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 Archives

PL/P.O.Box 259, FI-00171 Helsinki

Phone: +358 201 131 231


SLS Arkiv, Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland (SLS)

The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland (SLS) was founded in 1885, with one of its central missions being to collect evidence of Swedish-speaking culture and history in Finland. Documenting Swedish-speaking folklore, dialects, and folk culture was actively pursued from the start. In 1937, this work was further developed through the establishment of the Archives of Folk Culture, with archivists working according to modern scientific methods. The Ostrobothnian Archives of Traditional Culture (est. 1982) joined as a regional archive in the 1980s. In 2008, the Institute of Finland-Swedish Traditional Music was integrated with SLS in Vaasa. The archives now jointly function as the SLS Archives in both Helsinki and Vaasa.


The SLS Archives comprises large collections of oral tradition (fairy tales, proverbs, legends, etc.), dialects, place names, folk music and ethnological descriptions. During the course of the 20th century the documentation work was expanded to include urban populations and different social groups in addition to traditional farming and fishing communities. Today, the Archives has material on a wide range of topics such as school traditions, hobbies, food traditions, rituals, festivities, everyday life, etc. The aim is to continuously document the contemporary world including everyday life and societal phenomena and trends. The SLS Archives houses written records, sound recordings, films, and a large collection of photographs. Material is collected through fieldwork, questionnaires, and donations.


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Visiting addresses: (Helsinki) Riddaregatan 5, 00170 Helsinki & (Vaasa) Handelsesplanaden 23, 65100 Vaasa Tel: +358-9-618 777

Email: info(at)