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Research and study services

The National Library is constantly developing its services for research and study.

Service description

Researcher facilities

Applying for the research facilities for the year 2022 will be open at October-November 2021.

The following facilities will be available:

  • Researcher carrels in the South Hall (20 research carrels)
  • Shelves in the North Hall (20 shelves)
  • Lockers in Rotunda (8 lockers)

The facilities can be applied by filling the application form (opens during the application period).

Collection presentations for students

We offer both bookable collection presentations for students and research groups and researcher facilities. We aim to offer our unique collections to all and develop our services to meet the needs of the whole research community.

Researcher facilities

The National Library’s researcher facilities are available for long-term use on application. Applications are open once or twice each year. Link to the application form.

Please note that because of the pandemic only half of the carrels may be used simultaneously. Until further notice, you may only use your carrel every second week.

Enquiries concerning Slavonic Library research carrels should be addressed directly to the Slavonic library using the service address

The researcher facilities are free of charge.

Researcher facilities are open to all. The criteria for selection include:

  • The researcher’s need of the resources of the National Library (especially material restricted to reading room loans)
  • The researcher’s current working conditions
  • The weekly amount of time the researcher will use the carrel

There are two application rounds each year, taking place in November–December and May. Researcher carrels are granted for one (only in November–December round) or a half calendar year. However, in the Nov-Dec 2020 application round all carrels were exceptionally granted for a full calendar year. Storage units – shelves, cabinets and lockers – are granted for one year.

The researcher facilities at the National Library are divided according to their location and purpose of use in five groups.

Researcher carrels in the South Hall

The researcher carrels in the South Hall are particularly well suited for researchers who need National Library material, which is available only for reading room loan. The material will be deposited onto the researcher’s own shelf in the South Hall. Material from the Fennica and other special collections cannot be delivered to the South Hall.

Every recipient of a researcher carrel will have at their disposal approximately two metres of shelf space and a movable cabinet for storing personal items. In addition to the reservable researcher carrels, the South Hall has 12 reader desks.

Researcher carrels in the Slavonic Library

The researcher carrels in the Slavonic Library are intended primarily for researchers using the Slavonic Library’s reading room loans and its open collection. The researcher carrels are equipped with lockable drawers and provide researchers with the opportunity to store their reading room loans on their desk and shelves.

Shelves in the North Hall

A shelf can fit approximately 80 cm of reading room loans and personal reading material, which can be stored on the shelf for the duration of the reserved term. The researcher must ensure that all reading room loans are renewed on time. Moreover, the researcher is responsible for personal reading material stored on the shelf. Fennica (National Collection) or special collections material will not be delivered to the North Hall.

Cabinets in Rotunda, 6th floor

The lockable cabinets (106x50x42 cm) are are suitable for storing researchers’ own materials and personal items. They are not intended for storing reading room loans or material from the open collection.

Lockers in Rotunda, 1st floor

The lockable lockers (36x37x45 cm) are are suitable for storing researchers’ own materials and personal items. They are not intended for storing reading room loans or material from the open collection.

Collection presentations for students

The personnel of the library are happy to present the collections and research opportunities provided by them to student groups from higher education and other educational institutions.

The National Library of Finland offers excellent materials for thesis work. We also provide assistance in information retrieval and use of electronic materials.

The service is provided free of charge.

Book a visit of two hours, for example, for your pro seminar group by sending a message to

Include in the message information about the time when you wish to visit the National Library of Finland and what is your field of study. In addition, describe what is the focus of your seminar or course or what subject matters and materials you know your students are interested in. You can also include a list of the seminar work topics.

We aim to tailor the visit to meet the needs of the group. In addition. All our presentations include a review of the history and the collections of the National Library of Finland. We will present hand-written, printed and digital materials.

Our collection is focused on cultural and social studies. Our special areas of expertise include history, Russian and East European studies, philosophy, literary studies, art history and music studies. There is also a great deal of interesting materials related to the study of theology, law and visual culture.

Part of a service package