Finland Archives and Libraries
http://www.elca.org/archives/Archives collect and preserve original documents of such organizations as churches or governments. Libraries generally collect published sources, such as books, maps, and microfilm. This section describes the major repositories of genealogical and historical records and sources for Finland. When one of these institutions is referred to elsewhere in this outline, return to this section to obtain the address.
If you plan to visit one of these repositories, contact the organization and ask for information about collection, hours, services, and fees.
Although the records you need may be in an archive or library in Finland, the Family History Library has copies of many valuable genealogical records on microfilm from several Finnish archives and libraries.
The following major types of genealogical repositories are discussed in this outline:
- National archives
- Provincial archives
- Parish offices
- Military archives
- Other Finnish archives and libraries
- United States archives
The Finnish National Archives have documents pertaining to the whole country. Records of the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen, and Vantaa are also found in the national archives; however, records from Uusimaa County are in the provincial archives in Hämeenlinna.
Records of genealogical value at the national archives include the following:
- Church records
- Census records
- Court records
The National Archives of Finland are open to the public. You may purchase microfilms through the national archives and request photocopies of the records by using forms obtained from the archives.
You can write to the archives at:
- National Archives of Finland
Telephone: 011-358-9-228 521
Fax: 011-358-9-176 302
The archives are located at:
- Rauhankatu 17
Finland has eight regional archives that house records about their particular area. Most Finnish records of genealogical value are kept at provincial archives, including the following:
- Church records
- Census records
- Emigration records
- Court records
Each provincial archive also has a large collection of printed material about its area, including local histories and biographies.
The provincial archives are open to the public and will answer correspondence. Each archive has different service hours, so make sure you know the days and times it is open before visiting.
For Turku-Pori County, write:
- Turun maakunta-arkisto
Telephone: 011-358-2-2760 818
Fax: 011-358-2-2760 810
For Häme and Uusimaa Counties, write:
- Hämeenlinnan maakunta-arkisto
Telephone: 011-358-3-653 3801
Fax: 011-358-3-653 3810
For Kymi, Mikkeli, and Kuopio Counties and for the former Viipuri County and the parishes of Salla and Petsamo, which were ceded to the USSR in 1944, write:
- Mikkelin maakunta-arkisto
Telephone: 011-358-15-321 310
Fax: 011-358-15-321 3157
For Vaasa County (see also Jyväskylän maakunta-arkisto), write:
- Vaasan maakunta-arkisto
Telephone: 011-358-6-317 3912
Fax: 011-358-6-312 0392
For Keski-Suomi County, which was formed in 1960 from the eastern part of the former Vaasa county and the border parishes from Häme, Mikkeli, and Kuopio Counties, write:
- Jyväskylän maakunta-arkisto
Telephone: 011-358-14-617 592
Fax: 011-358-14-610 651
For Pohjois-Karjala County, which was formed in 1960 from the eastern half of the former Kuopio County, write:
- Joensuun maakunta-arkisto
Telephone: 011-358-13-251 4602
Fax: 011-358-13-251 4606
For the counties of Lappi and Oulu Counties, write:
- Oulun maakunta-arkisto
Telephone: 011-358-8-311 7066
Fax: 011- 358-8-311 7068
For the county of Ahvenanmaa (Åland) County, write:
- Ålands landskapsarkiv
Telephone: 011-358-18-253 44
Fax: 011-358-18-191 55
Local parishes usually have church records created after 1900. They may also have earlier records. You can write to local parishes and church archives for information. For more information, see the "Church Records" section of this outline.
