No. 30




Overview of the 25 Years of Work of the Parliamentary Library

  • Karmen Linask

    Head of the Parliamentary Information Centre, Estonian National Library

This autumn 25 years passed from the day the Supreme Council of the Estonian SSR restored the status of the Estonian National Library as the parliamentary library, and together with it, its honourable task to provide information services to the parliament and the government.

The Parliamentary Information Department whose function was to serve the parliament was founded in 1991. On 1 September of that year, the Reading Room with its collection of essential legal and political literature was opened in the Riigikogu building. At present the Parliamentary Information Centre has 35 workers and six working groups: reference information, international organisations, legal information, economic and political information, European Union and publications working groups.

Often the parliamentary library is also the central legal library of the country, which requires strong legal collection in the form of both books and data bases. According to the law, the role of the parliamentary library is also to act as the deposit library of international organisations; the National Library is the deposit library of 13 international organisations.

In the middle of the1990s, the compilation of several databases of articles began; these databases were accessible from the computers in the house. From 2009, the article items have been entered into the Internet-based data base ISE ( The Parliamentary Information Centre is responsible for social sciences. Until today, the databases Parlamentarism and Bibliographia Iuridica Estonica are supplemented. Besides that, the database of the bibliography of the President of the Republic is compiled. On 1 October 2014, the National Library opened a new portal DIGAR Eesti ajalehed (DIGAR Estonian Newspapers) that connects the bibliographic database and full texts. With the help of a modern and user-friendly user application, it is possible to search for publications and articles published in newspapers, read full texts, add keywords to articles, draw up lists of found articles, send data to e-mail and share received information through social web.

Full article in Estonian