Thomas A. Sebeok memorial library includes the total collection of semiotic literature (appr. 5000 volumes) that belonged to
T.A. Sebeok (1920-2001). The collection has been transferred from Bloomington to Tartu in 2006 (biosemiotic collection) and 2011 (the else).
The establishment of Thomas A. Sebeok memorial library in Department of Semiotics in Tartu is a natural and logical continuation of
T. Sebeok's warm relations with Tartu University. The final arrival of the total collection of his biosemiotic literature
(appr. 1000 volumes), books on general semiotics and various branches of semiotics (3245 volumes) and semiotics journals
(appr. 750 volumes) was also supported by his widow Jean Umiker-Sebek, Prof. Alfred Strickholm, and others. This historically
valuable and significant collection of books is a necessary and worthy material for scientific research for anyone who studies semiotics
in Tartu University.
Thomas A. Sebeok (1920-2001) was the leader of international semiotics for over 30 years. Sebeok began as a fenno-ugrian linguist (including mari language),
but later his interests changed to non-verbal communication and from there to animal communication. He became one of the founders of zoosemiotics. He was
active in various fields of semiotics, working also as an editor, among other publications, of a series "Approaches to Semiotics" (over a hundred volumes).
Until his death he was the editor-in-chief of one of the main semiotics journals Semiotica (since its founding in 1969). He also proposed Juri Lotman as
the co-editor of this journal and the vice president of the International Semiotics Association. Sebeok emphasized the importance of the Tartu semiotics
school as conceiver of the conception of a sign systems as a modeling systems, also his writings brought attention to Jakob von Uexküll's theoretical
Sebeok was born in Budapest and studied in the University of Chicago. Throughout his life he worked in the Indiana University, Bloomington, where he lead
the Center for Language and Semiotic Studies. At the center worked also two Estonian scholars - Felix Oinas and Alo Raun. Even today there is a lecturer
of Estonian at Indiana University.
Sebeok visited Tartu for three times and his initiative laid the foundation for the International Association for Finno-Ugrian Semiotic Studies.