FSD Bulletin

Issue 28 (3/2009)

ISSN 1795-5262

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FSD Bulletin is the electronic newsletter of the Finnish Social Science Data Archive. The Bulletin provides information and news related to the data archive and social science research.


Finnish Social Science Data Archive
E-mail: fsd@tuni.fi

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History of Finnish Economy and Labour Movement Online

Hanna Marjamäki | Photos by: Yrjö Lintunen

To acquaint oneself with the collections of Finnish archives, one must still visit the archives physically in most cases. However, the archives are constantly digitising their collections in order to improve their availability and also to protect the original documents. More and more often, the digitised material can be accessed online. In this article, the services of the Central Archives for Finnish Business Records and the People's Archives are presented. Both of them have published some of their holdings on the web.

An example from the photo collection of the People's Archives: The grocery store Elannon myymälä, Hermanni, Orioninkatu 9 (1954).

Central Archives for Finnish Business Records

The Central Archives for Finnish Business Records was founded in 1981 in Mikkeli, Finland. Its main task is to preserve the historical information and traditions related to Finnish economy by collecting, processing and disseminating various documents (including drawings, maps, photos, as well as various audio and video recordings) for re-use. The archived material obtained from different companies, individuals, associations and organisations cover 23 kilometres of shelf space.

The Central Archives offer services for researchers and companies. Researchers can acquaint themselves with the archived material in separate research facilities at the Archives' premises. The real-time material databases can also be accessed via the Internet. Distance loans are primarily arranged in co-operation with the archives of the National Archives Service and government-subsidised archives, but in some cases, other trustworthy institutions can also be accepted. Loans can be arranged in two ways: other institutions can borrow the material from the Central Archives, and also vice versa. In addition, clients can commission the Archives to conduct information searches. Distance loans and commissioned information searches are chargeable services.

The Central Archives' website also includes an electronic archive. It is on trial and can be accessed using the user ids of various universities. At the moment (1st October, 2009), the electronic archive contains altogether 292 documents, including digital audio recordings, such as interviews and audio advertisements, and video material related to advertisement, company and product presentations, and instruction. The archive can be browsed using the drop-down menu or search terms.

People's Archives

The People's Archives, founded in 1945, is the central archive of Finnish civic organisations and the left-wing labour movement. It is located in Helsinki and maintained by the Social Archives Foundation. The People's Archives collect and preserve material (documents, prints, recordings and pictures) related to the social and cultural history of the left-wing labour movement, civic organisations, and the working class in Finland. Other tasks of the Archives include promoting scientific research based on the archived material, providing education on archiving, and organising exhibitions.

An example from the photo collection of the People's Archives: Helsinki at night - a photo report; workers gluing address labels on the newspaper Työkansan Sanomat (1954).

The holdings of the People's Archives include for instance the archives of over 4,600 labour organisations and about 1,500 other civic organisations. The archival material cover about 3 kilometres of shelf space. The photo collection of the Archives includes about 900,000 photos, some of which are featured in the virtual exhibitions on the Archives' website. In addition, the holdings contain collections of posters, postcards, and audio and video recordings. The reference library contains about 13,000 titles on political history, the labour movement, and arts.

The holdings of People's Archives are available to the public. Researchers can use the collections without restrictions, unless otherwise agreed with the depositor. At the Archives, researchers can search for material with the help of various catalogues and databases, and there is also a service officer who can assist in using them. The archive database is also available online with some restrictions. For a fee, it is also possible to order copies of documents as distance loans. Microfilms and documents can be borrowed to provincial archives as inter-archive loans.


» The Central Archives for Finnish Business Records
» Jarmo Luoma-aho, Director, the Central Archives for Finnish Business Records
» The People's Archives