Virtual exhibitions

European map in Tartu

In the 19th and 20th century the university brought lecturers and students to Tartu from many European countries, in particular from Latvia, Poland, Ukraine, as well as Armenia, Georgia, Germany and elsewhere. The young people who studied here headed to east and west the knowledge and experiences gained in Tartu under their belts.

A virtual exhibition tells a story of 16 remarkable Europeans who have studied or taught in the University of Tartu. Later in life they all have influenced the cultural life or politics of their home country or Estonia or have become world-renowned thanks to their scientific accomplishments. The stories of the persons portrayed at the exhibition are illustrated by historic photos of places related to them in Tartu.

The virtual exhibition is a part of the new permanent exhibition of the university’s history that opens in the museum on November 29.

Exhibition team

Curators: Janet Laidla, Lea Leppik and Mariann Raisma

Language editor: Sirje Toomla

Translator: Kristopher Rikken

Designer: Exporabit

The establishment of the exhibition was supported by the European Commission, the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, the Council of Europe, the European Heritage Days and the city of Tartu.

The exhibition has been put together in the framework of the project “Linking home, linking Europe. Virtual map of Europe in Tartu“.

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Ascent to Mount Ararat – 180 years later

The 54 photos by photographer and alpinist Jaan Künnap made of his ascent to Mount Ararat adorned the Museum’s White Hall in 2009. The exhibition Ascent to Mount Ararat – 180 years later is now packed up and waiting for reveal in other exhibition halls. But do not despair – all the photography and nature lovers who did not manage to ascend to Toome Hill during the winter months of the exhibition due to deep snow can now enjoy a virtual tour of the exhibition.

More than 180 years ago, on October 9, 1829, for the first time in history, a man set foot on the higher than 5000 meter peak. The peak was Mount Ararat, known from the Old Testament as the place Noah’s Ark landed. The man was Johann Friedrich Parrot (1791–1841), Professor of Geophysics at the University of Tartu and the son of Georg Friedrich Parrot, the first Rector of the reopened University of Tartu (1802). Similarly to his father, Johann also served as the Rector of our Alma Mater, from 1831 to 1834.

Parrot’s brave ascent was re-enacted 180 years later when a group of 19 Estonian alpinists reached the summit of Mount Ararat on the early morning of October 9, 2009. The physically gruelling ascent and the breathtaking views that made it all worthwhile were recorded by alpinist and photographer Jaan Künnap.

The virtual exhibition Ascent to Mount Ararat – 180 years later combines the creations of man and nature – the 13th century Tartu Cathedral and the Holy Mount Ararat on the border of Turkey and Armenia.

The virtual exhibition is the result of the collaboration between the University of Tartu Museum and Virtuaalstuudio Ltd.

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From Alchemy to Chemistry – Historical Labware

The exhibition From Alchemy to Chemistry – Historical Labware showcases the oldest and most unique laboratory glassware of the Museum’s rich collections.

The University of Tartu Museum is home to over 3000 glass and porcelain laboratory items which have been used in scientific discoveries and the training of future chemistry teachers for over a hundred years. The glassware used in chemistry labs – retorts, condensers, test tubes and much more – has reached the Museum collection mostly thanks to Tullio Ilomets, UT Associate Professor of Chemistry, who began collecting historic laboratory glassware over 40 years ago.

The historic labware collection increased greatly in 2009–2010 when the Institute of Chemistry moved from the old building to the Chemicum and a lot of the glassware was no longer needed for research. The exhibition’s oldest glassware originates from the 19th century when Tartu was home to renouned chemists and pharmacists Carl Schmidt, Carl Claus, Ivan Kondakov, Georg Dragendorff, Wilhelm Ostwald and many other distinguished researchers.

The exhibition was put together by Terje Lõbu, Sirje Sisask and Maris Tuuling, design by Margot Sakson, consultant Tullio Ilomets. The virtual exhibition was put together with the assistance of Andres Tennus and Valmar Evert. The exhibition ows thanks to the Estonian Council of Gambling Tax.

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Researchers with an Estonian connection

The names of many researchers connected to the University of Tartu and Estonia have been preserved for posterity as parts of geographic names appearing on the maps of the world. During the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century, the Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg organised a series of expeditions to explore Russian polar territories and Siberia. In a number of these, the leading role was played by researchers of Baltic German origin. Many Baltic German and Russian explorers and natural scientists, as well as subsequently many Soviet scientists, used the surnames of researchers who had inspired them or who had been the first to explore a particular territory (e.g. the Baer Island, Bellingshausen Sea, etc.) to name geographical places.

Composed by: Terje Lõbu (University of Tartu Museum), Erki Tammiksaar (Estonian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Science Studies), Veronica Irmann (Natural History Museum University of Tartu)

Technical support: OÜ Tarkvarastuudio

Project supported by: Environmental investment centre

The exhibition is temporarily unavailable. We are sorry for the inconveniences caused.