The Herrgårdar database is a catalogue for research purposes providing information on historical archives and libraries at manor houses in Finland. The data is based on surveys sent out to manor house owners in 2011–2014, and on material concerning manor houses in public archives.
Currently (2016), the database includes information about 110 manor houses. The information consists of the type of material, time period and dimensions. There may be multiple records for the same manor house in the database. New information is added continuously, from private owners as well as from museums and archives. Information about family and personal archives associated with manor houses will also be entered into the database.
The information in the database refers to the manor house itself, and information about the owners does not appear in the database if the manor house is privately owned. All the information is displayed with the permission of the manor house owners. The fact that information is available in the database does not automatically mean that the manor house is open to researchers. Interested scholars should apply to the project team’s contact person:
librarian, Society of Swedish Literature in Finland
Phone: +358 (0)9 618 774 66
Searches can be made in Swedish or Finnish.
Manor houses in Finland constitute a significant part of the Finnish cultural heritage. Their archives and book collections are key sources for research into Finland’s history. Manor house archives are found at manor houses around the country and in various public archives and libraries. Many family and personal archives in public archives and libraries also contain letters and documents associated with these manor houses. An overall picture of the types of material that have been preserved and whether they are available for research has been lacking thus far.
To take stock of the manor house archives and book collections and to contribute to their preservation, in autumn 2010 the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland, the House of Nobility, the National Archives of Finland, the National Library of Finland and the Åbo Akademi University Library jointly started the bilingual project Nytt liv i gamla herrgårdssamlingar – Kartanoiden kokoelmat kukoistamaan (Breathing new life into old manor house collections 2010–2014). The purpose of this project was to involve private manor owners in the care and preservation of their archives and book collections, and to bring together information about this material in a national database for research purposes. Where necessary, project group members could be consulted for an assessment of the condition of the archive and/or book collection and advice on any remedial action required.
To survey the kinds of material that existed in Finland’s manor houses, between 2011 and 2014, the project group sent out questionnaires to manor house owners in Finland. The information they received was then entered in the Herrgårdar database.
The project concluded with a one-day themed conference at the House of Nobility in Helsinki in 2014. This work is continuing within the participating organisations. The survey can still be answered electronically via the link below. Answers can also be submitted in paper form to the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland.
You can enter search criteria in one or more fields at the same time. Most of the data in the database has been entered in Swedish, but some information is in Finnish. At present, it is best to conduct separate searches in Swedish and Finnish to obtain a full set of results.
The search results are displayed as a list. Click on a number to get a more comprehensive description of the archive or library.
Manor house: Please note that some manor houses may have different names in Swedish and Finnish.
Location: Place names are primarily in Swedish. Some place names may also be in Finnish.
Time period: You can enter a specific year or range of years.
Content: A descriptive text about the content of the archive or library in Swedish or Finnish. If you do not have any prior information, you can try doing a text search in this field.
Index terms: Tesaurusen Allärs (Allmän tesaurus in Swedish, National Library of Finland) is indicative for the index terms used.
Owner: Name of the organisation (the Society of Swedish Literature, the National Archives of Finland, the National Library of Finland, Åbo Academy library). You cannot search by the name of a private owner. Manor houses in private possession specified only as “privat ägo” (privately owned).