The National Library of Finland

The National Library of Finland, located in Finland’s capital city of Helsinki, is the official depository for every publication ever produced in Finland.  It currently houses over 3 million books and periodicals. 

Finland’s National Library originally began while under Swedish rule in 1640, as a university library for the Royal Turku Academy.  However, in 1827, after a fire devastated the city of Turku (Finland’s former capital), the University moved to Helsinki, eventually becoming the University of Helsinki.  Thus, the National Library of Finland is administratively associated with the University of Helsinki.  Its physical building has received many additions and renovations over the years, but the main structure was completed in 1845.

Prior to COVID-19, the National Library of Finland was open to all visitors.  I visited in 2017, when Finland was celebrating its 100-year anniversary of independence from Russia.  The Library is gorgeous!  You can “visit” it virtually on Google Maps.

This sign inside the the National Library of Finland commemorates Finland’s 100-year anniversary of independence.

As a side note, the front of the Library is not wheelchair accessible.  If you need to get in with a wheelchair, I believe that there was an entrance on the left side of the building.  You will have to ring a doorbell, and then someone will come out to assist you.

This was part of a display at the National Library of Finland. The book on the left is Muminpappans Bravader (The Exploits of Moominpappa), which was first published in Finland in 1950. The author, Tove Jansson, was part of the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland, so her books were originally written in Swedish. Her Moomin books for children are extremely popular in Finland. They’re adorable. I highly recommend them.

Sources and Further Reading

“Introduction to Moomin Books: The Exploits of Moominpappa, 1950.” Moomin. (accessed August 21, 2021).

Kansalliskirjasto. “The National Library of Finland.” Issuu. 2016. (accessed August 21, 2021).

Mäkinen, Ilkka. “Chronology of Finnish Library History.” Finnish Libraries Now! (accessed August 21, 2021).

“The National Library of Finland.” Atlas Obscura. (accessed August 21, 2021).

“The National Library of Finland.” Google Maps.,24.9508587,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1sAF1QipMd7kD-1DYiffhl3Nc8Yl22AMzJddvPafB4IW6Y!2e10!3e12!!7i3000!8i2202!4m5!3m4!1s0x46920bce40ea7811:0xeb982d8b8bc48bf0!8m2!3d60.1703452!4d24.9505053 (accessed August 21, 2021).

“The National Library of Finland.” My Helsinki.’s%20main%20building%20was,time%20at%20a%20European%20level. (accessed August 21, 2021).


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