The Circle of History of the Students' Scientifical Society at the State University of Tartu
The Circle of History Students at the State University of Tartu was founded on 25 March 1946 by Richard Kleis, the dean of the Faculty of History and Languages, Julius Madisson, the head of the Department of General History, and members of the former Academic Society of History. From 1948, it belonged to the Students' Scientific Union at the State University of Tartu. The chairperson of the circle was chosen from among the students, but the board of the circle also had two advisors from among the lecturers; one was usually from the Department of History of the Soviet Union, and the other from the Department of General History. Most members were history students.
The Circle of History Students usually organised lectures five to eight times a semester. Lectures were given mostly by students. From 1948, conferences were also organised, which took place in the spring. From 1960, every spring, three-day-trips also took place to different places within Estonia and outside. Additionally, from 1964, day-trips in Estonia were also organised. In 1962–1977, members of the circle published articles in the university’s publication Ajalooalaseid töid (Works of History).
Tõnis Lukas has written that the opinion formers in the circle were academically more successful than those of the Komsomol organisation, whose leaders achieved lower results in their studies. He also stated that the student movement Noor-Tartu (Young-Tartu) can, with certain reservations, be considered a semi-underground part of the Circle of History Students. Indeed, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the board of the Circle of History Students was made up of members of Noor-Tartu: Mart Laar, Lauri Vahtre, Mart Kalm and Heiki Valk.
The activity of the society declined in the second half of the 1980s, but it was revived in 1997. The Circle of History Students is also active today, and, among other activities, its members are researching the history of their organisation.
Tartu , Estonia undefined
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Date of founding
Type of organisation
- other non-profit organization
Author(s) of this page
- Tark, Triin
Main actor of
Tõnis Lukas. 1998. "Ajalooring 1980. aastatel." In Tartu Ülikool 1970-1988 = Tartu University for 1970 to 1988, 84-86 (Tartu: Tartu Ülikool).