Interest in Finnish cultural data – visited more than ever in 2018

Date published
Finns browse cultural material online more than ever. In 2018, the nationwide service was visited 2.3 million times, which is 19 percent more than in 2017. Images were clearly the most popular content type. offers viewpoints also to the past. In the picture, there is an electric car in front of the Erottaja fire station in 1909. At that time, electric cars sold even better than combustion engine cars. Signe Brander/Helsinki City Museum/ Image licence: CC BY 4.0 provides free access to the digital material, collection catalogues and photographs of nearly 350 Finnish archives, libraries and museums. It has become increasingly popular year by year. For instance, when compared to 2016, the number of visits has increased by more than 98 percent.

– ­" is a unique online service in Finland, because it gathers collections of archives, libraries and museums into one search engine. By accessing digital cultural material, anybody is able to take a look at the old days and national treasures”, says Erkki Tolonen, head of development at the National Library of Finland

Images and books interest the most

Images were by far the most popular content type in Finna. They were accessed more than 3.6 million times.

Some of the most popular images were the rare colour photographs of Vyborg in years gone by published by the museums of Lappeenranta. They were accessed more than 180,000 times. Images were a popular search also in the Finna Street service. With the help of the service, it is possible to find historical photos taken at the location where the person initiating the search is.

The second most popular content was books. Their information was browsed more than 800,000 times. It is possible to obtain information on most of the books in Finnish libraries via Finna. There is information available on the collections of more than 250 local libraries, as well as all the university libraries.

In addition to images and books, people mostly searched for articles, archival material and theses.

Positive feedback

According to a customer survey carried out at the beginning of the year, 90 percent of the respondents welcome the service. Of all the respondents, 58 percent would recommend the search service actively.

People have clearly become more pleased with the service in recent years because a lot has been invested in making Finna easier to use.

– ”One reason for the popularity of the service is that people save time when they can access collections via one intuitive service. Finna’s collections come from reliable sources, and it is possible to get information about their access rights. It can provide a lot of added value when material is used in education, for instance”, says Tolonen.

The providers of the ten most popular entries in in 2018:

  1. Finnish Heritage Agency
  2. National Library of Finland
  3. Helsinki City Museum
  4. South Karelia Museum
  5. Vapriikki Museum Centre
  6. National Archives of Finland
  7. Lusto - The Finnish Forest Museum
  8. National Museum of Finland
  9. University of Jyväskylä
  10. Vaski libraries of Southwest Finland

Key figures about the service:

  • Launched at the end of 2014.
  • Developed by the National Library of Finland together with participating archives, libraries and museums.
  • 15 million entries of which nearly 2 million are directly available online.
  • Images from 1.3 million entries.
  • Information about 6.5 million books.
  • An open search service; the related metadata and source code as well as some material can be freely used.
  • Funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
  • Part of the road map of digital services.

Further information:
head of development Erkki Tolonen, National Library of Finland, tel. +358 50 576 2869, erkki.tolonen(at)

Read more about Finna:

Digital cultural heritage increases at a record rate – as many as 15 million entries in the service

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