Center for Baltic HeritageCulture and history along the eastern Baltic Sea
Our quest? To find and preserve long forgotten pieces of paper holding accounts of the Baltic past, produced during the times they describe—or accounts by those who were there to experience events. The purpose? To see the Baltics through the eyes of their times, no hindsight, no spin doctoring. Our search for objectivity also extends to the present: to disseminate reputable scholarship to counter the mischaracterizations and misconceptions which still envelope the Baltics decades after they restored independence following half a century of occupations.
The Baltic past is rich in ancient cultural treasures and in the geopolitical lessons it teaches, as relevant to today as when Count Shuvalov, Russian governor-general of the Baltic provinces, first stated:
The historical mission of the Baltic provinces is to serve as a battlefield for the problems of the highest politics in Europe.
That role continues even today—23 years after the demise of the USSR, the Baltics find themselves between an autocratic-leaning Russia flush with energy revenues and a Western Europe seeking to fashion them, yet again, into a geopolitical front-line cordon sanitaire of democracies.
Yet, the significance of the Baltics is not that they have been a geopolitical battlefield for eight centuries—their significance is that those eight centuries are but a fraction of the millennia the Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians have lived and thrived along the Baltic coast as stewards of some of Europe's oldest and richest cultures.
Our digital collection brings the Baltic past out of obscurity to light for a new century and millennium. Use the menu at top to browse chronologically or by category: