Archive materials on Traditional and Contemporary Culture
Our collections include oral tradition, folk music, ethnological descriptions, biographies and oral history narratives as texts, images and sounds. Collection development policy relies on the responses to the questionnaires and contributions of individual collectors.
The oldest part of the collection can largely be attributed to Elias Lönnrot, the compiler of the Finnish national epic Kalevala, and his contemporaries’ collections from the 1830s. The Kalevala Jubilee Folklore Collection Contest of 1935–36 established the questionnaire basis of the collection. The collection of sound recordings consists primarily of oral history. In geographical terms, the cultural information is primarily from Finland and Karelia.
The collections are mostly the work of individual collectors. The majority of the material is acquired through Folklore and oral history questionnaires. The Archives maintains a network of four hundred people of different ages from different social groups and parts of Finland. During its history, the Archives has received material from several tens of thousands of people.
Folklore and oral history questionnaires are catalogued in several ways. The main card index and the SKS Archives database can reference most of the collections. In order to facilitate a more accurate search, you may utilize manual catalogues, directories and databases. Furthermore, the online resources are linked to entire digital texts and catalogues.
Photo: Emma Suominen