From the cabinets of curiosities to hybrid collections – Online Seminar on December 3rd


It was six centuries ago when the first cabinets of curiosities appeared in Europe. Those (mostly show-off) collections of items from different subjects are the forerunners of our museums. There has been little change in the last six hundred years when it comes to the key element of the museum – the object with the story. In Estonia we have seen a rapid change in our museum landscape – there are less objects on display and more interactive elements and information screens.

When we look at the collection, still the physical object is the centerpiece and all the digital materials are illustrations and descriptions. But, as we all know, our life is (moving) online and more and more ideas, concepts and subcultures appear only online without any physical objects.

On December 3rd we have invited six specialists to share their views and ideas when it comes to digitally born content and preserving our culture and heritage. We look at the following topics: how are web archives being used and by whom; memory narration on social media; the meaning of the digital objects themselves and the potential of hybrid digital-physical collections and much more. 

The seminar is organised by Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom in collaboration with Archaeovision, Tallinn University and Estonian Museum Association.

Seminar is part of the project “Collecting digital culture in Estonian museums”.


Speakers & panelists

  • Jaana Davidjants (University of Tallinn, Estonia) – presentation
  • Dr Jessica Ogden (University of Bristol, UK) – presentation
  • Dr Katrin Tiidenberg (University of Tallinn, Estonia)
  • Dr Mari Sarv and Piret Voolaid (Estonian Literary Museum) – presentation
  • Dr Stacey Pitsillides (Northumbria University, UK) – presentation
  • Tiiu Daniel (Estonian National Library)


12:00 Introduction

12:05-13:25 Presentations

  • Dr Jessica Ogden Whose Archives? Reflections on the ethics and cultural significance of web archiving.
  • Dr Stacey Pitsillides Curating digital heritage: how can we design, translate, and find meaning in online collections?
  • Dr Mari Sarv and Piret Voolaid 25 years of experience of collecting, storing and researching online culture at the Estonian Literary Museum.
  • Jaana Davidjants Activism in social media & archive.

13:25-13:35 Break

13:35-14:35 Panel discussion

14:35-15:00 General discussion/questions with audience