Procedure for access to and use of archival documents

Decree No. APK-KK90/2020


1.1 Sihtasutus Arvo Pärdi Keskus [in English: Foundation Arvo Pärt Centre] (hereinafter the Archive) arranges the personal archive of Arvo Pärt and organises its activities in accordance with the legislation governing this area in the Republic of Estonia, including the Personal Data Protection Act, the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union, and the Copyright Act.

1.2 In addition, the Archive may decide to adhere, partially or entirely, to other legislation and principles governing the preservation of archival records and activities of archives in the Republic of Estonia which are not mandatory for the activities of the Archive pursuant to law, and make them binding on the users and employees of the Archive.

1.3 Archival items form the Archive. This Procedure for Access to and Use of Archival Documents (hereinafter the Procedure) sets forth the terms and conditions for the access to and use of the archival items of the Archive by the users and employees of the Archive. The access to the archival items is restricted pursuant to the Copyright Act, Personal Data Protection Act, General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union, and decisions of the establisher of the Archive, i.e. the owner, Arvo Pärt, and in the future, his heir(s).

1.4 The Archive stores the personal archival items of Arvo Pärt and his family and archival items related to the creation of works: correspondence, recordings, academic texts, photos, items, etc, including the creations, recordings, etc of other individuals and legal entities.

1.5 The Archive maintains an archival listing of the archival items, categorises them correspondingly and determines the rights of access to the same.

1.6 The services of the Archive are free of charge, except those for which the Archive has established a price list, including for making paper copies and inquiries to the Archive.


2.1 The following persons have access to the Archive:

2.1.1 Regular visitors to Foundation Arvo Pärt Centre (hereinafter the Regular Visitors);

2.1.2 Researchers who request an access to the archival items for the purpose of scientific and historical research (hereinafter the Researchers);

2.1.3 Employees of Foundation Arvo Pärt Centre on a need to know basis in relation to the performance of their duties.

2.2 Regular Visitors and Researchers can view the documents of the Archive digitally, using the user environment in the computers of the reading rooms of the library (hereinafter the User Environment) in accordance with the access level applied to them, as described below. The User Environment is not connected to the public internet, and the information of the User Environment derives from the Arvo Pärt Information System (hereinafter APIS).

2.3 The Archive establishes a restriction on access to the contents of the archival items pursuant to applicable legislation and the requests of the owner on three levels: closed, restricted and public access. The access is stipulated in and approved by a separate directive in the archival listing of the Archive, set out by series.

2.3.1 Closed access (APIS Level I) concerns the archival items (of third persons) which contain regular and special categories of personal data as well as archival items that remain undisclosed at the owner’s request. The owner and the employees of the Archive have access to this information. The employees of the Archive are bound by the obligation of non-disclosure of confidential information.

2.3.2 Restricted access (APIS Level II) concerns the archival items that are protected for any other reason (e.g. due to copyright) and are subject to a restricted access at the request of the owner, which can be accessed only for the purpose of education and research (scientific and historical research).

2.3.3 Public access (APIS Level III) concerns all metadata and archival items that are not subject to the restrictions set out above. Metadata comprise the archival identifier, name of the archival item, time of creation, type of carrier medium, location of the archival item in the archive, description.

2.4 Regular Visitors have the right of access only to the archival records of APIS Level III via the User Environment.

2.5 Researchers have the right of access to the archival records of APIS Level III and APIS Level II usually via the User Environment. Researchers will have access to the documents of APIS Level II i.e. with restricted access, after the respective request is granted, the Researcher has signed a confirmation and has been registered in the register of visitors, and provided that the Researcher has examined and agrees to adhere to the Procedure and other referred documents as well as the restrictions that are orally communicated to them, and the guidelines provided to the Researcher by the Archive.

2.6 A Researcher obtains the Researcher status on the condition that in addition to submitting/filling in the documents set out in clause 2.5, the Researcher is also registered:

2.6.1 the register of Researchers shall contain the name of the Researcher, their contact details, educational institution/position, if applicable a letter of certification (issued by the educational or research institution), title of academic paper or objective of research, issue or non-issue of copies and the manner, issuer and time of the transfer of copies, specifications regarding the duration of the Researcher status;

2.6.2 an archivist of the Archive has the right to request specifications regarding the research or previous activities. Researchers shall submit correct and valid data regarding themselves while submitting the request.

2.7 The Archive has the right to decide on granting the Researcher status with a delay. As a rule, the Archive reviews any documents or requests of Researchers within 30 days. The Archive has the right to set an additional term for the preparation of the documents related to a Researcher.

2.8 The Archive and/or the owner have the right to decide on the granting and withdrawal of the Researcher status or establishment of any additional restrictions or conditions related to the Researcher.

