The content is gathered from different collections and archives like the Estonian History Museum, The Estonian National Museum, The Art Museum of Estonia
and The Museum of Võru County. They all handle their archives according a different method.
The story of the Estonian History Museum begins in 1802. In 1842, an academic society of Baltic Germans, the Estonian Literature Society (ELS, Estländische
Literärische Gesellschaft), was founded in Tallinn, and one of its aims was to establish a museum "to broaden our knowledge of this country by studying its
history, art, manufacturing, technology and nature".
Extensive collections were compiled over the following twenty years, which formed the basis of the Provincial Museum of the Estonian Literature
Society, founded in 1864 at the house of St. Canute's Guild.
The museum moved to its current location at the Great Guild Hall in 1952.