Kansan Arkisto

Kansan Arkisto (People's Archives)

Vetehisenkuja 1,
SF-00530 Helsinki
Tel. 358 0 7536972

The People's Archives (maintained by the Social Archives Foundation) is the central archive of the Finnish left-wing labour movement and popular organisations. The instutition was established in 1945 and has received statutory aid since 1975. The People's Archives undertakes to collect and record material related to the social and cultural history of the left-wing labour movement, popular organisations, and the working class in Finland.

Archives Collections

The oldest documents - the official records and accounts of the Helsinki journeymen tanners - extend as far back as 1785. The oldest documents relating to labour organisations date from the 1890s, and the most recent material is from the current year. The archival material occupies 2,100 metres of shelf space. The reference library contains 18,000 books, the audio recording collection 2,500 tapes, and the picture collection includes 140,000 photographs, posters, postcards and works of art.

The archival colections include 2,500 archives of labour organisations (f.ex. the Finnish Communist Party and its local associations from all over the country), 500 archives of local branches of the trade union movement, 1,000 archives of popular organisations (cultural associations, theatres, housecommittees, educational institutions, hobby clubs, societies), special collections (the Finnish civil war 1918, political imprisonments 1919-1944) and personal archives of activists of the labour movement, artists, writers and labour families.


The Archives' collections are at the disposal of researchers and the public. The main card index, the archive catalogue, card index of the library, catalogues of the recordings and picture collection are available. The archival material is partly catalogued by ADP. People's Archives has published a guide for collecting working-class history (Kaihovaara-Nirhamo: Kohti uutta aikaa) and a history of the red banner (Kaihovaara: Juurella lipun punaisen). A guide of the Peoples' Archives and a general catalogue of the collections will be published in 1995-2996 (in Finnish).

Days and hours of service
Tue-Fri: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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Last updated 3 June 1998