Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura (SKS)

The SKS Archives consist of two collections: the Traditional and Contemporary Culture Collection and the Literature and Cultural History Collection. Collecting and documenting traditional culture has been part of the activities of SKS ever since its establishment in 1831. The oldest manuscript in the Archives is the Piispa Henrikin surmavirsi (Death-song of Bishop Henry) from the 17th century. The collection of the material began to be amassed more systematically with folklore collecting trips, carried out by Elias Lönnrot and his contemporaries, in the 1830s. In 1937, SKS founded the Folklore Archives to house and organise these collections and to continue to collect and document folklore and traditional culture.  In 2016, the Folklore Archives were merged with the SKS Literature Archives (established in 1971) to form the new SKS Archives.


The Traditional and Contemporary Culture Collection is the central resource for the research of folklore and cultural heritage in Finland. It encompasses oral tradition, folk music, ethnological descriptions, biographies and oral history as texts, images and sounds. The collection contains approximately 4 million folklore items, 30,000 hours of sound and video recordings and 140,000 photographs or drawings.  Its development relies on the contributions of individual collectors sending material to the Archives. A significant amount of the material has been collected through collecting competitions and other forms of active collecting. The collection has its own contributor network consisting of approximately 550 contributors of all ages and social groups across the country. The collection has received material from well over 30,000 donors in total. The Literature and Cultural History Collection consists of private archives donated by writers, cultural figures, researchers, self-taught writers, and literary societies. Also, the documents associated with the founding of SKS are a part of the collection.



Finnish Literature Society, SKS

PL/P.O.Box 259, FI-00171 Helsinki
Phone: +358 201 131 231