Oil painting depicting the city of Vyborg, detail, 1847. Artist Niels Grønbek Rademacher. Photo: Markku Haverinen/Finnish Heritage Agency.

Historical collections

The 138,000 objects in the historical collections describe the material culture of Finns and Finnish history from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The focal points of the National Museum’s historical collections have traditionally been on the culture of the gentry and church artefacts. The collections include a large number of furniture, costumes and textiles, items made from glass, porcelain and silver, jewellery, portraits, weapons and church-related material. These artefacts describe not only the development of material history over a long period of time, but also the changes that have taken place in Finnish society, industry, households and well-being.

Furthermore, objects and art related to the history of Finland as a state, its politics and the level of education amongst its people form the core of the historical collections. The collections also include catalogued excavated items from recorded history all the way up to 2011. The collections continue to grow through donations and purchases.

The researchers in charge of the objects are experts in cultural heritage. They produce scientific information on this field, offer guidance in questions concerning the collections and material cultural history, and provide answers to questions regarding the export of cultural artefacts. They are also involved in managing the collections in the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum.

Objects belonging in the historical collections are on display at the National Museum, in addition to the manor house museums of Louhisaari, Alikartano and Urajärvi, as well as the Urho Kekkonen Museum in Tamminiemi, to name a few. Some of the artefacts can also be viewed online in the Object of the Month series and the Finna service.

Customers may use the catalogues and index cards, photographs related to the artefacts and the reference library on request.

Additional information:

Jouni Kuurne, tel. +358 (0) 295 33 6381, jouni.kuurne@kansallismuseo.fi