Experience cultural treasures from the comfort of your home

Date published

The Talwi board game, published in 1871, takes players on a wintry adventure. Image: The National Library of Finland.

Libraries, museums and archives in Finland were ordered to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. The national Finna.fi service is full of cultural treasures that you can enjoy virtually.

Here are ten tips on interesting content in Finna’s collections:

1. See what your neighbourhood looked like in the past

Finna Street searches for historical photographs based on your location. The service works best on mobile devices and outdoors.

2. Research your family history

For those interested in their lineage, Finna provides a variety of digital materials to explore, such as photographs and documents. Start your family research by entering your last name in the search field on Finna’s front page – with some luck, you might find photos of relatives.

3. Watch Finnish films

The National Audiovisual Institute has a collection of 2,300 films that includes Finnish classics, short films and vintage advertisements.

4. Replicate a board game from the past and play with your family

The National Library’s board game collection includes travel, sports and war games starting for the 19th century. The board games are all free to use and can be printed.

5. Marvel at art

Take a closer look at the works included in Finna’s digital art collections. The collections include Helene Schjerfbeck's works, for example.

6. Send a digital Easter card

Browse old Easter cards, select the ones you like best and share the links with family and friends.

8. Study educational posters

Before we had the internet, we used educational posters. Study historical information on animals, human anatomy, first aid, plants, world history and strange cultures by browsing Finna’s collections of educational posters.

9. Learn something new

Finna includes theses and final projects from just about any field of study. Finna provides access to nearly 300,000 theses.

10. Check the availability of e-books with just one search

Libraries also have e-books on offer, but demand for them is high right now. If you have a library card for multiple libraries, you can use the Finna search to see if the book you are looking for is available at another library. Use the search on the front page to search for the book you want, and remember to narrow your search by selecting “eBook” under the content type filter, and your libraries under the organisation filter.