During our trip to Helsinki, we could not miss a visit to the recently renovated National Library, Finland’s largest and oldest research library.
The Library is responsible for the collection, description, preservation and accessibility of Finland’s printed national heritage, and for preserving the unique collections in its care. It services all Finnish research libraries and is responsible, amongst other things, for national licensing and the maintenance and development of the Finna discovery service (finna.fi). This provides free access to material from Finnish museums, libraries and archives and other information systems, and improves the description of various kinds of content including research data.
The National Library of Finland’s collections contain over three million books and periodicals. It also has an equivalent quantity of other resources including audio recordings, maps, sheet music, posters, manuscripts and other ephemera. The National Library has over 100 shelf kilometres of resources. It digitises its culturally and historically valuable collections, too, in order to facilitate the access to material and protect original publications.
The Library’s main building is an important national monument designed by Carl Ludvig Engel in striking neoclassical style and built during the period 1840-1845. The most extensive renovation in the library’s history was carried out during the years 2013-2015.