Collections in the SLS Archives

Would you like to read the letters of your ancestors? Do you need a photograph of a well-known author? When was an association founded and who was on its original board? The SLS History and Literature Collection contains personal and family archives, manor house archives and various types of association archives. Our oldest documents originate from the sixteenth century, but the majority are comprised of handwritten manuscripts of cultural history interest from the nineteenth century to the present day.

The Tradition and Language Collection contains material about folk traditions and folk culture, about customs and traditions, culinary traditions, commerce and industry, folk medicine and folklore, games, riddles, nursery rhymes, folk songs and much more among the Swedish-speaking population in Finland. The material consists of handwritten manuscripts, photographs, interview and music recordings, and films. The oldest collections are from the end of the nineteenth century.

The collection also contains material related to the Swedish language and names in Finland. You can find material about dialects, colloquial language and place names in Swedish-speaking Finland. The collection also includes material describing nicknames and pet names, forms of address and forms of reference to individuals, written colloquial language and other linguistic phenomena. The oldest material is from the end of the nineteenth century and the most recent is material collected in contemporary times.

The Tradition and Local History Collection in Ostrobothnia includes records of folk traditions, interviews and photography collections as well as private archives and the archives of Ostrobothnian associations and societies. The collection describes the folk traditions and life of Swedish-speaking Ostrobothnians as well as their activities in rural areas and urban environments. The material covers the period from the late 1800s to the present day.

The Folk Music and Dance Collection contains recordings, films, photographs, handwritten and printed collections of musical notation, handwritten song books, notes, posters and newspaper clippings. This material has been collected and documented by the Finland-Swedish Folk Music Institute, which is a key institution focused on folk music and dance practices in Swedish-speaking Finland. The Institute maintains a recordings library and publishes books, song books and CDs.

SLS also has its own special research library with branches in Helsinki and in Vaasa. The library’s collections include many historically valuable collections of old books, as well as more recent literature. The library in Helsinki is where you will find literature related to book history, ethnology, folkloristics, literature and linguistics, and biographical and cultural history. In terms of novelists, Johan Ludvig Runeberg, Zacharias Topelius and the Finland-Swedish modernists are key figures. The library in Vaasa is a reference library with an emphasis on local history, ethnology, folkloristics and folk music.