. The number of population declined fast, from 222 in 1966 to 98 in 1972. In the composition of the big Pärnu Kalur collective fishery the island was reduced into a backwater to which no serious attention was paid. Fishing as an industry was practically wiped out. By 1980 only 43 permanent inhabitants had remained on the island, most of them pensioners and office workers.

An interesting peculiarity is revealed in the life of the island: if in mainland Estonia compulsory membership in collective farms led to departure of peasantry from the village, then in Ruhnu mass departure only began in connection with the liquidation of the local kolkhoz. In various ways, the kolkhoz had apparently served as a support to the new settlers. Seen from the historical perspective the kolkhoz could in some way be regarded as a modification of the organisation of life in the old Ruhnu community.

A new stage in the life of Ruhnu Island began when it was assigned to Saare County in 1986.


“Further Work to be Organised in the Physical Liquidation Line…” (State Security Ministry documents about the prosecution of Saaremaa Forest Brothers in 1948 and 1950)

(Translated into Estonian by Tiit Noormets)

A recurring theme in recent Estonian history is armed resistance to the Soviets, the Forest Brothers movement in 1944–56. In the history of Saaremaa it pertains to the activity of Elmar Ilp and his companions. The other aspect of the resistance movement is Soviet security bodies’ fight against it, of which numerous documents are kept in the Estonian State Archives. Published in this yearbook is a selection of Estonian SSR State Security Ministry (Министертво Государственной Безопасности, MGB) and its Saaremaa department about the persecution of Elmar Ilp and his companions.

The first document is a report by the MGB Saaremaa department to the ministry of 1 October 1948 about why another order to destroy “the nationalistic underground and its armed bands” had not been observed by the appointed date. The rest of the documents are excerpts pertaining to Saaremaa from monthly reports the Estonian SSR MGB “fight against banditry” department, 2-N, despatched to the respective department of the USSR MGB in Moscow for the months of April and August 1950.

The documents published here significantly complement and enlarge what has been earlier believed and published (for example concerning the capture of the Kööp and Säkk Forest Brothers’ group as well as the legendary Ilp and his companions); they also give detailed information about the security bodies’ agency and operational work. But this is only a small proportion of documents still waiting to be studied at the Estonian State Archives.


Ivar Leimus – Rare Viking Age Coin Hoard at the Saaremaa Museum

In 1962 the Saaremaa Museum acquired from Mrs Miina Matson a collection of 87 coins forming a compact group and apparently coming from a Viking Age coin hoard (tpq. 223?=837/8). Only four 9th century deposits are known from Estonia (Rõuge, Kohtla, Peipsi, vicinity of Pärnu), and so Mrs Matson’s coins must certainly be regarded as rare. Unfortunately we do not know either the place where or the circumstances under which the coins were found. By its historical composition the Saaremaa find is rather similar to the Kohtla hoard but differs from it by the small number of fragmented coins (respectively 31.7 and 4.6 per cent). Therefore Mrs Matson’s coins cannot be treated as a part of the Kohtla hoard, but must be regarded as a separate find.

It is noteworthy that the large Kohtla hoard of Estonia as well as two deposits from Finland were hidden simultaneously with the “Saaremaa” hoard. If we presume that the coins discussed here are of Saaremaa origin, all the four finds were located close by the sea. Presumably they reflect some event in the eastern part of the Baltic Sea as a result of which people were killed and their treasure remained buried.


Maret Soorsk – About Formation of the Saaremaa Museum Collection of Articles

Due to lack of sources it is rather difficult to trace the formation and development of the collection of articles of the Saaremaa Museum until 1946. The data are the scarcest for the period when the museum belonged to the Society for the Study of Saaremaa (Verein zur Kunde Oesels, 1865–1921), because the catalogues of the collections were destroyed during World War I. The main contemporary source is the local paper Arensburger Wochenblatt, where lists of articles donated to the museum have been published.

When the museum passed into the county government sphere of administration (1919–21), no documents referring to the size, condition etc of the collection have been drawn up, not to mention a list of the exhibits handed over and received. Only a list of the inventory of Kuressaare Bishop’s Castle, the location of the museum, was made.

Due to lack of qualified museum personnel the collection remained unorganised also in the next period and no document to register the collections was drawn up. The only existing lists dating from the period of the pre-World War II Republic of Estonia are from the mid-1930s when the museum passed from the county government’s sphere of administration into the subordination of the city government.  In 1935 there were slightly more than a thousand historical objects. Unfortunately the lists attached to the transfer act are superficial, drawn up inexpertly and deficiently in many respects.

Most of the objects that the museum still had left and were entered into the books after World War II apparently date from the Society period, because practically no collection work was done in independent Estonia before 1940. Local ethnographic objects constitute the most valuable part of the then collection of articles. In the opinion of the scholars Gustav Ränk and Hans Kaur who visited the museum in 1935 the Saaremaa collections were some of the best among other provincial museums, particularly in terms of folk costumes.

For the last time the collections were seriously damaged during World War II. Of the surviving exhibits 1,054 items were entered into the books of the collection of articles.

Until 1975 relatively few objects were added to the collections, usually less than a hundred per year. Starting with the second half of the 1970s a couple of hundred historical objects a year were usually added to the collections. By 1 January 2004 13,595 historical objects had been recorded in Saaremaa Museum book of entries, making up one tenth of all whole collection. Of specialised collections the biggest are those of badges and medals (about 1,500 items), textiles (about 11,000), emblems and pennants (about 900) and tableware (about 900 items). Of firmly dated articles the oldest are a gunpowder horn made in 1708 and a dowry chest dating from 1773.  In terms of size, the biggest articles are a Gaz AA truck, a Universal tractor, a horse-drawn fire engine made in Kuressaare in the first half of the 19th century, a cabman’s calèche, etc.


Katrin Äär – Formation of the Saaremaa Museum Library

The foundation to the library of the Saaremaa Museum was laid in 1865 when the Society for the Study of Saaremaa (Verein zur Kunde Oesels) was founded. Right from the start it set itself the aim of building up its own library. Mostly foreign scientific literature was bought already in the founding year of the society, with the publications made available to the members through a reading room. With the aim opening a public library, a reading circle was set up in 1868 to organise it and to acquire recent German literature. Books were also acquired from financial resources of the society and through donations by individuals. Members of the society managed to collect into the library a valuable stock of publications on Saaremaa. In the course of time, thanks to merger of several other collections (the German Society, the library of Hartwig von Sass, the Saaremaa nobility corporation) it grew into the biggest and most valuable library on Saaremaa, so even Tartu University and the Central State Archives were interested in it in the 1920s and 30s. We know that in 1939 a total of 3,154 books were offered to the central archives, the most valuable part of the lot being Baltic-German historical works.

The only lists of the library from before World War II date from the 1930s.  Both of them are clearly deficient – a list of books handed over by the museum to the town of Kuressaare (7 items) as well as an undated catalogue or its fragment containing 349 items. The latter includes Hans Nielssøn Strelow’s work Cronica Guthilandorum… (Copenhagen, 1633), long the oldest publication in the museum library.  In 2002 a catechism by Johann Spangenberg (Magdeburg, 1562) finally surpassed it by age.

The ideological cleansing work that started with the Soviet occupation of 1940 damaged also collections of the museum. Probably in 1951 several libraries of former organisations that had been kept in the castle were taken to the then State Public Library in Tallinn. As a result of the ongoing revision of the reserve stock of the present Estonian National Library some of the requisitioned books have been returned to the museum since 1993.

As a result formation of the museum library had to begin almost from an empty place in 1951. In addition to works by modern Saaremaa authors also a large number of older publications soon started to pour into the collections, many of them as donations by private persons. The library was then closed and subordinated to the head of the museums deposits. Increased interest in the written materials kept at the museum led to the idea of setting up a public library of the books, periodicals, local studies papers and memoirs kept in the museum collections. In 1992 the Saaremaa Archival Library was opened as a new branch of the museum.

As of January 1, 2005 its collection had 9,237 books, 7,455 units of periodicals (including single copies and annual volumes) as well as 876 manuscripts. Of the books the weightiest part includes works by Saaremaa authors, literature pertaining to Saaremaa and printed in Saaremaa, collection of religious literature that is valuable for its age, and rather a large collection of schoolbooks and calendars in book form of different periods. Of periodical publications the oldest one that appeared from print in Saaremaa is Annoncenblatt from 1865. The collection of expatriate Estonian press is also quite big. The manuscript fund is mainly made up of local studies papers, university graduation papers on Saaremaa, schoolchildren’s research papers, memoirs and chronicles.