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collection

Collections

All collections of the Estonian Road Museum have been added to the MuIS and they can be accessed at https://www.muis.ee/. The majority of museum objects of the Road Museum also have corresponding digital images in the database. It is mandatory to add a reference to the Estonian Road Museum when using museum objects from the collections of the Road Museum. Prices of additional services that are charged are included in the price list.

Collection of items

All three-dimensional items are part of a single collection of items and marked in a uniform numbering system.

Road construction and maintenance machines

The central part of the collection is made up of machines that have been built and/or widely used in Estonia. The Bitvargen and Caterpillar motor graders, which were manufactured in Estonia, are the pride and joy of the museum collection, as is the most common model, V-10, of the first self-propelled road grader in the Soviet Union, designed by Arnold Volberg.

Most of the collection items have been handed over by road administration authorities of counties for free and have been conserved or restored. Most large road machines are on display at the machine hall or at the outdoor exhibition area Road Time.

Vehicles

Vehicles in the collections include typical vehicles of the horse era and the era of automobiles, incl. horse-drawn vehicles and motor vehicles built in Estonia, used by road builders and road maintenance workers, as well as for travelling purposes, and that had been built for driving on regular roads and winter, swamp and ice roads.

Collection highlights include a coachman’s sleigh from Tartu, the first mass-produced front-wheel drive chassis passenger car Citroën and a Pobeda that belonged to Gustav Ernesaks.

A great deal of the vehicles is on display indoor, however, a lot of the horse-drawn vehicles are in storage facilities.

Other three-dimensional items

Auxiliaries and other items related to the work process of road construction machines and road maintenance machines (lights, signals, numbers, monitoring devices, measuring devices and tools), accessories of vehicles, uniforms, traffic regulation instruments (traffic signs, direction signs), office supplies of road holdings, signs, stamps, flags, etc.

Archive collection

The archive collection primarily includes materials handed over by the Road Administration and road administration authorities: documents, manuscripts, maps, designs, figures and an archive library with small prints. The archive collection also includes materials donated by previous Road Administration employees and private persons.

Documents, manuscripts

Includes correspondence, personnel documents, inventory lists of road departments of counties, road administration authorities, etc.; (construction) files, projects, work orders and workbooks concerning roads, bridges, culverts and other objects; personal correspondence, documents (employment certificates, driver’s licences, etc.) and notes of employees in the road sector, as well as excerpts from articles.

Maps, figures, plans

Includes road maps from various eras, construction plans of road objects and right-of-way plans.

Books and magazines

Includes books, encyclopedias, study books and technical normative documents  on road history and road construction, as well as entire personal libraries of road institutions and significant employees, field-specific periodicals.  

Small prints

Includes advertisement prints, prospects, stickers, calendars, ex libris, materials given out at events, folders, etc.

Photo collection

The photo collection is extensive. It includes negatives, diapositives and other photographic material that is not on paper, as well as paper photographs, digital storage devices (CDs). The collection materials depict construction or maintenance works performed on roads, bridges and culverts; the ongoings and buildings of road organisations, as well as the holidays and private life of workers in the road sector. Projection films and video recordings on various data storage devices are also included in the photo collection. Photographs have been scanned and entered into the MuIS database.

Negatives, diapositives and photographic material that is not on paper

Strictly speaking, only negatives are considered original materials; but only very few of those have remained, most negatives have no signatures and it is not possible to determine what has been photographed. The photo collection includes several different formats of photographic plates (glass negatives), 6x9 and 6x6 cm negatives, 35 mm negatives in rolls, and diapositives in multiple formats.

Photographs on paper

Paper photographs are photocopies of negatives. As negatives have not been preserved in most cases, paper photographs of vastly different formats and quality have to be considered originals.

Films and video recordings

This includes projection tapes of various widths and video recordings, which have been ordered in the framework of conducting road construction works or by road construction and maintenance companies in order to show their activities. The collection also includes a lot of video materials (ordered by the Road Administration) related to traffic safety campaigns and a smaller amount of amateur films made of Road Administration activities by Road Administration employees themselves.

In addition to the main collection, the museum also has an auxiliary collection, i.e. handling collection. The auxiliary collection is meant for storing materials that do not fit the criteria of the main collection, but comply with the collection themes of the museum, support the educational function of the museum and can be used to provide an experience of real history to visitors of the museum.