2.9 The Researcher status shall be valid for one (1) calendar year as of granting the request.

2.10 The documents related to a Researcher, except the register of Researchers, shall be maintained for up to 3 years as of the start of the calendar year following the end of the Researcher status of the given Researcher, with the purpose of protecting the Archive against potential claims as well as being prepared for filing legal claims.

2.11 The register of Researchers is maintained at 10-year intervals since the time when the activities of the Archive started.


3.1 Working with original documents on paper or other analogue media shall be limited to a minimum for the purpose of preserving them for as long as possible, and they are issued from the storage rooms in exceptional cases.

3.2 Working with documents on paper or other analogue media is permitted only to the employees of the Archive and Researchers. The Researchers’ right to work with documents on paper or other analogue media shall be in accordance with the principles set out in section 2, i.e. access is permitted to the archival items of Level III and Level II.

3.3 Researchers may examine original documents on analogue media (including paper) only in the working premises of the employees of the Archive subject to the following conditions:

3.3.1 a separate request shall be submitted for working with original documents, and it shall be stored and processed on the terms and conditions set out in section 2.

3.3.2 an archivist has the right to refuse to issue the originals or limit the number of originals which are handed out at a time;

3.3.3 original documents shall be handled with care and in a composed manner, using protective gloves at all times;

3.3.4 while working with original documents, Researchers are prohibited to use, while making their notes, any instruments for writing etc. which may damage the documents: pencils, ball-point pens and tinten pens, fountain pens, markers, erasers, etc.;

3.3.5 it is prohibited to take photos or make other digital copies of original documents.

3.4 An employee of the Archive may use original documents for the purpose of performing archival work in such a manner that the archival items shall not be damaged and the information contained in them shall be preserved.

3.5 Researchers shall be liable for any damage (patrimonial as well as non-patrimonial damage) caused by them upon use of the materials, and shall compensate such damage to the Archive to the full extent, including the expenses related to the restoration of the archival items, legal expenses as well as any potential expenses of experts and expert assessment for determination of the extent of damage and possibilities for replacement.


4.1 Researchers are prohibited to make copies of archival items in any form (including digital copies, taking photos). Only archivists and their representatives have the right to issue digital and analogue copies.

4.2 Researchers may receive copies of the archival items of APIS Level II and APIS Level III. A researcher shall submit a written request for receiving a copy of an archival item to an archivist, confirming by their signature their request to receive copies for a purpose related to research. An archivist shall add a notation to the request regarding the archival items, the copy of which was issued. The request for the issue of a copy shall be stored together with the documents related to the Researcher.

4.3 An archivist has the right to refuse to issue copies for any reason, considering the volume of the archival item and the possibility to make extracts therefrom. Upon preparation of any copies and use of the copies by Researchers, the Archive is bound by the restrictions deriving from copyrights and protection of personal data, as specified in sections 5 and 6 of the Procedure. Researchers acknowledge that the Archive is under the obligation to cover any personal data contained in archival items when copies are made or not to issue copies of any archival items, the issue of which would harm the privacy of individuals.

4.4 Researchers have the right to use the archival items of the Archive, including copies thereof, and the access granted to them only for the purpose of the research disclosed to the Centre and only in accordance with the objectives submitted to the Archive. Researchers do not have the right to share the information, access or copies of archival items received by them to any third persons.

4.5 The Archive has the right to restrict the access of a Researcher to documents if the Researcher violates the Procedure or other conditions and restrictions communicated to them. The Archive is not obliged to provide the Researcher with the reasons for the measures taken with regard to the Researcher in case of the aforesaid violation.

4.6 The Archive has the right to amend the Procedure and other documents and instructions regarding archival items unilaterally at any time. If the amendments to said documents and instructions are not caused by an urgent need to ensure the preservation and protection of archival items, the Archive provides the Researchers with a reasonable advance notice about the amendments to the Procedure. The amendments to the Procedure shall be communicated to the Researchers using the contact details disclosed to the Archive under clause 2.6.1 of the Procedure on the spot in the Archive, or in the User Environment.

4.7 Irrespective of the provisions of clause 4.5, the employees of the Archive have the right to give direct oral instructions to Researchers at any time for handling archival items and conduct in the premises of the Archive, and the Researchers shall follow these instructions.

4.8 The procedure for the use of archival storage rooms is governed by a separate document.


5.1 Researchers and the employees of the Archive acknowledge that the Archive comprises archival items protected by copyright, i.e. works. Researchers and employees shall presume that archival items are protected by copyright. Works do not refer only to musical works, including the original versions of musical works, but also to any other results of the creative activities of any persons, including but not limited to reports and comments on concerts and events, quotes of and thoughts expressed by the composer, stories about the creation of works, audiovisual works, photos, etc.

5.2 The copyrights to the archival items in the Archive belong to the authors of the works or to the holders of copyrights. The files restricted under the protection of copyright which are made available to the Researchers contain a watermark of the Archive or are protected by additional marking in any other manner.

