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Services of the City Archives

Photo: Tuukka Jaromaa.

The documents of the city archives paint a good picture of the past of Helsinki and the city’s development.  The City Archives are one of Finland’s largest public archives.

Our collections include:

  • documents aged more than 20 years requiring permanent storage from the City’s departments and services
  • documents of departments and services which no longer exist
  • some archived materials of organisations, housing companies and private citizens of Helsinki.

Some of the most commonly used documents include:

  • Minutes of the City Council and the City Board
  • Address register of the police department (1907–1973)
  • Minutes of the Registry Office (1721–1930)
  • Student registers of schools
  • Archives of regions joined in the great annexation of 1946
  • Documents of the Olympic Games

More specific information concerning the collections is available in the SINETTI archive information system (only in Finnish) and in the archive lists and directories of the research hall service.  The archive data system also stores a significant portion of the maps and drawings of the City Archives in a digital format.   The collections mainly cover the period from the 1720s until the beginning of the 1990s, although the oldest document in the collection dates back to 1569.  Our customer service aims at providing efficient expert service.

The documents in the City Archives are public as a rule. Customers are allowed to study the documents in the research hall of the City Archives.  The documents may be used free of charge, but a charge is collected for copies. The City Archives houses a reference library on Helsinki.

The City Archives heads the City of Helsinki’s records management and serves as the city’s central archives. Additional information on the history of the City Archives and its materials.

The Meritalo site of the City Archives operates as the intermediate archives of the city’s common Ahjo system. It houses any paper documents of the Ahjo system older than one year as well as the archives of registries no longer in operation as agreed separately.

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