The BES archive was ratified at our annual meeting in May, 2009. It is obvious that we are yet in the beginning stages of getting this work of gathering, cataloging, and preserving done, and thus it is too early to give an accounting of that work. In the past year we have gathered some remarkable historic materials from members’ homes and attics.
Our basic charge is to “save that which can still be saved”. While many documents likely are in the Boston area, it is also clear that in the near future we need to outreach to other communities as well. We need to evaluate by seeing and touching those mounds of documents that reside in basements and bookcases.
This past spring we held our first BES history day, sharing information about Estonian Emigration through the ages. Our BES President Villu Tari gave a presentation including films to a newly formed History Club, to which you are most welcome as we honor our past.
It is impossible to underrate the value of the BES Archive from atop our own little Bunker Hill and extending worldwide. Every individual of Estonian heritage, anywhere in the world, with dreams, words, and actions whether alone or with the BES, helps to create that which we know as Free Estonia. This heritage is the basis of our hopes, dreams, successes, and continued struggles to live remembering our forefathers who lived and died to maintain a free homeland. To understand where we are going we must understand where we come from, and our archive is in large measure the link to Boston Estonian Americans.
Our archivist is Karl Ritval (firstname.lastname@example.org).