Työväen Arkisto

(The Finnish Labour Archives)

Paasivuorenkatu 5 B
SF-00530 Helsinki
Tel. 358 0 736322
Fax 358 0 7535151

The Finnish Labour Archives, founded 1909, collects archival material related to the heritage of the Finnish social democratic labour movement and working population. The Finnish Labour Archives gets financial support from the Finnish Labour Archives Fund and receives statutory aid. The Archives is open to all. The Finnish Labour Archives is a member of the International Association of Labour History Institutions (IALHI).

Archives Collections

At the end of the 19th century and in the 20th century the counterculture of the working class took many forms. Along with branches of political parties and trade unions, for example, workers' temperance organisations were established, as were organisations for women, youth and children, sport clubs, choirs, theatres, hobby clubs, educational associations, red guards, cooperatives, workers' newspapers and prints.

One third of the material housed by the Finnish Labour Archives consists of archives of the political labour movement, and another third of the trade union movement. The rest represents the recorded fonds of cultural and economic organisations, subject-specific collections, and personal details of thousands of members of the labour movement. Examples of the subject-specific collections are the strikes of 1905 and 1956 and the Civil War in 1918.

For over thirty years a Commission of Finnish Labour Tradition has gathered together memoirs and interviews of veterans in the labour movement, and has published seven anthologies. Access to this collection is made available with the aid of indexes of geographical location and subject titles.


The material is stored in thematic order. All the new material is catalogued by ADP, and visitors are served quickly. The local inventory of over 2,400 workers associations and local branches is entirely computerized. A printed catalogue is also available. Newspapers and central archival material can be read on microfilm. The number of items amounts to at least 6,000 and the archival material occupies over 3,500 metres of shelf space.

In addition to its archive material, the Finnish Labour Archives possesses extensive collections of photographs and posters. The collections of museum pieces, flags, banners, badges and art works are entrusted to the safekeeping of the Central Museum of Labour in Tampere.

Days and hours of service
Mon, Wed, Fri: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tue, Thu: 10 a. m.to 7 p.m.


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Last updated 3 June 1998