The National Archives is the key organisation in digitising documented cultural heritage in Finland, and digitising documented materials is an essential task of the National Archives. Retroactive digitisation and expansion of operations to all locations is one of the National Archives’ key strategic goals. The digitisation is being conducted primarily as part of official duties, but collaboration with partners, paid projects and voluntary digitisation are increasing the volume of the materials to be digitised.
The National Archives has digitised a great deal of documented material during 2020 and the first half of 2021. Due to system changes, this recently digitised material will become available when the new customer service system Astia is opened in the coming autumn.
The current Digital Archive will be removed from use during 2022 with the roll-out of the new systems. For now, materials digitised prior to 2020 are still available through the Digital Archive. Materials digitised during 2020 and after will not be available through the Digital Archive’s user interface.
Various projects over the course of this year will focus on digitising the census list collection, renovated court records from the periods of autonomy and Swedish rule, case files of the Courts of Political Offence, renewal maps (the Province of Häme) from the National Land Survey of Finland, and numerous smaller collections.
National Archives launches volunteer digitisation of materials related to genealogy and local history
The digitisation of the National Archives’ materials with the help of volunteers has begun in Helsinki. The aim is to expand the activities to other locations of the National Archives as well during 2021. The material to be digitised consists particularly of the most popular materials related to genealogy and local history, including parish registers. The work is carried out as coloured digitisation from the original documents.
The goal of the volunteer digitisation is to provide researchers with access to key public records whose digitisation is slow due to their characteristics. The slow nature of the work is also the reason why it cannot be carried out entirely by the National Archives’ own resources. While the volunteer work will not substitute the Archives’ own digitisation work, it will enable and accelerate the rate at which materials important to research can be made available to all historians.
István Kecskeméti, Director, tel. +358 50 567 5887, firstname.lastname@example.org