Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Private archives

Private archives are a resource that should not be neglected by a genealogist. They can provide lots of useful information on diverse subjects. Here I present some of the finnish private archives which may be useful in genealogical research. A full database of Finnish private archives that receive state support or are maintained by official archive institution is available at

Archive of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK)

SAK is the oldest employee confederation in Finland. Founded in 1907, it has looked after the interests of employees for a century. The archive was founded in 1976, it's purpose is to support the study of the trade unions. Archive contains various documents related to the history of the trade unions in Finland.

People's Archive (Kansan Arkisto)
People's Archive is an archive of the labour movement. It works in cooperation with other private and official archives recording labour movement history.

Worker's Archive (Työväen Arkisto)
Worker's Archive is also a labour movement archive that was originally based for the Social Democratic party of Finland in 1906.

Central Archives of the Finnish Business Records (Suomen Elinkeinoelämän Keskusarkisto, ELKA)
The central archives of Finnish Business Records maintain records of finnish business and related associations.

Finnish Sport Archive (Suomen Urheiluarkisto)
Finnish sport archive is maintained by Finnish Sport Museum foundation. It contains documents of sport associations, sportsmen and sport leaders. The eldest documents date back to 1850's.

Urho Kekkonen's Archive
This archive contains archives related to former Finnish president Urho Kekkonen and his colleagues. It contains some private collections, diaries and mail correspondence. Material that is older than 25 years is freely usable, for other material concerning Finnish internal politics a permission is needed as parts of the material are under foreign Ministry's secrecy requirements.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Military records

Finnish military records are mostly located in two archives: in the War Archive and in the National Archive. Some of the archive material is accessible on internet too.

National Archive's Militaria Collection contains documents on military personel from 18th century until the beginning of the Finnish autonomy period (approximately 1812). Military records of the National Archive are available also in provincial archives as microfilms.

The other archive containing finnish military records is War Archive. It was created on 1918 and contains archive material beginning from the year 1812 until nowadays. Most of the material is produced by the Ministry of Defence, Defence Forces and the National Border Guard, but in addition it contains material from donated and purchased private collections.

War archive also maintains a database of the fallen Finnish soldiers during the second world war (1939-1945). The database can be freely accessed on the internet in This database contains over 95 000 persons that can be searched by surname, first name, date of birth or death, home town, etc.
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