5.3 The Archive and the Researchers shall adhere to the following principles in the use of works:

5.3.1 use of a work shall not be in conflict with the regular use of the work, and therefore the work shall not be removed from its usual form or used in an unforeseeable form;

5.3.2 use of a work shall not unreasonably harm the lawful interests of the authors of the work, i.e. shall remain within the limits permitted under this Procedure;

5.3.3 a work shall be made available at the request of a Researcher on the spot via special equipment, e.g. in the User Environment, or for individual use in accordance with section 3 of this Procedure;

5.3.4 there shall be no use for commercial purposes.

5.4 In case of using sound or visual material, also the rights of the persons depicted in a photo shall be taken into consideration in addition to the rights of the author and maker of a sound recording. Use of the name and image of a person depicted in a photo or sound or video recording generally requires the consent of the person. If, for example, a photo, sound recording or other visual material depicting a person has been made at a public event, the person’s consent for using their name and image is not necessary in case the person may have reasonably presumed that the event would be recorded for the purpose of publication.

5.5 Researchers are restricted to the use of works for scientific purposes and are obliged to consider the following restrictions:

5.5.1 Researchers shall indicate the name of the author of the work if it appears thereon, the name of the work and the source of publication, using a proper reference system;

5.5.2 quoting and summarising a work may take place to a motivated extent, adhering to the obligation to properly convey the meaning of the quoted or summarised work as a whole;

5.5.3 the educational and research institution represented by the Researcher does not pursue commercial objectives.

5.6 In order to use the whole or a part of a work, a sketch or thoughts of the owner for the purpose of publication, a separate written permission shall be applied for from the Archive. The Archive shall preserve the documents related to the permission until the expiry of the protection of copyright to the respective work.

5.7 Researchers undertake to provide the Archive with a free copy of the publication (academic paper, research, article, etc.) which has been prepared using the archival items of the Archive. In case of a copy, Researchers shall provide the Archive with a free non-exclusive licence to use the respective copy for non-commercial purposes established by the Archive in the Archive and in the document management systems of the Archive, including for digitisation, digital storing and communicating to the public. The licence shall be valid in the territory of the European Union until the expiry of the copyright to the respective publication. The Archive will be entitled to demand entry into a separate licence agreement on the aforesaid terms and conditions.

5.8 If the author of any work requests that the Archive would restrict access to a work which is an archival item of the Archive, the Archive undertakes to retain the respective archival item only for the personal use by the owner of the Archive. If the respective work has been made available to a Researcher, the Archive shall inform the Researcher that the respective restriction shall apply also to the Researcher, and the Researcher shall undertake to observe the restriction immediately, including to submit the copies of the respective work to the Archive.

5.9 Researchers may use their own computer for making notes, and it is prohibited to take photos, record or make any other copies of archival items using whatever equipment. Researchers can request the issue of copies in accordance with section 4 of the Procedure.


6.1 The archival items in the Archive and the information related to them shall be registered in the APIS registration environment which can be accessed only by the employees of the Archive.

6.2 As a private archive, the Archive acts on the basis of the derogation related to scientific and historical research in the procedures of processing of personal data contained in the archival items. Archival items containing personal data are made available to Researchers for the aforesaid purpose, and Researchers are prohibited to process said data for any other purpose.

6.3 Researchers and the employees of the Archive shall adhere to all the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union while processing archival items containing personal data. Researchers shall keep in mind that they are separate controllers within the meaning of the General Data Protection Regulation.

6.4 The Archive shall implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure protection of the personal data contained in the archival items, including, where possible:

6.4.1 covering and hiding the personal data in the archival items before making these archival items available to Researchers, except in case the objectives of data processing are no longer achievable or would be unreasonably difficult to achieve after removal of the data enabling identification;

6.4.2 covering and hiding the personal data in the archival items before making copies of original documents for Researchers.

6.5 The archival items containing personal data shall always be kept at the levels of restriction on access APIS Level II and APIS Level I.

6.6 The Archive hereby restricts the exercise of the following rights of data subjects with regard to the personal data contained in the archival items of the Archive, as exercising of these rights will probably make it impossible to achieve the objective of scientific or historical research or national statistics or substantially impede the same: rights deriving from Articles 15, 16, 18 and 21 of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union.

6.7 The Archive shall accept requests for exercising the rights of data subjects, including for exercising the rights set out in clause 6.6, but will not be able to ensure that such requests will be granted, and therefore the Archive will approach each request individually, for example:

6.7.1 under certain conditions it is possible to exercise the right of access to the data deriving from Article 15 of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union to the extent that the Archive has knowledge of the respective data;

6.7.2 under certain conditions it is possible to exercise the right to rectification deriving from Article 16 of the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union, for example by adding an explanatory or rectifying statement to an archival item, in which the data subjects explains and rectifies the given personal data without damaging the original archival item.

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