Finnish military records that were created before 1810 are preserved at the Military Archives of Sweden. The address for the archives is:
S-115 88 Stockholm
Telephone: 011-46-8-782 41 00
Fax: 011-46-8-782 69 76
Finnish military records from 1810 are at the Military Archives of Finland. (Most of the records begin in 1812.) The address for the archives is:
Telephone: 011-358-9-161 6362
Fax: 011-358-9-161 6371
Other Finnish Archives and Libraries
Many genealogical works are deposited in the University of Helsinki Library. The address is:
- Helsingin yliopiston kirjasto
An archive that has newspaper clippings from Swedish-language newspapers from the early 1900s to the present, including death announcements, emigration information, and indexes, is:
- Brages Urklippsverk
Finland has many organized historical and genealogical societies. Some societies maintain libraries and archives that collect valuable records. For more information, see the "Societies" section of this outline. Also see these internet sites:
United States Archives
The following archives have specialized collections on Finnish immigration and other records:
- Finnish-American Historical Archives
601 Quincy Street
Hancock, MI 49930
877-202-5491 (toll free)
(906) 487-7274 (local)
- Suomi or Finlandia College
601 Quincy Street
Hancock, MI 49930
- Immigration History Research Center
University of Minnesota
826 Berry Street
St. Paul, MN 55114
- Lutheran Church in America Archives
1100 E. 55th Street
Chicago, IL 60615
Inventories, Registers, Catalogs
Most archives have catalogs, inventories, and guides that describe their records and how to use them. If possible, study these guides before you visit or use the records of an archive so that you can effectively use your time.
The following publication is a comprehensive list of Finnish archives. It gives names and addresses of the archives and a brief description of their holdings:
Suomen arkistojen opas: Arkiven i Finland, en handledning: Guide to Archives Repositories in Finland. Helsinki: Valtion painatuskeskus, 1975. (FHL book 948.97 A35v no. 6 1975) A general guide written in English about the Finnish public archives is:
Guide to the Public Archives of Finland. Helsinki: National Archives, 1980. (FHL book 948.97 J5g)
Helpful guides written in Finnish and Swedish about the National Archives are:
Kansallisarkisto, asiakkaan opas (The National Archives: A Guide). Helsinki: Kansallisarkisto, 1994. (FHL book 948.972 J5k)
Riksarkivet, en handledning (The National Archives: A Guide). Helsingfors: Riksarkivet, 1995. (FHL book 948.972 J5ka)
The following book series contains a guide to the holdings of the National Archives of Finland:
Valtionarkiston yleisluettelo—Översiktskatalog för Riksarkivet (Inventory for the National Archives). 4 vols. Helsiniki: Valtioneuvoston kirjapaino, 1956–73.(FHL book 948.97 A35s)
The following book contains a guide to the provincial archives of Finland:
Maakunta-arkistojen opas (Guide to the Provincial Archives). Helsinki: Valtion painatuskeskus, 1976. (FHL book 948.97 A35v no. 2 1976)
A guide to the military archives has been published in English, Swedish, and Finnish:
Guide to the Military Archives of Finland. Helsinki: The Military Archives, 1977. (FHL book 948.97 J5ga)
Sota-arkiston opas (Guide to the Military Archives). Helsinki: Valtion painatuskeskus, 1974. (FHL book 948.97 A35v no.5 1974)
Krigsarkivet: en handledning (Guide to the Military Archives). Helsingfors: Statens tryckericentral, 1977. (FHL book 948.97 A35v no. 9 1977)
These guides are available at the Family History Library. They may also be available at your public or university library or through interlibrary loan.
To find other inventories, guides, catalogs, and directories, look in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
FINLAND - ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES
FINLAND - ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES - INVENTORIES, REGISTERS, CATALOGS
Computer Networks and Bulletin Boards
Computers with modems can be useful tools for obtaining information from selected archives and libraries. In a way, computer networks themselves serve as a library. The Internet, certain computer bulletin boards, and commercial on-line services help family history researchers:
Locate other researchers.
Send and receive e-mail.
Search large databases.
Search computer libraries.
Join in computer chat and lecture sessions.
You can find computerized research tips and information about ancestors from Finland in many sources at local, provincial, national, and international levels. The list of sources is growing rapidly. Most information is available at no cost.
Some very useful databases and guides for Finland are available on the Internet. In this outline, you will find references to sites that contain indexes and transcripts of Finnish church records, emigration records, maps, and research guides. You can also find information about addresses and activities of various societies and archives on the Internet.
General sites that act as an index to many interesting Finnish genealogical sites on the Internet include:
- Family History Finland, part of the WorldGenWeb project:
- Cyndi’s List for Finland/Suomi:
- Genealogical Research in Finland:
- Family History Library home page: