Stanford's Estonian & Baltic Studies Collections
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Stanford's Estonian & Baltic Studies Collections
Liisi Esse
Dear Friend,

In the remarkably brief time since 2013, when Estonian American Olga Ritso Kistler and her husband, Walter Kistler, generously created an endowment for Estonian and Baltic Studies, the Stanford University Libraries has assembled one of the most significant area collections in the United States. As Assistant Curator for Estonian and Baltic Studies, I’ve received through gift or purchase thousands of books, periodicals and manuscripts for use by a growing community of deeply interested scholars and researchers.

Our Baltic Studies programs are open not only to the Stanford community, but to the Baltic diaspora in the Bay Area and to the public at large. Last year we hosted Prime Minister Rõivas and President Ilves on two separate occasions. Most recently in March, more than 150 Lithuanians, Estonians, Latvians and friends of the Baltic States celebrated Lithuanian independence at a cultural event hosted by the Libraries. Speakers included Lithuania’s Honorary Consul Dennis Garrison, cultural historian Violeta Davoliute-Opgenorth from Vilnius University, and Stanford University Librarian Michael Keller.

PM Taavi Roivas and Pres Toomas Ilves. Photographs by Steve Castillo.

It is our continuing goal to document the occupation, resistance, freedom and recovery of the Baltic States during the 20th and 21st centuries, and to preserve the memory of Baltic expatriates. Keeping in mind the distressing events currently taking place in Eastern Europe, it is especially important that an institution such as the Stanford Libraries accurately preserve the historical record for today’s students and future generations.

To achieve these goals, we will continue to acquire both newly issued and older publications and archival material on Baltic history and culture as well as on the journeys of Baltic expatriates to the United States. These materials will be studied at conferences, seminars, film screenings and other events, which we hope that you will attend regularly.

We also hope that you might consider supporting our efforts by donating your personal libraries, photos, or documents that would strengthen our collections, or by making a monetary contribution that might help us speed up the cataloguing and accessibility of these materials. Most helpful would be an annual gift – any amount would be very much appreciated – by going online at and designating Estonian and Baltic Studies.

If I may answer any questions or discuss with you our Baltic Studies collections, I can be reached at any of the addresses below.

With best wishes,


Liisi Esse
Assistant Curator for Estonian and Baltic Studies
Cecil H. Green Library, Office 352A
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
Tel: +1.650.736.4724
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