CCHFE was established in 2001 with an objective to develop a research centre that would manage to safeguard the continuity and transmission of research in the humanities that is essential for the existence of national identity and the preservation of social memory, for intellectual freedom and the full development of culture. The means proposed to carry out this goal are:

The home institution of CCHFE is the Estonian Literary Museum, but its partnership programme involves seminal scholars in the humanities from the University of Tartu, from the Under and Tuglas Centre of Literature (UTCL) of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, from the Estonian Academy of Music, and from the Viljandi Cultural Academy. The centre includes about 40 individuals, half of them with a PhD and one fourth students in a doctoral programme, mainly at the University of Tartu (ELM is not an educational institution and therefore does not provide graduate studies).

The work carried out is connected with 6 research themes with goal-oriented financing by the Council of Scientific Competence, and with 15 grant projects of the Estonian Science Foundation. In the period of 2001-2004 CCHFE has been granted financial support by the state-financed programmes "Estonian language and national culture", "Estonian language and national memory", and "Scientific collections in the humanities and in the natural sciences".

Estonian Literary Museum is not only a research institution but a conglomerate of a research institution and several national archives. Research work is greatly enhanced by the fact that three fundamental archival units are situated under the same roof. Those are:

The Archive Library which collection include more than 808,400 registered units (by Dec 31, 2003) that is an archival library of great scholarly value, where the older printed matter published in Estonia and Livonia both in Estonian and German is represented nearly exhaustively;

Archives of Estonian Cultural History which include more than 300,000 archival units, among them collections of manuscripts, art, photos, tapes and films;

Estonian Folklore Archives, which include more than 5000 archival units of manuscripts, collections of photos, sound recordings and video recordings of nearly 20,000 archival units.

There are facilities for arranging conferences, working meetings, exhibits, and other academic or cultural events. Research themes are guaranteed by experienced assistant personnel. There are three net servers operating in the building (Haldjas, Ohto and Kirmus), whereas the existing computer equipment is impressive in size and in good order.

The research work carried out in ELM was evaluated, and credited with "excellent" by an international committee called by the Estonian Higher Education Accredit Centre.

ELM is a member of the International Council of Literary Museums (ICLM) that unites literary museums of the world, and functioning as the coordinator of research between literary museums in the 6-member council of the committee that unites 358 members.

One of the leaders in Estonia of the UNESCO programme "Memory of the World" is the Archival Library of the Literary Museum. The folklorists of the Literary Museum are active participants in the international network of folkloristics: The Folklore Fellows, International Network of Folklorists and the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR). Folklorists of ELM carry a leading role in the activities of the Baltic Institute of Folklore. The ethnomusicologists of ELM are members of the International Council of Traditional Music and in the European Seminar of Ethnomusicology. The scholars included in the top centre of ELM participate also in the International Committee of Finno-Ugristics, in the International Organization of Folklore Festivals and Folk Art (CIOFF), in the European Folklore Institute, in the International Society of Semiotics, and in other international scholarly societies.

The most significant research results of the Estonian Literary Museum have evolved from the specific nature of the institution as a combination of archives and research units. The leading trends in the activities of ELM in the last decade, which likewise define the premise and orientation of the activities of CCHFE, are the following:

The most urgent immediate tasks of CCHFE starting from 2004 are:

The work groups and partner members of CCHFE have been leader actors in various scholarly events organized in Estonia during the period of 2001-2004. The major ones were:

The role in arranging international scholarly events has been remarkably active on part of the ELM Folklore Department and J. and R. Undusk from a partner institution (UTCL).

Since 1996 are published two peer reviewed e-journals in folkloristics: "Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore" ( in English and "Mäetagused" ( in Estonian. Articles in these journals are provided by international authors, the organizational and financial coverage and editorial work is provided mainly by the Folklore Department of ELM.

E-journal Folklore (nr 23/24) E-journal Mäetagused (nr 23)

In addition to the activities on the level of working groups, an attempt of humanitarian integration centred around one wider research team is also planned. The theme selected is the relationship of culture with society, power and state, particularly the functioning of culture under the conditions of a totalitarian regime. There have been several conferences and seminars focusing on these topics, the main results since 2003 have been published in a series of so-called red annuals: "Power and Culture" (2003), "Internet Humour about Stalin" (2004), "Conforming Texts" (forthcoming in 2005).

Võim ja kultuur Netinalju Stalinist