Estonian Maritime Museum from 1935 to 1940
The Estonian Maritime Museum usually celebrates its birthday on February 23rd as it was opened to the public as a foundation of the Maritime Museum on February 23rd 1935. This presentation is focusing on the persons and organizations who founded the museum and who were active in the museum’s work. I am also interested about how museum collections and expositions were formed.
The idea of founding the Maritime Museum came from the director of the Maritime Administration, an engineer Eduard Avik. Public information about the idea of establishing the Maritime Museum was printed first in the daily Päevaleht on September 2nd 1931. Many persons donated different items to the museum. Besides the Maritime Administration also Tallinn Nautical School, Tallinn City Government, the Association of Estonian Shipowners, the Association of Estonian Deck Officers, the Union of Estonian Shipengineers, and the Estonian Yachting Union were involved in the work of the museum.
By 1940 the Maritime Museum had approximately 1000 items and 300 books in its collections. Between 1935 and 1940 many visitors visited the Maritime Museum. The director, Madis Mei, organized collection gathering trips and wrote articles about Estonian maritime history. The Maritime Museum existed until 1940 largely thanks to the Maritime Administration, Madis Mei and donations from different Estonian maritime organisations and sailors.