Skip to main content

Music: Archives

Music archives

Arkisto Music archive Finland
Music Archive Finland is a national central archive that stores materials relating to Finnish music, excluding art and folk music. Music Archive Finland is not only a music archive, but also a research centre on popular music. Music Archive Finland provides advice and information retrieval services, assists scholars in data management, and preserves research materials on a long-term basis.

National library of Finland
The National Library of Finland is responsible for the collection, description, preservation and accessibility of Finland’s printed national heritage and the unique collections under its care. You can browse the National Library’s collections, including its music-related materials, on its website. The National Library has a national collection of recordings, and you can see the material in the search results also when using the VIOLA database.

Sibelius Museum Archive
The Sibelius Museum has a historic music archive with roots in the collection of the founder Professor Otto Andersson. The archive has a collection of material related to private persons, orchestras, choirs, organisations, etc. The collections include a variety of materials, including handwritten and printed sheet music, letters, newspaper clippings, and recorded music. Documentation concerning two notable figures, Jean Sibelius and Otto Andersson, deserves a separate mention.

Suomen Kansan eSävelmät
Suomen Kansan eSävelmät is a digital archive of Finnish folk tunes. Background information on the collection: Folk tunes have been officially collected since the 1850s, and they have been edited by the Finnish Literary Society (SKS) since the 1890s. Between 1899 and 1933, Ilmari Krohn edited and published about 9 000 Finnish folk songs in separate volumes, all falling under the name Finnish Folk Tunes (Suomen Kansan Sävelmiä), by making use of the collections that had been gathered by the society’s employees. The collections were originally published in 1898-1933, and they’re available now in digital format in this database.

Uniarts Helsinki Archive
The Uniarts Helsinki Archive is responsible for the long-term and permanent storage of the documents that the university and its academies (Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, and Theatre Academy) produce and for providing related information services. The archive stores the university’s and the academies’ administrative documents, teaching-related documents, documents related to artistic activities, as well as artistic and research publications, among other material. The Uniarts Helsinki Archive is also in charge of the Sibelius Academy Archive’s (1882–2012) material and research services.

The Main Archive of Uniarts Helsinki is located at Taiteen talo at Kaikukatu 4 A, Helsinki. There is a separate room that researchers may use for their work when visiting the archive. Advance orders of archival data and inquiries should be directed to the archivist at arkisto(at)uniarts.fi.

Other archives

Brages Pressarkiv
Brages Pressarkiv is the oldest newspaper archive in the Nordic countries, and it has systematically documented the content of the Swedish press in Finland since 1910. The reference database Presstanda, along with its search portal, helps you find articles that have been published after 1990.

Elka - Central Archives for Finnish Business Records
The Central Archives for Finnish Business Records (Elka) is the only institution in Finland that specialises in the preservation of the documentary history of companies and business life. The archive of Finnish design is located in connection with Elka in Mikkeli. You can search for material in the Elka database on the Elka homepage.

National Audiovisual Institute KAVI
The National Audiovisual Institute KAVI preserves films and film-related materials as well as radio and television programming. You can search for KAVI’s collections in the database on the library website.

National Archives of Finland
The National Archives holds large collections of private archives and documents, e.g. those of scientists, artists, families, manor houses, businesses and organisations as well as material produced by the authorities.

Provincial archives
The National Archives of Finland is in charge of the provincial archives nowadays after a merger and an organisational reform. The former provincial archives are located in Hämeenlinna, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Mikkeli, Oulu, Turku, and Vaasa, and they currently operate as part of the National Archives. The archives are in charge of the permanent preservation of documents produced by the state’s regional and local authorities operating in each archive’s district. The provincial archives also hold regionally significant private archives and act as research and development centres.

Archives in parishes
The archives in parishes are traditionally called church archives. They hold documents that have been produced as a result of the activities in the parish. Different religious groups have quite similar material in their archives. Church documents can usually be divided into three main categories: population register documents, administrative documents, and financial documents. The archives in Finnish parishes contain person registers that are necessary for genealogy, and they’re quite unique even by international standards thanks to their continuity and relatively high reliability. The archives of Evangelical-Lutheran parishes preserve minutes of parish meetings, for example, which have similar content as local government documents later on.

Finnish Literature Society (SKS): library and archive
Founded in 1831, the role of the Finnish Literature Society has changed from building the nation to acting as the scholarly organisation preserving the Finnish cultural history. The SKS archive includes both historical and contemporary collections in the fields of literature and cultural history.
You can search the library and the archive collections online.

Svenska litteratursällskapet (SLS) Arkiv och bibliotek
is a scholarly society. The main purpose of the society is to preserve, study and spread information on the Finnish Swedish culture and cultural tradition in Finland. Visit the society’s website to search the archive and the library collections.

Työväen arkisto | Labour Archives
Labour Archives is the oldest Finnish archive focusing on a social movement. The archives offer free access to the material of thousands of labour movement organisations and to the archives of hundreds of private persons. You can use the search service on the archive homepage to search the archive’s material.