Researcher services include material, data, project cooperation and a residency pilot

Date published

Services for researchers comprise research and teaching services as well as research cooperation. The services are developed together with researchers

Näkymä Kansalliskirjaston lukusaliin

The North Hall is a reading room of the National Library of Finland where you can read microfilms with microfilm readers and use digitised material at the legal deposit workstations.

Picture by
Marko Oja

Online use of material and collections continues as usual

The National Library’s search service allows you to browse the collections and borrow material for home or for use in the reading room.

You can browse and read digitised publications in the service that also enables you to search the contents of texts.

The National Library of Finland and the legal deposit libraries located in various parts of the country provide on-site access to the Finnish digital publications and online materials collected in accordance with the Act on Collecting and Preserving Cultural Materials.

In compliance with the Copyright Act, the materials are only available in the legal deposit workstations. The workstations also have access to the copyrighted materials in the service, some of which are only available online. For example, copyrighted materials digitised in the Tutkain project have been made available for research purposes to 15 universities until the 2010s.

Specialist guidance
Project cooperation

Data use

The most significant available datasets are the packages produced from Finnish newspaper texts and The Finnish National Bibliography Fennica. You can access these using the Data Catalog. You can also find the available APIs in the Data Catalog. The packages of digitised data are also available in conjunction with the digitised materials.

Specialists offer support for using the materials

The National Library’s specialists provide support both on-site and online for using our materials. For example, the National Library of Finland organises presentations regarding its collections to students and research groups, who are interested in using the materials. Please find further information regarding reservable guidance and data clinics on the National Library of Finland’s website.

The required specialist support is tailored on a case-by-case basis. Visits by groups of researchers and students are free of charge, but some other specialist services may be subject to a fee.

Another common reason for requiring help from the library’s specialists is if a researcher needs information on the history of a collection or its possible biases and shortcomings. In some cases it can be essential to know how a collection is described and organised.

In data-based research, research expertise regarding the history and metadata of a collection is of key importance in describing the used methodology and material. The library must be able to meet this emerging need, which exposes the materials to completely new kinds of research questions. 

Project cooperation: use contact form

If the basic services are not sufficient for your research project, we can discuss how the National Library of Finland could offer more comprehensive support.

You can contact us regarding research cooperation using the online form.  You can also use the same form to submit other research ideas related to the National Library’s materials, such as requesting a more comprehensive specialist service than usual.

In practice, research cooperation can mean

  • the National Library of Finland expressing its support for the project (Letter of Commitment) or
  • non-standard services, for example, regarding the processing of materials.
  • If the role of the National Library of Finland in the project requires joint development, the library can also participate as part of a consortium.

The National Library of Finland participates in research projects that promote the availability and usability of its materials or that improve their quality, such as providing new metadata or utilising AI-based applications. All research cooperation is based on the strategic focus areas of the National Library of Finland and participation is always assessed by the library’s specialists.

Residency pilot

In the future, it will also be possible to access materials on the library’s premises in the form of a residency.

European libraries have employed the residency model in situations where a customer’s ability to use materials for research purposes are very limited due to factors such as copyright. One solution to such a situation is for the researcher to work as an employee of the library. The researcher will receive orientation regarding the materials, their use and related rights, and can then use the materials in their research.

There are many open questions regarding the implementation of the residency model, which is why it must be piloted.  The first residency pilot will be conducted in our Mikkeli location and it is intended to offer a researcher access to materials that are otherwise difficult to access. The pilot aims to answer questions related to the orientation of the researcher, supporting the research work, work supervision, use of materials as well as further use from the perspective of both the researcher and the library.  In November 2021, we aim to find a project planning officer to participate in the pilot of the residency model. However, the main focus will be on the chosen researcher’s own work, which relates to newspapers.

Contact person

Liisa Näpärä
Liisa Näpärä
Information Specialist
Research Library
National Library of Finland
Saimaankatu 6
50100 Mikkeli