Finnish Literature Society archive

The Finnish Literature Society (SKS) is a learned society founded in 1831 with the task of storing, preserving and studying Finnish culture, particularly Finnish language, literature and folklore. The SKS Archives gathers, stores and shares the oral and written cultural heritage of Finland. The collections include materials on traditional and contemporary culture as well as literature and cultural history. 

The Traditional and Contemporary Culture Collections include oral tradition, folk music, ethnological descriptions, biographies and oral history as texts, images and sounds.  Collection development relies on the contributions of individual collectors and respondents to collection contests and research questionnaires.

The Literature and Cultural History Collections consist of private archives donated by writers, cultural figures, researchers in the field, self-taught writers, and literary societies. In addition to growing our collection through donations, we also add surveys, interviews and documentation of literary events. The documents associated with the operations of SKS form a part of the literature and cultural history collection.

The SKS Archives collections shed light on many aspects of Finnish popular and high culture, literary life and the creators involved. The earliest texts are from the 14th century, with the bulk of the material, however, dating from the 19th century to the present day. 

The SKS Archives are open to the public.


The SKS Archives staff provide guidance on using the archives. We also have customer computer terminals, microfilm readers and free Wi-Fi available for researchers. You are always welcome to use your own laptop for taking notes.

We recommend that you book your archive visit in advance so that you can access the materials you need on your first visit.

Our information services offer assistance in accessing information on folklore, oral history and Finnish literature and literary life. We carry out information searches on our traditional culture, oral history, literature and cultural history materials. We advise users on the use of the collections and introduce the archives and its materials to groups. We also offer consultation on dissertation topics and relevant materials.

Our information services are mainly free of charge. Extensive reference services are subject to a charge, and must always be agreed in advance. 


Photocopies of the documents are available for a charge.

The materials may also be borrowed as interlibrary loans through a library or archive offering interlibrary services.

Documents and photographs are also available in a digitised format.


Visit us!

  • Hallituskatu 1, 00170 Helsinki, Helsinki
  • 02 0113 1240, all phone numbers

Building information

SKS:n talo
Sebastian Gripenberg