Flooding in Southern Ostrobothnia region in Finland in 1934
Flooding in Southern Ostrobothnia region. Hundreds of hectares of cultivation soil under water. Men making their way to the first of May celebrations in Seinäjoki borough in spring 1934. Photo: Lauri Huhtala, Journalistic Picture Archive, Finnish Heritage Agency

Finnish Heritage Agency releases more than 200,000 print-quality pictures from its collections for public use


The Finnish Heritage Agency is releasing more than 200,000 pictures from its collections as print-quality image files for anyone to use via the Finna service. The material from national picture collections can be used e.g. in publications, research and interior decoration solutions. With this initiative, the Finnish Heritage Agency supports the accessibility of cultural heritage and its open and extensive use. This is the largest release of image collections for public use in Finland. The Finnish Heritage Agency will now also offer its own Finna view at the address museovirasto.finna.fi.

In addition to the Picture Collections of the Finnish Heritage Agency and materials from its archaeological collections, the Finna service now houses an extensive sampling of the collections of the National Museum of Finland. The collections of the Finnish Heritage Agency have been expanded since the early 19th century. Of a collection of over 18 million pictures and millions of artefacts, Finna contains data of about 300,000 objects, and 250,000 of these now also feature a high-resolution image. This means that, for the time being, a relatively small sampling of collections has been digitised and released online. More material is being added to the service every year.

“Making collections freely available has been a common trend in the museum world in recent years. Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum has been one of the forerunners in this respect. Extensive use of cultural heritage creates new meanings and keeps the heritage alive,” says Chief Intendant Ismo Malinen from the Finnish Heritage Agency.

Open data enables the extensive use of cultural heritage

The Finnish Heritage Agency releases the collection images as high-resolution, print-quality versions, primarily under the CC BY licence. A small number of images have more restricted usage rights. Images marked with the CC BY licence can be downloaded and used freely and free of charge, e.g. on websites, applications, books, learning materials and interior decoration products.

The name of the photographer or author and the owner of the collection, i.e. the Finnish Heritage Agency or the National Museum of Finland, must be indicated when using the image. If an image contains living persons, their permission must be requested for the image to be used for marketing and advertising purposes. In matters relating to commercial use, you can contact the customer service of the Picture Collections. The Finnish Heritage Agency expects that images are used in compliance with generally accepted practice.

New online service provides a shortcut to the Finnish Heritage Agency’s materials

Material in the collections of the Finnish Heritage Agency can be searched and browsed in the new museovirasto.finna.fi online service. In addition to picture materials, the service contains a significant number of images of the Finnish Heritage Agency’s collection items. The print-quality image files can be downloaded easily. Possible restrictions of use are mentioned in connection to the images. Apart from using the search functions, you can study material through topical thematic collections.

The Finnish Heritage Agency will also open dedicated search pages for the archaeological collections, the Journalistic Picture Archive JOKA and the collections of the National Museum of Finland.

The Finna search service is maintained and developed by the National Library of Finland in cooperation with participating archives, libraries, museums and other operators. The Finnish Heritage Agency is actively involved in developing the service. Materials available on the museovirasto.finna.fi website can also be accessed through the finna.fi search service main site.

Further information

Chief Intendant Ismo Malinen, ismo.malinen@museovirasto.fi, +358 (0)295 33 6382

The Finnish Heritage Agency's collections: museovirasto.finna.fi
Journalistic Picture Archive JOKA: museovirasto.finna.fi/joka
Archaeological collections: museovirasto.finna.fi/arkeologia
The National Museum of Finland's collections: suomenkansallismuseo.finna.fi

Ismo Malinen's blog post about opening the collections