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Archive materials


The Folklore Archives: materials on folklore and oral history

The collections include material on oral tradition, folk music, ethnological descriptions, biographies and oral history. The oldest manuscript in the Archives is the Piispa Henrikin surmavirsi (Death-song of Bishop Henry) from the 17th century. The collections began to be amassed more systematically with folklore collecting trips carried out by Lönnrot and his contemporaries from the start of the 1830s. The Kalevalan Riemuvuoden Kilpakeruu (KRK), which was a special folklore collecting competition to mark the 100th anniversary of the Kalevala, established the importance of collectors who expressed themselves through writing as suppliers of additional material for the Folklore Archives.

The collections in the Sound Recordings Archive consist of folklore and oral history recordings, in addition to which there are also recordings on the activity of the SKS that are important in terms of cultural history.

The collections are primarily from individual collectors who have sent material to the SKS and the Archives. A significant amount of the material was collected through collecting competitions and ad hoc surveys. The archive has its own network of informants consisting of approx. 650 men and women of all ages and from different social groups from across the country. The archive has received material from well over 30,000 donators in total.


Folklore Archives collections

The Literary Archives: archive materials on literary and cultural history

The materials in the Literary Archives consist of private archives received as donations and deposits from Finnish writers, cultural figures, literary researchers, folk writers, literary societies and other actors. Documents arising from the Societyís own activities are also archived in the Literary Archives. Material is also acquired through thematic collecting trips, interviews and by documenting literary events.

The materials that have been accumulated since the founding of the SKS in 1831 in many ways shed light on Finlandís literary and cultural life and the cultural figures involved. The earliest manuscripts are from the 16th century, but the major part of the material dates from the 19th century to the present day. The archives contain manuscripts and drafts, diaries, letters, visual materials, recordings (e.g. interviews), press cuttings and documents portraying the life of individuals and the activities of societies.

The archives of almost 2,000 individuals and societies are kept in the storage facilities of the Literary Archives. Of this material, there are over 1,300 shelf metres of paper materials, over 6000 hours of recordings and over 149 600 pictures.

The Literary Archives contain materials of which there is only one copy in existence and these provide an important source for research in the fields of literature, history, art and many other fields.


Literary Archives collections