Policy of collections

The primary purpose of our collection work is to gather historical and contemporary objects, publications, documents, photographs and other materials from individuals, institutions and areas connected with the history of medicine and health in Estonia. In addition, we compile suitable instructional materials for museum exhibitions and for pedagogical purposes.

The museum does not collect articles or objects that are already well represented in our collection, or in the collections of other museums, that are in bad shape or that are not in accordance with the criteria of our collection policy.

Basic principles of our collection policy:

  1. museum accepts objects that are in accordance with the basic principles and directions of our collection policy and which have significance in terms of contributing to the comprehensiveness of the Estonian Health Museum’s collection;
  2. museum accepts objects that are in optimally good condition;
  3. museum accepts rare objects into its basic collection;
  4. museum accepts objects that are necessary as instructional materials;
  5. museum neither accepts nor considers objects that are not in accordance with its collection policy;
  6. museum will not consider objects that require special circumstances and budgetary provisions for their preservation, exhibition or records management;
  7. museum will not accept objects for which insufficient information is available, or whose provenance is unknown;
  8. all decisions pertaining to additions to the Museum’s collection must be assessed and justified, and be in accordance with our basic collection policy principles and with our value appraisal criteria.

The Artefact Collection

Specific principles for supplementation:

  • the continued supplementation of existing areas;
  • medical and personal articles that belonged to famous Estonian medics;
  • the continued expansion of the collection focussing on blindness;
  • rare foreign medical products;
  • no materials that duplicate items in other museums, or common mass-produced items.

The Photography Collection

Specific principles for supplementation:

  • continue the systematic digital recording of organisations, individuals or institutions;
  • collect original photographs, whether in the form of negatives, positives or digital images;
  • exceptions may be made for accepting excellent-quality copies of photos (negatives, positive or digital images) in cases of unique imaging;
  • photocopies will not accepted into the basic collection.

The Document Collection

Specific principles for supplementation:

  • collections of originals.

The Publications Collection

Specific supplementation principles:

  • collections of rare Estonian books on medical topics (printed in Estonia);
  • preference is given to the earlier period of Estonian medicine and to printed works from the first republic;
  • in addition, rare medical works that were published abroad are collected.

The Secondary Collection

Specific supplementation principles:

  • objects, documents, publications and other materials that do not meet the criteria for acceptance into the main collection, but which nonetheless merit preservation for scientific, educational or other purposes are accepted.