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Archive Collections

Archive Collections

The Archive Collections at Åbo Akademi University Library consist of the Manuscript Collections and Åbo Akademi Picture Collections.

Our archive material primarily relates to Finland-Swedish people and areas, to Turku and to Åbo Akademi University. Most of the material is from the 19th and 20th centuries, but we also have older collections.

In addition to collections that focus on personal history, we also keep the archives of several estates, companies and organizations, as well as the vast archive of the Finnish Economic Society. The picture collections include photographical portraits, landscapes and cityscapes from different parts of Finland, as well as engravings, some painted works of art and sketchbooks.

Please request the items you are interested in using e-mail (manus@abo.fi for manuscripts; picture@abo.fi for pictures) before your visit.

Åbo Akademi University Library
Book Tower, Tuomiokirkonkatu 2–4, 20500 Turku
Open Tue–Fri 10.00–16.00
E-mail: manus@abo.fi (manuscripts), picture@abo.fi (pictures)
Phone number: 02 215 4080 (Tue–Fri 10.00–15.00)


How do I search for archive material?

Manusam is a database where you find information about the individual collections of manuscripts, such as the name of archive creator, a rough description of what kind of material the archive contains as well as its size. It also says whether there is an index of the collection or if its availability is somehow restricted. If there are restrictions, please contact us for the details

Brevsam contains information about the letters that are included in the collections of manuscripts. You can search on name of the sender and/or receiver to find out how many letters a correspondence consists of, from what time period they are and what collection they belong to.

Bildsam is a picture database, which includes a selection of images and information about them, such as the name of the artist or photographer, technique and dating. Most of the pictures are photographs from Turku, but there are also the collections of a few photographers and some engravings. The pictures in Bildsam are also included in the ÅAU Library’s database Alma.

Pictures and their usage rights

You can order high-resolution copies of pictures in Bildsam by filling out our usage contract. Send the signed contract to us either by post or e-mail. There is a charge for the high resolution copies. We send the copies electronically once we have received the contract.

  • The image files in Bildsam can be used freely for non-commercial purposes.

Photographing and copying

If you want to use your own camera to take pictures of manuscripts, please check with the staff first to make sure there are no restrictions. Please also refer to the staff for paper copies or digital copies of archive material.

  • Pictures may not be copied or photographed, and all digital reproductions are made by the staff.
  • All copies and photos are private research material only and should not be shared or published without permission.
  • Our collections are subject to copyright law.


When referring to manuscripts, use the name of the archive, the collection and the volume number. Example of a reference to Edvard Westermarck’s collection, volume 5:
“Åbo Akademi University Library, Manuscript Collections, Westermarck, Edvard, vol 5.”

When referring to material from the Picture Collections, mention the name of the archive, Åbo Akademis bildsamlingar or Åbo Akademi Picture Collections, as well as the name of the artist/photographer if known. For example: ”Photo by K.E.Ståhlberg, 1892. Åbo Akademi Picture collections.”

Do you want to donate your archive material to us?

The Archive Collections are comprised of material that has been donated to us by private individuals as well as organizations. We accept donations of documents and manuscripts, as well as picture material like photographs and sketches. If you are considering whether your archive would fit our profile, feel free to contact us. Whether a donation is accepted is determined case-by-case.


Updated 27.2.2023