The Maritime Museum takes pride in its rich collection of ship models. The collection also contains lighthouse models.
This collection features fishing and seal-hunting equipment, craft tools and sea chests.
Technical Equipment Collection
The collection contains navigation and rescue equipment, ships’ wheels, propellers and lighthouse equipment.
Uniforms and accoutrements of the Estonian Navy and commercial fleet are the most valuable part of this collection, which also includes flags and banners. The blue-black-and-white Estonian flag, dating from 1919, under which members of the navy marched on the 1st anniversary parade of the Republic of Estonia, is a real rarity.
This is a collection of maritime-related medals and badges. More than 50 percent of it is made up of the former captain Lev Burak’s collection entitled ‘The Nautical History’.
Naval Weapons Collection
The Maritime Museum owns the largest collection of naval weapons in Estonia. The oldest among them – naval guns originating from the 18th century – are exhibited on the Seaplane Harbour quay.
Historical Objects Collection
This collection contains sailors’ personal belongings and mementos, gifts, etc.
This collection contains different types of watercraft, most of which are included in the main exhibition at the Seaplane Harbour.
Underwater Archaeology Collection
This collection is meant for preserving objects salvaged from sunken ships, enabling to date the ship and determine her origin. One of the most remarkable examples of this is a 16th-century syringe, which was found near the island of Naissaar and probably belonged to a ship’s doctor. The collection grows by occasional finds because modern principles of research and protection of underwater heritage focus on study on the spot.
The oldest charts in the collection date from the late 18th century. Among the rarest items is a hand-drawn map of the port of Tallinn from 1856. One of the largest full sets is made up of charts from the Soviet Union period.
The oldest documents here originate from the early 19th century. The collection is thematically classified as follows:
This collection is made up mainly of oil or watercolour paintings and graphics. It also contains a collection of maritime-themed bookplates.
The works in the collection depict different types of ships, ports, fishing and the life of coastal people.
The most valuable part of the collection are the so-called captain’s paintings (i.e. paintings commissioned by captains to depict their ships in side view), of which the best known are works by R. Chapell and F. Tammik.
This collection contains photographs, postcards and photographic negatives of maritime-related objects and persons. Cyanotype and ferrotype prints are also represented, one of which is coloured over and, as such, known as the only one surviving in Estonia. The oldest photo album in the collection dates from the late 19th century. The best-known photographers represented are C.O. Bulla and N. Apostol.
The library is composed mainly of study materials, handbooks and atlases of the late 19th and the 20th centuries that have belonged to sailors or nautical schools. A part of this collection was donated in a gathering campaign even before the Museum was established. The signatures of sailors and stamps of nautical schools and other institutions in a number of books can also be considered as valuable.
Further information about the Estonian Maritime Museum’s collections is available via the Estonian Museums’ Public Portal:
Six museums in Tallinn established a joint Museum Gate in the cruise terminal to encourage foreign visitors to get to know Estonian culture.
An aquarium at the Seaplane Harbour now hosts the underwater photography exhibition ‘The Underwater World of Shipwrecks’ by Aire Eder. The aquarium exhibits 26 underwater photos of shipwrecks in Estonia, Norway, Cyprus, Croatia, and Egypt.
Enterprise Estonia (EAS) announced supporting the application of the Estonian Maritime Museum for adding a family-centred attraction to the building complex of Fat Margaret.